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Open Access Phase 1 of Integrated EMDR

An Abortive Treatment for Migraine Headaches

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Forty-three individuals diagnosed with classic or common migraine headache were randomly assigned to either phase 1 of integrated eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) treatment or a standard care medication treatment. Integrated EMDR combines diaphragmatic breathing, cranial compression, and EMDR for abortive migraine treatment. The comparison standard care medication group received various abortive medications, including Demerol, DHE, oral triptans, Excedrin, Fiorinal, Percocet, Toradol, and Vicodin. Participants were treated during mid- to late-stage acute migraine and assessed by an independent evaluator at pretreatment, posttreatment, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days for migraine pain level. Both standard care medication and integrated EMDR treatment groups demonstrated reduced migraine pain levels immediately at posttreatment, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days. However, integrated EMDR treatment reduced or eliminated migraine pain with greater rapidity and showed significantly greater improvement compared to standard care medication immediately posttreatment.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.2.1.15

Publication date: March 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication devoted to integrative, state-of-the-art papers about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary journal that stimulates and communicates research and theory about EMDR, and their application to clinical practice.
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