A pilot study of one-session biofeedback training in pediatric headache.
The 20 children in the study, with an average age of 11.5 years were taught deep breathing, muscle relaxation and guided imagery techniques, and were encouraged to practice them at home at least three times a week and at the onset of a headache.
Headache severity in the children decreased from five on a 10 point scale prior to initial training to 4.5 at the time of the next visit, about five months later. The average frequency and duration of headaches also decreased from 12.9 days to just under 10 days a month, and in duration from 6.9 hours to 5.2 hours. 85% of the parents of the children in the study reported that their children were functioning better by the end of the second therapy session.
Researchers also monitored the children''s peripheral body temperature (PBT) using a computer-based biofeedback system. The PBT rose 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit on average following the first relaxation training and 3.7 degrees Fahrenheit following the second. As the body becomes more relaxed, body temperature rises.
Citation: Powers SW, Mitchell MJ, Byars KC, Bentti AL, LeCates SL, Hershey AD. A pilot study of one-session biofeedback training in pediatric headache. Neurology. 2001 Jan 9;56(1):133.
Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award