Effortless vibration technique relieves migraines in 30 minutes

If you or a loved one suffer from the relentless, pounding pain of migraines, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that nearly 15 percent of the world’s population gets migraines—which are considered to be one of the main causes of disability worldwide.

Contrary to common misconception, migraines aren’t just “bad headaches.” Symptoms include sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and localized pain in certain areas of the head. And unlike a bad headache, the onset of a migraine often begins hours before the intense pain sets in—and once it does, it can take hours, or even days, to fully recover.

Of course, there are a number of medications available to treat migraines. But, needless to say, they all come with potential side effects.

Which is what makes the new research I want to tell you about today so exciting. It shows that an FDA-approved sound vibration therapy can help people with migraines significantly reduce their pain—without taking any medication.

Today I’ll explain this exciting new development—and how it can help reduce your migraine pain in as little as 30 minutes.

Treating migraines with sound vibration

If you’re a regular reader of Sound Health, you know I believe sound healing will be one of the next big things in modern medicine.

And this research is just one of the many reasons why…

Studies show that a specific sound vibration technique—called non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)—is effective at improving migraine pain.

This form of non-invasive VNS involves placing a handheld device on the left side of the neck. This device emits a sound frequency to stimulate your vagus nerve—a cranial nerve that begins in your brainstem and helps regulate all major organs in the body.

A 2020 meta-analysis that included 983 patients from six trials found that non-invasive VNS caused “a pain-free status” within 30 minutes of starting the treatment. The participants also experienced an overall reduction in their number of headache days.

In another study conducted in 2019, 225 people used non-invasive VNS to treat their migraines.  Researchers found that… 

  • After 30 minutes of treatment nearly 13 percent participants were pain-free…
  • After 60 minutes of treatment 21 percent were pain-free…
  • After 120 minutes of treatment 30 percent were pain-free…
  • And 75 percent of the patients who experienced pain-relief two hours following the treatment were also pain-free after 24 hours.

These studies used a special device—called gammaCore™—to stimulate the vagus nerve. And while I applaud their efforts to find ways to help people suffering from migraine pain, the cost of the device is $498 and not all insurance plans cover it.

But don’t worry, there are natural ways to stimulate your vagus nerve without emptying your bank account…

3 DIY, non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation techniques

Here are my top three cost-free ways to stimulate your vagus nerve naturally…

  1. Breathe slow and deep. Deep breathing involving your diaphragmrather than shallow breaths—helps activate the vagus nerve and strengthen vagal tone. To feel this effect, inhale for about six seconds, then exhale for about twice as long. Repeat for two minutes.
  2. Wash your face or shower with cold water. This ancient Chinese remedy has been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve and lower your sympathetic response.
  3. Self-generated sound. Self-generated sound—like humming—has been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve, in addition to increasing heart rate variability and vagal tone. You can access a full tutorial here.  

Remember, stimulating your vagus nerve is not just a “one and done” activity—especially when it comes to relieving pain. Nor is it necessary to carve an extra hour out of your day to do this.

Simply aim to integrate a few of the suggestions above throughout your day, and you’ll activate your vagus nerve with very little “extra” effort.


Sources:

“Cervical Noninvasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Migraine and Cluster Headache: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Neuromodulation 2020; 23(6): 721-731

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About the author

Jim Donovan M.Ed., is a professional musician and educator. He's an Assistant Professor at Saint Francis University where he teaches music and how the power of sound can help you experience a healthier life.