Neurofeedback reduces the frequency, duration and intensity of migraines over the long term, providing real relief for people suffering from migraines. It is typically used with people who have already tried and exhausted a number of other options, including medications.
Neurofeedback often gives them the relief they need when other options have only provided a band-aid or come with unsatisfactory side effects.
There are a number of published articles and case studies which indicate that neurofeedback is effective in reducing migraines. Research developed by Deborah Stokes, Ph.D, a neurofeedback clinician in Alexandria, VA follows the cases of a number of her clients. One of these clients, Anedi Edelstein, came to Dr. Stokes after a long history of medications for migraines. She had tried 10 different prescription drugs and was concerned about the side effects of drowsiness, which could affect driving with her young children. This research discusses how her migraines were impacted by neurofeedback training and reports that she is now migraine free.
Other case examples
Janet: Relief from migraines after 25 years
Janet, a psychotherapist, had suffered from migraines for 25 years. Janet took an initial training course in neurofeedback to be able to offer neurofeedback as part of her practice, as well as to specifically try to help her sister who experienced frequent seizures. At that time, she was unaware that neurofeedback training could help with migraines. While in class, she experienced a significant migraine and asked to leave. During the lunch break, the neurofeedback instructor did a training session with her. Her migraine stopped right away, even though they typically would last for eight hours. After that success, she started training with neurofeedback on a regular basis. Over the course of the year, she was able to completely eliminate her migraines. Now 49-years-old, Janet has been migraine-free for four years.
Alex: A skeptical migraine sufferer gets results
At age 50, Alex had also suffered from migraines for 25 years, in addition to struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). His crippling migraines left him feeling tired all the time and unable to get things done. His elderly mother suggested he try neurofeedback. After a few neurofeedback sessions, he wanted to quit. Since the results were not instant, he did not think neurofeedback was helping and did not want to continue. He was resistant and very unconvinced of success with this method. With his mother’s persuasion and the support of the clinician, Alex reluctantly continued neurofeedback training sessions.
Then, after the eighth neurofeedback training session, he noted mild improvement in his migraines and sleep. After 15 sessions, his migraines were consistently less frequent and less intense. Seeing significant results, Alex needed no more encouragement; he wanted to continue the neurofeedback sessions.
Alex stopped neurofeedback after 25 sessions because he was now working more due to his improved health. When his clinician followed up on his condition several months after finishing his neurofeedback training, Alex reported that he had not had any migraines in that period. He did have a few headaches, but explained, “They were normal headaches, like normal people have on occasion. I can handle them with no problem.”
As a side benefit, his problems with OCD were greatly reduced as well. Alex said, “I still have it, but it no longer gets in my way.” After his success with his migraines through neurofeedback, Alex remarked, “I cannot imagine why anyone would use medications once they learn about this.”