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Treatment Without Medication

In addition to the effectiveness of today’s medications, migraineurs may benefit from treatment without medication.5 In many cases, a healthcare professional will recommend a treatment strategy that incorporates both approaches. Examples of treatment without medication include:

  • Biofeedback – Uses sensors attached to the skin’s surface to monitor physical responses, such as muscle tension, and convert them into information that can be used to regulate the response. By learning to relax muscles, control stress, and even blood flow, many migraineurs have used biofeedback to help relieve stress and improve their body’s response to headaches.
  • Relaxation techniques – Include controlled or deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation (tensing and relaxing muscle groups in a specific sequence or progression), physical exercise, visualization (imagining yourself in a pleasant, relaxed setting), and autogenic training (repeating certain statements to yourself to promote relaxation, such as “My mind is calm, and the tension is subsiding”).
  • Diet control – Avoid triggers and eat regular, balanced meals.
  • Stress reduction – Identify stressful situations in your life and try to manage them more effectively.
  • Regular sleep-wake cycles – Avoid oversleeping, and try to wake up at the same time every morning.

Alternative/complementary therapies – Include acupressure, acupuncture, yoga and herbal remedies. Because some herbal remedies might interfere with medications you may be taking, always check with your healthcare professional.

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