Scenario: A migraine attack launches against your very sanity. You know the symptoms, having lived through them for years, and you know that if this migraine is anything at all like your typical migraine that you will be, for all intensive purposes, out of action for the next several years. You reach for Excedrin Migraine or Advil Extra Strength, but you know at best it will only slightly lessen the earthquake inside your head.
Have you ever considered biofeedback migraine therapy? What is biofeedback? Simplistically speaking, biofeedback is a method by which a person learns to achieve control over a bodily function, such as muscle tension. By achieving this control a person can actually affect the flow of blood which leads to migraine pain.
What can you expect during a biofeedback session? First off, expect to look like some kind of mad science experiment. Since a biofeedback session is concerned with monitoring your body’s functions, expect to have a multitude of wires attached to your body that then send information to a computer. Among the information that the computer will analyze: brain waves, temperature, heart rate, perspiration levels and muscle activity. Did you ever that Simpsons episode where cartoon versions of Mulder and Scully observe Homer Simpson under lab conditions where he has all kinds of wires attached to his body. In a biofeedback session you are Homer Simpson.
A biofeedback session is basically concerned with two things. Instructing you on how to become far more attuned to your body’s physical changes, and learning how to subtly adjust those responses as a way to avoid any physical conditions associated with them. Like severe headaches caused by migraines, for example. A biofeedback migraine session normally takes anywhere from a half hour to an hour. The number of sessions required, however, can vary significantly, depending on your individual progress. Once you have learned how to use biofeedback therapy to treat your migraines, it’s up to you to learn how to manage it without the machinery.
It is important to understand that not all biofeedback therapy are the same. There are, in fact, several different choices available and the one you wind up choosing will be determined for the most part by your specific needs.
An Electromyogram biofeedback (EMG) utilizes electrodes to measure your muscle tension. The sensors alert you when you experience a tensing of your muscles so that you can increase your ability to recognize that feeling more quickly and learn to actually control it. EMG is used especially often to teach people how to relax the muscles involved in backaches, headaches, neck pain and grinding your teeth.
Temperature biofeedback therapy involves attaching sensors to one’s fingers or feet to measure skin temperature. This is done because body temperature very often drops due to stress and this low reading is used to prompt the patient to begin the relaxation techniques he has learned. Or she. Actually, mostly she since most migraine suffers are women. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Temperature biofeedback therapy is also used quite often to reduce migraine frequency.
Galvanic skin response training measures sweat gland activity as well as the actual amount of sweat the glands produce. Since sweat is often the result of anxiety, perspiration can be used to prompt biofeedback control options.
Biofeedback migraine therapy may seem kind of new-agey and off the wall to some people, but the fact is that its efficacy has been established; more than that, it also provides a means of escaping dependence on medication. Even more important that, possibly, is a positive side effect of using biofeedback to treat migraines. In this day and age with the government peering monitoring our phone calls, and terrorists dictating public policy and natural disasters upturning people’s lives, successfully learning biofeedback techniques gives you the feeling of actually having some control over your life. And that ain’t not good.
Biofeedback migraine therapy is completely safe for most people, but you should still at least consult with a physician who knows something about it. And when I say something, that makes them an expert, since even the biggest expert in the biofeedback industry can’t tell you exactly how it all works. And when you do discuss it with a doctor, please inform him if you are using insulin. Biofeedback can have a negative impact on those using insulin.