Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Nontraditional therapies may be helpful if you have chronic migraine pain:

  • Acupuncture. In this treatment, a practitioner inserts many thin, disposable needles into several areas of your skin at defined points. Clinical trials have found that acupuncture may be helpful for headache pain.
  • Biofeedback. Biofeedback appears to be effective in relieving migraine pain. This relaxation technique uses special equipment to teach you how to monitor and control certain physical responses related to stress, such as muscle tension.
  • Massage therapy. Massage therapy may help reduce the frequency of migraines. Researchers continue to study the effectiveness of massage therapy in preventing migraines.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy may benefit some people with migraines.
  • Herbs, vitamins and minerals. There is some evidence that the herb butterbur may prevent migraines or reduce their severity.

    Another herb, feverfew, may help prevent migraines, but it has shown mixed results in studies.

    A high dose of riboflavin (vitamin B-2) also may prevent migraines or reduce the frequency of headaches.

    Coenzyme Q10 supplements may decrease the frequency of migraines, but they have little effect on the severity of the headache.

    Due to low magnesium levels in some people with migraines, magnesium supplements have been used to treat migraines, but with mixed results.

    Ask your doctor if these treatments are right for you. Don't use feverfew, riboflavin or butterbur if you're pregnant or without first talking with your doctor.

Jun. 04, 2013

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