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Alternative Headache Therapies

Prescriptions medications do not solve every headache sufferer’s pain. The NHF website is a great resource to research and discover alternative headache therapies. Below are some quick descriptions of therapies that can be used to treat headache. 

Acupuncture: In acupuncture, specialists place fine needles into channels running though the body to attempt to manipulate “chi” energy. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can prevent migraine. 

Acupressure: Acupressure is a technique that applies pressure to energy-releasing trigger points of the body. Various pressure points and acupressure techniques have helped improve both migraine and tension-type headaches in some patients.

Biofeedback: Biofeedback involves measuring a patient’s bodily functions and temperatures so that he/she can eventually learn to control his/her headaches. It can be used alone or combined with medication to prevent headache attacks.

Counseling: Talking with a therapist is a good way to learn to cope with the impact headaches have on your life. Therapists can also teach you to relax and avoid stress, which often triggers headaches.

Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is a variation of biofeedback that allows you to detach yourself from stress causing events. If practiced regularly, the patient can learn to avoid stress and the resulting headache.

Massage: Massage can help headache patients relax and get rid of stress. Studies suggest that massage can decrease headache frequency and increase body awareness.

Riboflavin/Vitamin B2: Riboflavin, an essential vitamin for chemical reactions in the body, creates an energy-producing substance called ATP. During migraine, cells have less energy and by adding high doses of this vitamin, you can decrease the frequency of the attacks over a period of time.

To learn more about alternative therapies, you can purchase of our brochure Alternative Therapies & Headache Care at our online store, or you can listen to our new podcast. Through an educational grant from Medtronic, Inc., the National Headache Foundation recently launched Headache and You:  A Guide to Living Well podcast series that provides listeners with practical advice empowering them to take charge of their health and life. Be sure to listen to the latest Biofeedback & Alternative Headache Therapies webinar where Psychologist Kathy Farmer discusses the benefits of alternative methods of headache treatments such as biofeedback, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. In 1996, Dr. Farmer co-founded The Headache Care Center in Springfield, Missouri with NHF board member Dr. Roger Cady.

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