Niagara Gazette

Features

April 25, 2013

Control yourself: Biofeedback helps ease migraine pain and more

Biofeedback helps ease migraine pain and more

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Since, according to Abbondanza, migraines are technically high blood pressure in the head, his focus with Liz is to help her learn to redirect the flow of her blood. 

“It’s worked really well for me,” Liz said of her experience using biofeedback. “I use a system that Jim has created on his computer. It measures my temperature.

“I have to control my blood flow from my head to my fingertips. The best way to do it is to just think to yourself, ‘my right arm feels warm and heavy,’ and then it just starts to feel warm and heavy. It’s really amazing actually.” 

“The more you use it the better you get at it,” said Abbondanza. “There are two criteria that we aim at here, one is recognizing the onset symptoms, and the second one would be to increase the temperature of the hand very rapidly. The more she’s doing it the shorter the time gets.”

Liz has reached a point where she can control her blood flow without having to look a computer screen, and she has memorized the audiotapes. She reported that she was recently able to raise the temperature of her fingers 20 degrees in 412 seconds. Now, she has learned to identify the onset of her migraines and can use biofeedback to stop them about half of the time, she said. 

Abbondanza, whose company is called Quantum Research & Prova Research Inc., says his next step is to create an online network where patients can log on using a smart-phone app or a computer and inexpensive equipment to practice biofeedback. This way the program can reach more people for less money. Another benefit of the online system, Abbondanza says, is peer support, so that patients can discuss their progress together and help each other. The plan is to have a website launched by the end of the year, he said.  

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