Light Therapy: Not Just for Migraine

When people think of light therapy, they often think of seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that seems to hit some people during seasons when the days are shorter. And that kind of therapy makes sense to us – maybe some people just have trouble adjusting to seasons with less light.Light Therapy

But what is less known is that light therapy is something that is growing much broader. It includes various types of light, and various types of diseases and disorders.

For example, did you know what light therapy is being widely used to treat acne? Yup. And how about other types of depression? And psoriasis. And pain conditions. And, of course, migraine.

Light therapy is an important frontier in medicine because of the possibility of making it available to paitients at a very low cost, in their own homes.

Read more about the possibilities of light therapy, including the story of Donna, who has found relief from her migraine attacks through a certain type of light therapy: Testing the Healing Potential of Light


More Ways to be a Better Doctor

Doctor, are your patients staying away from you because of your “bedside manner”, or because of something that doesn’t happen in your conversation at all?

We want patients to get the best care possible, and so if good doctors are losing patients because of small things that can be improved – they should know about it.

An interesting little analysis of data was recently done by Zocdoc, a platform designed to help patients find good doctors and make appointments. After every appointment, patients are asked for a review. What do those reviews tell us?

This was one of those simple reviews of words and numbers, which admittedly can only tell us so much. However, there are some clues here that might help doctors improve their ratings.

First, which words are common in positive reviews? Here are some examples:More Ways to be a Better Doctor

  • Friendly – that’s the top one. Ok, pretty obvious.
  • Thorough – of course, we don’t want the doctor to rush us out with a prescription of 2 aspirin before she really took the time to understand our symptoms.
  • Questions – interesting. This might relate to the one above. Taking time to answer? Asking good questions?
  • Knowledgeable – Yes, that’s a biggie. How many hours did your doctor spend studying headache conditions? Certification helps here.
  • Appointment – Was it easy to get one?
  • Concerns – I can make a good guess here. Did the doctor actually listen to your concerns? There are many other related words down the list… caring, explained, answered, informative, attentive, listens

Of course, sometimes the negative reviews tell us more than the positive ones. So, let’s head over to that side. What did the bad reviews have to say?

  • Appointment – Yes, you saw this on the other list. Can you believe it, this was #1! Why? Were there mix-ups? Were appointments delayed? The research suggests that long wait-times, both before the appointment and in the waiting room were to blame. With a little organization, many of these complaints could have been avoided. Time to brainstorm in your office for some solutions!
  • Insurance – Again, easily making it in the top 2. Although the doctor only has so much control here, the office could make things go as smoothly as possible. Wouldn’t you like to be known as the doctor and team that does everything to help patients get coverage? That would be such a help.
  • Waiting/Waited – Already talked about this.
  • Questions – Another one high on both lists. Did the doctor not take the time to answer, or even listen? Rushed also made it high on the list.
  • Rude – That one should be obvious. But notice it’s a ways down the list!
  • Unprofessional – That can be improved, surely.

Another interesting thing to note about the negative reviews in particular. Words like “nurse” and “receptionist” were pretty significant. Meaning that the rest of the staff can make a huge difference. And, by the way, how does the doctor treat the staff? Just askin’.

I don’t want to see bad doctors thrown out of the business – I would like to see them become good doctors. But perhaps even more important, I don’t want good doctors to be avoided just because they don’t know how to talk to their staff, or because their receptionist made a mistake in scheduling, or because they haven’t found someone to help them administrate well. There are not enough good headache doctors as it is. Maybe a little feedback, positive and negative, can help make good doctors great.

To see the stats in more detail, check out What Really Motivates Positive and Negative Patient Reviews?. See also How to be a better Headache or Migraine Doctor


10 Headache and Migraine News Highlights from the past 3 Months (September 2017 edition)

It’s time to take a look at your favourite posts from the last three months! The most popular posts are first, but the posts in bold text had the most “likes” on Facebook.

The clear winners this month included a new study on glutamate levels – showing once again that migraine patients have biological differences even when they’re not having a migraine attack. And, a look at electromagnetic therapy.

  1. The Low Tyramine Diet for Migraine – Is it time to rethink it?
  2. Glutamate Levels Higher in People with Migraine
  3. New Drug-free Device for Migraine Tested
  4. Pulsed Shortwave (Electromagnetic) Therapy For Headache Pain
  5. Earplugs for Weather Migraine?
  6. More Positive Results from the CGRP Migraine Treatments
  7. Serotonin Syndrome: Are Triptan Users Really at Risk?
  8. In Search of a Simpler Botox Treatment
  9. Could Stress Levels Predict Migraine Attacks?
  10. After My Headache: Migraine Postdrome in Children

Migravent: Migraine Preventative (Supplement)

Recently I was reading an article which listed the remedies that 19 different people used to fight migraine. Although I wouldn’t recommend all the remedies listed, the article is worth it, just to see the animated gifs! (Check it out – 19 People Dish On The One Thing That Makes Them Feel Better When They Have A Migraine)

MigraventOne of the preventatives certainly deserves a little space here because it has helped a lot of people, and that is Migravent.

Migravent is one of many supplements taken to prevent migraine, although it is one of the more popular ones. It is designed to be taken with food, 2-3 times a day.

The ingredients are mostly well known for their migraine-fighting properties. Riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium (oxide and citrate), coenzyme Q10, and butterbur. It also contains piperine (BioPerine), an extract from black pepper, which helps with nutrient absorption (and may also be a mild antidepressant). Migravent is gluten free.

There has been a recent concern with butterbur products, but the company notes that the butterbur has been tested for safety by a 3rd party lab.

Although these ingredients are certainly available in individual supplements, researchers try to find special blends and delivery methods that will have maximum impact. Migravent is one of those products.

As you will see from the reviews on amazon, this product doesn’t help everyone. But the reviews are generally very positive.

As with most supplements like this, I would recommend that you check with your doctor, and keep a headache diary so you know if it’s helping. Usually 90 days is a minimum amount of time to see if something like this is really making a difference.

Have you tried Migravent? If so, leave a comment with your experiences.

Read more about Migravent here.


An Upcoming Documentary about Cluster: Clusterheads

It’s likely one of the most painful conditions known, and there’s no cure, and limited treatment. Cluster headache (CH), often nicknamed “suicide headache”, has tragically earned its moniker again and again.

Cluster sufferers, sometimes known as clusterheads, experience truly debilitating cycles of severe symptoms that can be life-destroying. And a new documentary now in production, created by two people who themselves suffer from cluster, is attempting to bring the reality of cluster to a wider audience.

Interview from Clusterheads

Cluster headache – like a knife in the head

Watch the new trailer below, and then see the links for more information on the documentary and cluster in general.