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What is biofeedback therapy for headaches?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Biofeedback is a type of relaxation technique for headaches that uses biological measures -- such as your finger temperature, respiratory rate, or muscle tone -- to tell you if you've successfully achieved a relaxed state -- hence the name bio (for biological) and feedback (meaning information that tells you how you're doing). Biofeedback can include complex computerized monitors of muscle contraction with graphic displays that provide feedback about muscle tension, or simple handheld thermometers designed to demonstrate a few degrees increase in hand temperature when relaxation has been achieved (to about 96 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35-36 degrees Celsius). No single relaxation technique is more effective in reducing headaches than another, although some people prefer one specific technique or another. In general, biofeedback can be taught by a trained therapist in five or six treatment sessions, with additional practice needed at home between sessions. Once you've mastered these skills, you will no longer have to practice daily, but only when you feel stressed or start to get a headache.
The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.