It’s not just an ordinary headache. It’s stabbing, throbbing, disabling pain that lasts for hours, even days. Sometimes you also get dizzy and sick. Maybe you can’t stand the light, certain smells, or any noise, and it’s hard to think clearly. You often lie still in a dark, quiet room; hoping it stops soon, while being afraid to move and make it worse. You’ve had to miss work or classes at school. You have also missed out on time with your family and friends, and been forced to suddenly cancel plans again and again. You may feel alone and misunderstood, as those around you, even your loved ones, don’t really seem to appreciate what it’s like, or what you go through.
Chronic or recurrent migraines is a neurological condition that causes moderate to severe headache pain. A complex condition, presentation of the pain characteristics, as well as the accompanying sensory, cognitive, and other physical symptoms can vary from person to person. Pain most commonly occurs on just one side of the head, though some people experience more widespread headache pain. Migraines can occur with or without an “aura”; which is typically characterized as changes in vision (such a bright, colored spots, zigzag lines, or blind spots) or other neurological symptoms (such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or even partial paralysis) that occurs shortly before the onset of headache pain. In addition to intense pain, many people experience significant sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. Some people also experience scalp sensitivity and tinnitus, as well as problems with balance, nausea and vomiting. Difficulty with concentration, processing speed, planning and memory also occur for many migraine sufferers. Migraine pain and it’s associated symptoms (whether or not the pain is preceded by an aura) can last from several hours to several days. Even after the headache pain resolves, fatigue, sensory sensitivity and difficulty thinking can persist for days. A variety of things can set off or “trigger” a migraine headache, including some foods and beverages, food additives, stress, certain eating and sleep patterns, barometric changes, and hormonal fluctuations in women.
Depicted by the artist’s drawing is the all-consuming pain, isolation, and exhaustion of having recurring migraines.
People who suffer from migraines may experience excessive activity in their brains or problems with the way different areas of their brain communicate. Neurofeedback can reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines by calming hyperactive areas of the brain, and improving brain function and communication. pIR-HEG biofeedback can help to normalize blood flow patterns. We may also work with you to implement lifestyle changes, or teach you cognitive-behavioral strategies for managing stress, poor sleep or other individual migraine triggers, to enhance the effectiveness of neurofeedback training.