A review published in American Family Physician reveals that mind-body therapies, alone or in combination, significantly reduce symptoms of migraine, tension, and mixed-type headaches.

Here’s the bottom line.

Migraine headache

  • Reanalysis of results (meta-analysis) from 35 studies of combined relaxation training and biofeedback show similar improvement compared 32 studies of beta blockers and 31 studies of calcium channel blockers.
  • A meta-analysis of 5 studies show that thermal biofeedback improves migraine symptoms 37%.

Tension headache

  • A meta-analysis of 35 studies of behavioral treatments show a 37% to 50% reduction of symptoms in treated patients compared to a 2% to 9% reduction in untreated patients.

Mixed-type and chronic headaches

  • A meta-analysis of 7 studies found that cognitive behavior therapy improves headache activity 49%.

The authors conclude, “Despite [the] evidence, mind-body therapies are an underused treatment,… possibly because of lack of training, insufficient time, or lack of awareness of the evidence base supporting these therapies.”

11/20/07 21:41 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.