Biofeedback Reveals the Secret to Headache Prevention
Most people have no experience with biofeedback which is unfortunate. Unlike many tests your doctor performs when you have chronic headaches it is not to rule out a medical problem. It actually defines the problem. You see, biofeedback monitors and reveals what is going on inside the body and can show abnormal levels of tension we know is a major contributor to headaches. Let us explain a little bit about what biofeedback is and why it is diagnostic when nothing else is.
Biofeedback uses sensitive computerized instrumentation to monitor the internal physiological responses of your body and can reveal abnormal muscle activity which is below the current level of your awareness.
A typical first session is an evaluation. Sensors are attached to 6 muscles of the head, face, neck and shoulders simultaneously to discover which of those muscles are tighter than normal. If any of these muscles have abnormal tension, it means they are unable to relax voluntarily because the muscles and fascia covering them have become shortened and are unable to stretch back out to their normal length.
While biofeedback equipment shows your unconscious abnormal muscle activity on a computer screen, it is imperative to have a guide who knows how to interpret the signal and how the process works of re-training tense muscles back to normal. At that point you start to experience changes in the behavior and tension levels in the muscles which in turn alters your headache frequency, severity, ultimately eliminating them altogether.
It was not uncommon for us to see jaw or neck or face muscles showing 20 or 25 times the normal level of muscle activity in the first session. But, by the time they relaxed down to normal their headaches had been resolved and they no longer suffered from chronic headaches. This process was the norm and 98% of the time our patients became pain free in just a few months. Amazing when you know these were headaches that had persisted for years even decades. After learning what being relaxed actually feels like they were able to reach this state without biofeedback equipment.
Frankly, this was the most satisfying part of our counseling practice; it was really gratifying to have something definitive to point to when a client came to the office with headaches. When asked if they felt tense, they would say, “no, not really”. Sensors were then connected and revealed muscle tension way above normal and they would say, “wow, I had no idea”. Teaching how to return the muscle activity to normal and eliminate headache pain was truly life changing. We really loved this process. But, sadly due to the forces in politics and medicine biofeedback and the specific protocol we used in our clinic never became widely used by doctors. Now, we are working to deliver this same process online to chronic headache sufferers who are desperately looking for answers to how to prevent their headaches.
To learn more about biofeedback and how muscle tension affects headaches download the free guide, Beyond Relief…Prevention. Questions and comments welcome here!