Believe it or not, the key to getting relief from migraines may be found in noise—at least, if the noise is in the form of a specific kind of sound therapy. Researchers are conducting a series of tests using an advanced type of sound therapy called HIRREM (high-resolution, relational, resonance based, electroencephalic mirroring).
Two small-scale studies presented at the 2016 American Heart Association Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions show that HIRREM can help lower blood pressure and subdue migraine pain. These studies are part of a larger research project currently made up of over 400 people and testing HIRREM’s effect on health conditions such has blood pressure, migraines, and insomnia.
How HIRREM Works
Developed at Wake Forest School of Medicine, HIRREM monitors the brain’s electrical activity through sensors placed on the scalp. HIRREM measures imbalances between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, as well as hyperarousal. Imbalances can be stimulated by both mental and physical traumas.
According to Hossam A. Shaltout, assistant professor in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, “Most people have relatively balanced electrical activity between the right side and left sides of the brain. Imbalance, with one side dominant, or more active, may reflect autonomic dysregulation associated with
the effects of chronic stress, which is thought to play a role in high blood pressure, migraines, insomnia, depression, hot flashes, and more.”
As HIRREM measures levels, it converts them into an audible signal, which it then transmits back to the test subject. In doing so, it impacts the brain’s output and shifts the electrical pattern toward one of balance and decreased hyperarousal.
Five men and five women with stage 1 hypertension (high blood pressure) were treated with an average of 17.7 HIRREM sessions over an average of approximately 10.2 office days.
- Systolic blood pressure dropped from 152 to 136 millimeters of mercury, and diastolic blood pressure dropped from 97 to 81 millimeters of mercury.
- Insomnia and anxiety symptoms also showed substantial improvement, as did heart rate variability! Heart rate variability is the interval between heartbeats. Greater heart rate variability translates to better heart health and healthier blood pressure.
Fifty-two adults with migraines were treated with 15.9 HIRREM sessions on average over 9 in-office days. Patients enjoyed improvements in insomnia, headaches, and mood.
These studies need to be verified by larger investigations, but, according to Shaltout: “If these findings are confirmed in larger controlled studies, HIRREM may prove to be a valuable new approach for brain-based healthcare.”
Underground Health Reporter will keep you posted.