I didn’t get much out of my trip to the Mayo Clinic in December of 2017. I was there to be evaluated for everything. Having been sick for so long, we were at a point where we would do just about anything to narrow down a diagnosis. I had one of the most elaborate and detailed neuro and general exams, tons of tests, and they took nine vials of my blood! Eight days in Rochester, Minnesota (in the snow!) and all I really learned was that my brain tumor hadn’t grown any bigger and that I was lactose intolerant.
I know I should be grateful that the doctors didn’t find anything really serious wrong with me, but it was a little disappointing when the only diagnosis was something called: New Daily Persistent Headaches. Basically, I had chronic headaches, something I’ve known for over nine years.
The best thing I got out of this experience was the Cefaly device. The neurologist that I spent time with thought that I meant benefit from the Cefaly, even if it was just a little relief. Once again, we were up to trying anything. He wrote the prescription and we had to go online to order the device, costing $499. I don’t believe we submitted it to our insurance company but I bet some plans accept it and may give a break on the price. There are three different devices to purchase: Cefaly Acute, Cefaly Prevent, and Cefaly Dual. I got the Cefaly Dual, giving me both the acute and preventative treatment in one. This is what the website has to say about the product:
Cefaly is a non-drug, non-invasive migraine treatment that offers the best safety/efficacy ratio compared to current anti-migraine medication. It is the first line treatment for patients having frequent migraine attacks. Cefaly enables the use of medicines to be significantly reduced and the sufferer’s quality of life to be markedly improved. Cefaly has been approved by the FDA for use under prescription.
Cefaly is an External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation device (e-TNS) for migraine treatment. A self-adhesive electrode is placed on the forehead and the Cefaly device is magnetically connected to this electrode. Precise micro-impulses are then sent through the electrode to the upper branch of the trigeminal nerve to either relieve the headache pain during a migraine attack (Acute setting) or to prevent future migraine attacks (Prevent setting).
Every night around eight or nine p.m., I do the twenty-minute preventative treatment. I make sure I wash my face before so that the adhesive is going on to a clean surface (not going to lie, a lot of times I just slap the puppy on forehead without even thinking about washing my face). The first minute or two the micro-impulses are slowly building and I push the button once it gets to a comfortable spot. The more you use the device, the higher you go in strength.
I find the whole thing quite relaxing. I usually put on a podcast or music and just chill out for twenty minutes. That’s one reason why I do it at night, it’s a way to wind down and chill out. On the occasions when I’m beginning to have a migraine, it’s time for the acute treatment for one hour. The first time I used the acute setting I was laying down in my dark room and just zoned out. You want to make sure you don’t fall asleep for obvious reasons (Oh hello, electrodes!), but it is pretty difficult. The electric impulses have a way of lulling me to sleep the longer the device is in use.
Now did it work? Kind of! I wanted to go a few months before I wrote about my experience because things like this take time to see results. I made sure to track my use: what days I had to use the acute treatment, when did I get a migraine, when was I having a good head day. I’ve never been so diligent with tracking something until I got my Cefaly. I really wanted to see results.
The first two months were great. I think I only had four migraines in 60 days, something that hasn’t happened in years. Then April came through like a hurricane. The first week I was having migraines that lingered for days. May and June haven’t been much different. I was getting a lot of really bad everyday headaches but not that many full-blown migraines. Granted, a lot of the time these everyday headaches felt worse than a migraine. The bad days, whether a migraine or not, I would use the hour-long treatment and while it didn’t take it away, it definitely took away the spike. If I could get to it fast enough, I could turn around the migraine train away back toward the station. I think it also just help my body and my mind to just relax.
For the most part, I have found nothing but positive results with the Cefaly device. No, it didn’t take away my headaches/migraines, but its doing no harm to continue. I’ve started looking forward to my twenty-minute cool down time every night.
If you’re interested, bring it up to your doctor. It’s all subjective, you may have a different experience and outcome than me. I am no way sponsored by the company, just thought I would share my experience.
Here is the website: https://www.cefaly.us/en