Mind-Body Therapies for Headache


Mind-Body Therapies for Headache

   

Headache is one of the most common and enigmatic problems encountered by family physicians. Headache is not a singular entity, and different pathologic mechanisms are involved in distinct types of headache. Most types of headache involve dysfunction of peripheral or central nociceptive mechanisms. Mind-body therapies such as biofeedback, cognitive behavior therapy, hypnosis, meditation, and relaxation training can affect neural substrates and have been shown to be effective treatments for various types of headache. Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials show that the use of mind-body therapies, alone or in combination, significantly reduces symptoms of migraine, tension, and mixed-type headaches. Side effects generally are minimal and transient. (Am Fam Physician 2007;76:1518-22, 1523-4. Copyright © 2007 American Academy of Family Physicians.)