New technology to control migraine headaches

May 18, 2013 8:53:06 AM PDT
For anyone who battles migraine headaches, there's an alternative treatment that's going mainstream.

There are no pills or medications involved.

John Kinsella is trying biofeedback to fight the headaches he's had for 25 years, and he was surprised it worked.

"I thought maybe it was a fluke I don't know, but I keep coming back and it keeps working," he said.

Biofeedback is a stress-reduction technique that works by giving you feedback about your body. You get hooked up to electrodes that measure things like muscle tension, temperature and heart rate. It all seems kind of strange, but as you see the lines jumping on the screen, you relax and try to lower them.

"With that information they learn how to control and regulate their systems and learn to relax their nervous system and balance their nervous system," said Joanne Mortimer, Certified Biofeedback Practitioner.

And that can lessen your pain.

"On the pain scale of 1 to 10 I was at a 10 I started doing my exercises and i went down to a 2," adds John.

So this doesn't have to be a miracle solution that'll erase the pain but it may lessen the need for medication and it can be an option if you're pregnant and can't take medication.

"Usually patients can expect a 50% reduction in the frequency and severity of attacks," said Dr. Joshua Cohen with the Headache Institute at Roosevelt Hospital.

Dr Cohen is a neurologist and says there are no side effects, but you have to believe in it and take the time to learn it.

"There's probably no patient that wouldn't benefit in some way from biofeedback," adds Dr. Cohen.

Find a Board Certified Biofeedback Practitioner: