Treatment Of Headache

Biofeedback Treatment Of Migraines

Biofeedback is basically a way for a person to learn control over body a function. Functions that include muscle tension and even levels of hormones in the blood have a direct influence upon headaches. By using biofeedback techniques, information concerning these functions are supplied to the person undergoing the technique.

A biofeedback session begins with a technician attaching your body via wires to a computer that will monitor such things as heart rate, brain waves, pulse, muscle activities, perspiration and skin temperature. The readings of these monitors will be presented as sounds or as video images. There are basically two goals involved in biofeedback. Making yourself more attuned with how you feel when your body is undergoing a variety of physical changes, for instance, changes in blood pressure, and secondly, teaching you how to adjust your physical responses so that you can effectively avoid problems associated with them, such as migraines. The biofeedback sessions typically last from thirty to sixty minutes, whereas the actual number of sessions you will need depend greatly upon your condition as well as the progress you make. Regardless of how well you respond, it is best not to exceed fifteen sessions. The final step involved in biofeedback technique is fully understanding what you have learned and then effectively applying it to you lifestyle without the benefit of the biofeedback machines.

Not all biofeedback is alike. Indeed there are a variety of methods and the one you choose will be dependent upon your individual needs.

Electromyogram (EMG). An EMG uses electrodes or other types of sensors to measure muscle tension. By alerting you to muscle tension, you can learn to recognize the feeling early on and try to control the tension right away. EMG is mainly used to promote the relaxation of those muscles involved in backaches, headaches, neck pain and grinding your teeth. An EMG may be used to treat some illnesses whose symptoms tend to worsen under stress, such as asthma and ulcers.

Temperature biofeedback. Sensors attached to your fingers or feet measure your skin temperature. Because your temperature often drops when you're under stress, a low reading can prompt you to begin relaxation techniques. Temperature biofeedback can help treat certain circulatory disorders, such as Reynaud's disease, or reduce the frequency of migraines.

Galvanic skin response training. Sensors measure the activity of your sweat glands and the amount of perspiration on your skin, alerting you to anxiety. This information can be useful in treating emotional disorders such as phobias, anxiety and stuttering.

Electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG monitors the activity of brain waves linked to different mental states, such as wakefulness, relaxation, calmness, light sleep and deep sleep.

Biofeedback has proven an effective method for many seeking alternative, non-traditional, non-medicated relief from migraine. There are several appealing factors at play in choosing to undergo biofeedback. For one thing, if successful if you reduce and possibly eliminate your dependence upon drugs. For those who don’t respond to medication, it potentially can help your situation significantly. Once you begin biofeedback you may get the extra-added appeal of feeling as if you have genuine control over your disease. And, last but hardly least, it could seriously curtail your medical expenses.

However, like all other treatments, there are some drawbacks. For instance, if you are one of those anal-retentive types who have to know how something works instead on relying on the fact that it does work, you should know that experts aren’t completely certain of the why when it comes to biofeedback. Many people who are consistently successful at using it to fend of a variety of health problems are totally ignorant of how they do it; all they can tell you is that their symptoms have subsided with the help of this technique where they didn’t subside with any other.

Although biofeedback is considered to one of the safer methods of migraine treatment, it is still recommended that you discuss it with a doctor who is knowledgeable about the technique. You should also be aware that biofeedback has been known to interfere with the use of some medications, such as insulin.