The neurofeedback solution for chronic headaches

Saturday, April 14, 2012 by: Healthy Times Newspaper

Altering brainwave patterns may reduce headaches.

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The March 2004 World Health Organization Fact Sheet states that  headaches are the most common nervous system disorder. Tension headaches are  reported by 67 percent of adult men and 80 percent of adult women. The report  also indicates that 3,000 migraine attacks occur daily for every one million  people. Migraine headaches tend to be extremely intense and often debilitating,  while tension headaches tend to be a less intense, more constant pain.
In Healing Young Brains: The Neurofeedback Solution (Hill & Castro 2009)  the authors state, “The economic impact of migraine headaches in the U.S.  economy in 2007 was an estimated 12 billion dollars.” Of course migraines factor  as just one component of chronic disease that costs United States employers as  much as a trillion dollars annually, according to the Milken  Institute.
Many people do not seek treatment for headaches, however,  even though at times they can be disabling. If one member of a family suffers  from a headache, it affects the entire family. Family members may have to limit  noise in the home or have periods of time with an emotionally absent caregiver  due to their headache. Headache sufferers are also commonly depressed because of  the chronic pain.

There can be serious medical issues that produce headaches

Anyone who  suffers from regular or intense unusual headaches should be evaluated by a  medical doctor to rule out any serious concerns related to the brain. Once any  serious medical issues are ruled out, the headache  sufferer often has to resort to suffering in silence or trying a variety of  medications in order to experience some relief.
The majority of people  experience tension headaches which are often  due to stress, lack of sleep, inadequate diet and exercise or a combination of  these things.
Research has suggested that migraine brainwave patterns are  similar to seizure-type brainwave patterns. It stands to reason, therefore, that  altering brainwave patterns may reduce headaches. Once the headache sufferer has  done all he or she can to reduce stress, regulate eating patterns, exercise and  rule out medical causes, Neurofeedback is a viable next  step.
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive form of treatment where the client  is rewarded by way of a computer game when calm brain waves are produced. Over  the course of treatment, the brain learns to balance itself or regulate its own  patterns, therefore reducing the amount and intensity of headaches. Oftentimes  the headache can actually be reduced or even eliminated during the treatment  session.
With this cutting edge form of treatment, headache sufferers no  longer need to suffer in silence. Families can be whole again, with all members  able to participate at their highest level of functioning. Imagine a world with  minimal headaches! Medical costs would be reduced and the ability to function at  places of employment would drastically improve. Quality of life would improve  overall, especially family life.
Article contributed by Terri Philips,  LMFT.
Sources for this article include:
About the  author: Healthy Times Newspaper, founded by Mike and Hope Bundrant in  2004, serves local communities in Southern California.
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