The Best Way to Relieve a Migraine Headache

submitted by: admin on 01/22/2014

A Harvard Medical School study published in the January 2014 issue of Science Translational Medicine quantified the effect of placebo vs a drug called Maxalt in people with migraine headaches. They gave 66 patients who had over 450 attacks one of six treatments. Two were made with positive expectations (envelopes labeled with Maxalt), two with negative expectations (envelopes marked as placebo), and two were made with neutral expectations (labeled as Maxalt or placebo). All three envelopes had one Maxalt and one placebo capsule and the pain experiences of the patients was tracked. 

Results showed that giving pills accompanied by positive information boosted the benefit of both the active drug (Maxalt) and the "inert" placebo. In each of the three groups the placebo effect accounted for at least 50% of the overall pain relief! They also found that when patients were given a    pill labeled as placebo that was a placebo and told it was a placebo, compared to those patients given no treatment, they reported pain relief. The power of the mind is once again exemplified. Perhaps it is the deep conviction that pills work that causes an unconscious biochemical and physiological response that is beneficial. 

The Best Way to Relieve a Migraine Headache (Video)

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