Biofeedback and Relaxation Training for Headaches
Biofeedback and progressive muscles relaxation are the most widely accepted non-drug techniques for headache control and prevention.
There are several treatments that are effective for migraines. Learning proper breathing techniques is necessary, as well as learning to release your muscle tension. Their effectiveness has been demonstrated in more than 100 studies over 25 years of research.
Another technique shown to be specifically helpful in reducing headaches from migraine is thermal biofeedback. In thermal biofeedback, the goal is to warm the hands. This has helped people with their migraine symptoms, and because it’s a non-drug treatment, it’s great for children and women who are pregnant or breast feeding. We use electromyography (EMG) biofeedback for measuring muscle tension and the temperature sensor (thermistor) for measuring hand warming during thermal biofeedback.
Biofeedback and relaxation training have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches by 45-60%. This is comparable to the headache relief of many medications, such as propranolol (Inderal®) and amitriptyline (Elavil®), but with no negative side effects.