As a topic, Headaches were insufficiently covered in The Healing Power of Neurofeedback. In actual practice, we find there are as many different kinds of headaches as there are sufferers. Broadly they fall into categories like migraine, tension, cluster which terms describe very general characteristics. Migraines more often have a vascular (circulatory) related component, and tension, a muscular, but they overlap, and there is quite a lot of good evidence that migraines have an eeg component that is similar to that of seizures.
The Menninger (Green et al., 1970’s) protocols involve handwarming to move blood from the scalp to the hands and feet to avoid vascular headaches, a technique Dr. Stephen Larsen has used for thirty years, along with autogenic training, and/or ease or help migraines. An outstanding case was a performing organist with Raynaud’s syndrome (cold extremities) along with Migraines (they frequently are partners). The handwarming protocol along with autogenic training and visualizations had her able in three months to practice the organ in extremely cold churches (her usual plight). The case was an example of collaborative learning between client and therapist (working together) and an early confirmation of self-management skills.
The Menninger protocols were often a fairly long haul though, and required extremely motivated and disciplined clients ( to do regular handwarming in and out of the clinic). After we had begun the LENS in clinical practice (since 1996) senior clinician Jim Giorgi, and Stephen Larsen were amazed to find migraines melting before our eyes, with almost no effort on the part of the client. Hands, as we found with careful measurement, did indeed get warmer, and we early helped confirm (with Dr. Ochs encouragement) that the LENS was a vasodilator–that is the procedure seemed to help relax and open peripheral blood vessels. People’s hands often got several degrees warmer after a treatment–and if they had come with a headache, it would be partially alleviated.
Dr. Ochs has also developed a visualization technique called DVR or Deep Vascular Relaxation that can be taught to clients as a self-management and self-soothing technique. Used together they are helpful for migraine sufferers (Ochs has a whole section of his website called migrainehelpers @ochslabs.com) The link provided above in this section offers a brief procedure that is safe (and quite helpful) to do on your own!