Along with getting rid of my chronic case of tech neck, I am dearly hoping mid-July’s Botox treatment will give me the pain relief I seek. The last doctor treatment for migraine (or anything, actually) was May 28 when I had the nerve block. Over time, my facial pain, the pain in the back of my head that radiates down my neck and into my shoulders returns as the day wears on. On the plus side, I can sit up for ages before becoming dizzy. I usually become sore first. I have several lamps now and aim them all over the place at various levels to limit pain. Noise levels are still problematic.
Anyway, The Cefaly.
There are two types of Cefaly units. The US one, and the
Canadian and rest of the world? European? one. From what I understand, the US model has one speed and an allowable wear time of 20 minutes.
My model has three speeds 1. Active Headache 2. Prevent 3. Gentle and is allowed to be worn all day. (The website at http://www.cefaly-technology.com explains all this).
Included in the box is a set of electrodes, (3 maybe? My husband ordered a whole bunch so I got confused.) And some forehead wipes.
Cefaly works by cleaning your forehead with the wipe. Bioderma is the closest sub for this. It must be non-oily. Next you place the provided electrode (powered by 2AA batteries, don’t worry) on your forehead. The brochure will describe this, don’t worry. Mid forehead. You then slide the lovely Wonder Woman Headband down your head until it engages with the electrode. Press the button on your WWH until you get your program. (In US this is ONCE). Enjoy your 20 minute treatment. Repeat if desired, unless American. Lowest price we found in Canada was $299 at Costco.ca.
I am fortunate to have the gentle cycle, because I am very sensitive to TENS! Yes, I had no clue this was TENS at all. I had used a machine once at my grandmother’s house once about 25 years ago and it was so incredibly painful.
The first time I used it, thoughts I had included:
“Dear God, I hope this thing shuts off eventually. What if it doesn’t?”
“This feels like Dave Grohl playing timpani on my sinuses!”
“Did I buy a home ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) machine by accident?”*
*(I had a family member go through this treatment several times, we discussed it, plus the awful scene in cuckoo’s nest, I understand it was a very mild situation. My brains were being scrambled, and I was getting scared. That’s where my weird mind went.)
But I endured. The next therapy I needed to stop about 5 minutes in. It was just too painful. My husband complained of a headache that evening, so it was time for an experiment. He got to wear the band. He couldn’t feel anything! I couldn’t believe it.
The next time I used Cefaly, I sat up and carefully applied the electrode supplied, to my forehead using a mirror to judge the best spot midway between my eyebrows/forehead ridge and the start of where my forehead curves. This session was so much less painful. It still hurt, but was much better. This time I noticed how much better I felt after the session. I had about 10 minutes where I felt I still was wearing the headband, and I was kind of scrambled for a few minutes, like waking from a nap. My shoulder and neck pain was so much better, and my facial pain was from a 6 to a 3 or 2.
The next three or four days were tough, as I had excessive sleeping. I would lie down for a quick nap, planning to wake around 5 for dinner, do my therapies; and wake up the next morning. I’ve done sessions over the last three days, still on gentle. However, now the painful part is only a couple of minutes and I tend to fall asleep for the last part of the session. The damn beeping to signal the finish always wakes me. I’m thinking of going up to level 2 soon.
- Having your electrode placed properly is very important. Use a mirror.
- I found having the TV or something on is helpful to pass time or distract.
- Bioderma is a fantastic substitute for the included wipes. I have not found a distributor. Alcohol is too drying and will degrade your electrode pad.
- Just press the button for emergency stop.
- Two AA batteries.
At this point I am looking forward to my afternoon sessions. It’s like a challenge.
The fantastic part is my insurance reimbursed us for it. Yay!
Verdict: Even though I am sensitive to TENS, this product is highly effective in reducing and treating my headaches. Where I would expect to be useless, I can take a treatment and after 20 minutes my pain is seriously reduced. I’m amazed.
I will keep you posted!