Expectation for Hemoencephalography, (HEG)
Headache is the pain experienced by so many and comes in different forms. Refractory headache refers to headaches, which have not been managed by other means, and continue to interfere with quality of life. Medications may be only partially helpful, or not at all. Relaxation techniques, adjustments, massage, or any other intervention has been either only short lived or not at all helpful. The typical training period may be as many as twenty sessions. Surface electromyography (SEMG) is primarily for muscle tension headache and employs biofeedback to develop specific muscle release. This latter (SEMG) biofeedback will often require ten to fifteen sessions. There is no magic number of sessions, recognizing the incredible individual differences in headache sufferers.
Barry (a fictional name) has been having headaches for years. He has seen every imaginable health care professional, often with medications helping for a short time. The headaches interfere with work, his personal life and their refractory nature has led him to believe there is no help available. He has even entertained the notion there is something wrong with his brain. Nobody has recommended surgery, which probably wouldn’t work anyway and may make things worse. Referral to Peak Performance Processing and Neuro Therapy Tacoma led to a diagnostic workup to attempt to understand the individual headache process. After a few sessions Barry began to understand the source of his headaches and began to change some things in his life, with a major reduction of headaches. He now knows that when he violates his training, a headache is predictable. Barry must continue to practice what he learned to successfully manage his headaches.
Understanding of headache has evolved over the years. Classical headache is either muscle tension type or migrainous. In migraine it has been felt there is a change in the blood vessels of the brain, going through the phases of onset to excessive enlargement or distension. In fact migraine and muscle tension headaches share many common symptoms. Later the trigeminal nerve was implicated in migraine. In all cases medications for anti-inflammatory response and vascular control of the arterial supply to the brain have been developed. Unfortunately in many cases medication either works poorly or has unpleasant side effects.
The Hemoencephalography (HEG) approach is non-pharmacological and works with the brain and headache somewhat differently. HEG used here is the Passive Infrared reading of the brain’s circulatory or blood vessel temperature. Functionally, the blood performs the function of oxygenating and nourishing the brain. Increased temperature indicates an increased blood flow, with accompanying increases in oxygen and the glucose nutrients. Our brains have an amazing ability to supply extra blood, preferentially to those modules in current use. Therefore, the increased flow of blood also cools the brain, which if overheated could be severely damaging. Thus, HEG measures blood flow. The usual location for HEG is in the frontal lobes, the area involved in making decisions. Thus, HEG is the study of voluntarily controlling blood flow of oxygenation and nutrition in specifically chosen brain modules.
The literature is beginning to reflect the use of HEG in refractory headache. As progress continues in the HEG area, attempts will be made to keep up to date here.
HEG, what is it?