There has been plenty of PR and news about the Star Trek looking TENS device from Cefaly but I haven’t seen an in-depth Cefaly review from the patient perspective. After much discussion within the MigrainePal community about the device I decided to try one and share my journey with everyone as I went along. The goal is to review the device from an honest perspective. To evaluate what all the fuss is about and whether the Cefaly device is something worth considering given its price tag of around $349 USD all up.
- 1 Background
- 2 Indications
- 3 What to expect before you try it
- 4 20 mins later after my first use
- 5 How did I feel afterwards?
- 6 After 11 days
- 7 After 75 days
- 8 What I did with the device over the past 2 and a half months:
- 9 What does 30% baseline improvement mean?
- 10 Here’s what happened
- 11 If you’re complacent about your condition, Cefaly won’t save you. Just as other treatments probably won’t.
- 12 Electrodes
- 13 Cost
- 14 Renting a Cefaly device
- 15 Where to find Cefaly devices
- 16 After 18 months of use
- 17 Cefaly, The New, Smaller & Improved Device
The Cefaly device is a type of TENS unit.
T.E.N.S. stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Sounds scary but the device has been approved in the US, UK, Austalia & Canada by health regulators as a medical device to help treat and prevent migraine.
Side effects are reportedly minimal, the instruction manual cites there is a tendenacy towards sleepiness but otherwise little else. This side effect would be welcomed by many during a migraine attack. They do mention however that 3% of people may be hypersensitive to electricity and therefore are not able to use the device.
The device is supposed to be used for a minimum of 20 mins a day to help prevent migraines. Although there are 2 other settings you can use one for treating an acute attack and another program for stress and anxiety.
In the manual, it does suggest that Cefaly is most beneficial when pain is located in the front half of the skull. Cefaly doesn’t have any proven benefit for pain located at the back of the skull or the lower part of the face, below the eyes.
Personally, I suspect my migraine attacks are heavily driven by a shoulder injury and from my neck but I still do get pain and tension headaches in the front part of my head so I’m still hopeful this will help.
I’m also working way too many hours these days, so anything that can help manage stress or force me to take a 20 minute time oevery dayday is a good thing.
The manual claims that a “state of deep relaxation and an unprecedented sense of well-being are generated through deep muscle relaxation and a marked increase in endorphin secretion”. Sounds nice…
Given that I’ve meditated on and off for the last 9 years I know what that could feel like. I’ve also been to a day spa. So they have certainly set a high benchmark in my mind. Let’s see if they can deliver.
What to expect before you try it
The expected results will vary by individual according to Cefaly. The more consistently you use the device the better.
The program I’m going to aim for is the migraine prevention. The best responders experience an improvement within just a few weeks. Others respond more slowly and may need a few months to see significant improvement.
My migraine attacks are at about 1 per month – but if I stop managing myself or come off my medications they could easily be 1-2 a week or more. At its worst I was getting 5-6 attacks a week. So I’m keen to see if this can help increase my migraine threshold, reduce my attacks and help me come off heavy medications.
That’s the goal. Let’s see what happens…
20 mins later after my first use
After reading the manual and expecting a strange sensation I still wasn’t quite prepared for what occurred.
After following the instructions and sticking an electrode to my head I began the session. There was two minutes of a gentle build up. A few pins and needles. No major drama.
I had read in the manual that the intensity of the device increases gradually for the first 12 minutes. So I set my timer on my phone so I could see if I could go the full strength first go and off I went.
You can easily stop the increase in the intensity and or end the session at any time but I wanted to see how far I could go. Afterall the more sessions you have at full capacity the better according to the manual. And the pain is largely pschyological it explains.
I made it past the 12-minute mark. But it didn’t feel like it leveled out in intensity. I would not describe the discomfort anywhere near the same level of pain as migraine. So don’t worry about that. But at times it can be uncomfortable. I certainly couldn’t carry on doing normal tasks (this does get better as you use it over time).
To describe the sensation. It felt like someone was combing my hair with a heavy metal comb. Whilst putting weight on their other hand pressing down in the middle of my forehead. Mixed with a flurry of pins and needles.
How did I feel afterwards?
Pretty good. Right after it stopped I felt great. It’s similar to the feeling of finishing a long race. It’s a feeling that’s half achievement half endorphin release in your body because you’re so happy you’ve just finished what you were doing.
30 minutes later and my head is still a little numb and tingly.
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After 11 days
On my third day I was feeling fantastic and reading my laptop in bed, I hadn’t eaten or taken my preventatives yet which I usually take first thing and my neck was in a bad position. And I promptly gave myself a migraine after an hour.
Sounds silly in hindsight, but it’s so easy to do. Apart from that self-inflicted attack I’ve felt pretty good.
I’ve definitely noticed a difference. Particularly in relation to “brain fog”. Whether this is a side effect from my medication or the migraine itself is hard to tell, but regardless, the Cefaly device is noticeably helping with this.
It is also helping with my sensitivity to light to a certain extent.
So with 11 days gone, I’ve made one silly mistake, but also seen some promising results. I’ll ensure I continue to use the device at least for another month continuously. And I definitely won’t be reading the laptop in bed again, no matter how good I’m feeling.
After 75 days
It’s now been 2 and half months since I’ve been using the Cefaly device. Am I cured? Nope. But hey, did you really expect that to be the case?
Has it helped? Yes.
Should you go out and buy one? Well, before you go out and spend a few hundred dollars, it’s worth understanding what you’re in for.
Rarely are things so simple with migraine.
What I did with the device over the past 2 and a half months:
- I’ve used the device whilst doing breathing exercises & meditating. It’s great with that.
- I used the device whilst working on the computer, watching TV, eating dinner, brushing my teeth. Ok.
- I’ve accidentally fallen asleep with it and woken up with electrode still attached to my forehead the next morning and the device buried in my bed. Not so good.
I think it’s safe to say I have stress-tested the device.
Falling asleep with the device is a not a good idea. You can damage the device itself and rapidly wear out the electrode. The electrodes need to remain in good order to function properly. They are replaceable but not super cheap (3 for $25 USD).
Over the last few months the benefit from the Cefaly device has become clearer. All else being equal, for me it delivers approx a 30% improvement to my overall migraine baseline.
What does 30% baseline improvement mean?
To provide a little background, on a given day I objectively measure my migraine risk, or my migraine vulnerability. It’s like evaluating how tired you feel on a particular day, except it’s for your migraine condition.
This helps me evaluate my condition everyday, not just when I have an attack, as I may only have 1 or 2 attacks in a given month (down from over 15). But I still notice my condition most days.
In one month I might feel great the whole time. Another month I might feel on edge. I’ll experience vertigo, moodiness, light sensitivity, numbness or coloured spots – all of which would cause my me to rate my migraine risk higher throughout that period.
So ‘migraine risk’ is an important indicator which I track daily. I also use it to help evaluate the effectiveness of any new treatments like the Cefaly device and uncover potential triggers.
My expectations were not high. After reading that the device only helps with the front part of the upper head from the eyes to the top of the forehead, I was pleasantly surprised by the early results which were largely sustained over the last few months.
But, over the last 2.5 months, I’ve had 3 migraines whilst I’ve been using the Cefaly device. While, this is great versus my long term average, this is higher than my usual baseline of one every 2-3 months.
The chart below shows my Migraine risk in with the blue bars. My 3 migraine attacks in orange. And my numerous triggers lines alongside them. Overall – not fantastic. I experienced moderate (medium) levels of migraine risk consistently over the last few months.
Here’s what happened
I got busy.
Work started to creep into the weekends. But I decided to let to that continue as I thought I could handle it because the Cefaly device was working.
I was spending more time under fluorescent lights because of work. Working from a laptop and not a monitor meant that my neck was constantly flexed downward at the screen. This created a poor posture when my neck was already an identified trigger for my migraine condition. Not ideal.
I also stopped meditating. With less time on my hands something had to give I and simply didn’t keep up the discipline.
I also had a wedding and 2 other events were I drank alcohol and missed several nights of good sleep.
So with my system loaded with a higher level of stressors than average then topping it off with alcohol and a lack of sleep – it all caught up with me.
From the graph you can see that I have 3-6 triggers which can flair up. When they jump up together, you’ll notice the result is a migraine as you can see on the chart. I can withstand one or two triggers flaring up. But not much more than that.
Now of course, writing this down it all seems fairly obvious in hindsight. But that’s the problem.
It’s hard to see the full picture when you’re in the frame.
I’ve been actively researching and self-managing migraine for years in partnership with my doctor and I still put myself into silly situations like this. But at least having this record I can see clearly what I’m doing and its impact.
The Cefaly device is helpful and worthwhile. And I still use it everyday. But it’s no cure. It’s not a miracle worker. You can’t use it as an excuse to go back to all your bad habits.
If you’re complacent about your condition, Cefaly won’t save you. Just as other treatments probably won’t.
Cefaly works best when you keep up your self discipline and do the obvious things that someone with migraine needs to do to keep their condition in check. Get the right balance of rest, relaxation, exercise and work. And make sure your diet is on track.
To get the best results from the device, I use the device whilst doing breathing exercises or meditating rather than watching TV or doing other activities.
It’s worth mentioning that the device connects to electrodes that stick onto your head. This sounds strange. It’s not once you get used it. You stick a triangular band-aid looking electrode with a tiny handle, which acts as a small latch for the Cefaly device to attach to.
Because these attach to your skin directly, they eventually lose their adhesiveness. You get approx 20 sessions out of them. So they need replacing. A little annoying.
Make sure to clean your forehead, ideally with alcohol before applying the electrode to help prolong it’s life. I often use a skin moisturiser after use to prevent drying out my skin.
Prices updated 2 August 2018.
In the US the device itself is $349 with shipping typically $29. A 3 pack of electrodes is $25 with an additional $5 for shipping.
Renting a Cefaly device
The device itself can also be rented to trial this treatment option. This might be a suitable approach to if you are unsure about whether the device will deliver results or if you don’t have the full funds available upfront.
Where to find Cefaly devices
Prices as at 31 March 2016:
- USA www.cefaly.us for $349. You’ll need a copy of your prescription before they’ll send you a device.
- Australia – www.cefaly.com.au $299-399 AUD depending on which version you buy. Make sure you check your health plan for rebates as you could get more than $100 back. Cefaly devices can also be rented from www.cefaly.com.au
- UK www.cefaly.co.uk for £249 pounds for Cefaly II and an additional £19 for electrodes. Shipping not included.
- Canada www.cefaly.ca for $349.99 Canadian dollars plus $29.99 for electrodes. Shipping not included.
After 18 months of use
Time has flown. It has now been 18 months since my first review of the Cefaly device and I still have my device and yes, I still use it.
I have to confess I’m not a daily user like I used to be. I did use it daily or very consistently for around the first 12 months. I did notice an improvement and an improvement in my migraine threshold or resilience. But I do feel like my results reached a plateau at this new improved level after this time.
Having said that, if I get a migraine attack or if I begin to feel vulnerable, I pull out the device and start using it everyday until I go back to my usual ‘low vulnerability’ baseline.
I’m glad I have the tool and have not noticed any unwelcomed side effects.
Cefaly, The New, Smaller & Improved Device
Late in 2017 Cefaly introduced a new, smaller and more advanced version of it’s device.
Coinciding with this new device was the FDA approval for Cefaly to be used as an acute treatment device for migraine.
The inventor of the device and CEO of Cefaly, Dr. Pierre Rigaux said: “We are excited that we can now offer migraine patients several drug-free options in their migraine care… We have developed a way for migraine patients to stop a migraine and prevent a migraine without medication and with next-to-no side effects.”
This new approval was based on a double-blind randomized placebo control trial that was presented at a recent meeting of the International Headache Society. The findings showed that on average, the Cefaly treatment reduced migraine pain by 65%. In addition, 32% of patients were pain-free within an hour. (1)
There are now three treatment options: Cefaly PREVENT, a prophylaxis treatment; Cefaly ACUTE, a rescue treatment, and Cefaly DUAL, a device that combines both prevent and acute technologies.
Despite these new settings the device is used in the same way as before. It uses a magnetic connection to a self-adhesive electrode which send micro-pulses through the skin to the upper branches of the trigeminal nerve to relieve an attack of help prevent future attacks.
Are you planning to try it? Has your experience with the Cefaly device been good or bad?
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Interesting to read a first-hand review after all the hype, and reassuring to hear the results have been positive. I look forward to the day they arrive here in France!
Hi Wendy, you can get them on Amazon.uk. If you were very interested you could probably arrange for shipping to your location… One thing that I’ll mention in the next post is that the Cefaly device requires repurchasing of electrodes. You get a supply that lasts approx 2-3 months in the pack. But then you have to repurchase electrodes to keep the Cefaly operational. Little bit of a pain. But so far it’s continued to be helpful, it doesn’t feel like it’s a cure for me, but it feels like it’s assisting. I’ll share another update after the 1 month mark.
Very interesting and honest review. I have also been using Cefaly for more than six months now. I don’t use it as prevention as I only get 1-2 migraines per month (that each last for three very long days each). I use it to treat attacks. I am unable to take any kind of migraine medication other than Panadol(!), so this device has been a life saver for me. For me it doesn’t actually get rid of the migraine, but while I am actually wearing the device, I am totally pain free. Obviously I can’t go out in public with it on, but while at home I can read, watch tv, do household chores, etc., things I could obviously never do with a migraine. It’s amazing to be out of the darkened bedroom, and I’m so happy I with it. When I feel a migraine starting, instead of the despair of facing 3 days alone in the dark in pain, it is such a relief to know I can put the device on and be pain free in just minutes. The only thing I wish was that it did not have to be turned on again every 20 minutes, so you can’t really keep it on at night to sleep.
HI Mark …As I am a migraine suffer for the last 8 years and are on medication just like you is it possible to tell me what medication you are taken for your migraines .I have daily migraines and headache and the medication has put weight on ,just wondering if they is anything you can take that don’t put weight on ..any help would be appreciated…Kind Regards Melissa
Yes is called Topiramate or Topamax but is best you do your research in Internet before use it
I got it at home but I’m scared as plenty side effects
Hi, I suffer constant migraines, sometime headaches, sometimes migraine. My neurologist prescribed me Topamax. My advise. Do not take it! The side effects in my case were worst that the migraines it self. When I had a month taking it I started with sensation of pins and needles in feet and hands, after that I started suffering a different king of headache from the neck up to the crown of my head and it was right there when I realized that it was that medication. After I stopped taking it the pain lasted at least 3 weeks more. I decided to start doing yoga. I guess that I
m a bit better or I dont know. I guess I should try this device. Is expensive but it works it worth it.
I agree on the pins and needles in hands and feet. I kept adjusting dose up and down depending on intensity between 125 mg and 150 mg. Couldn’t tolerate higher dose. Finally switched off to something else
Started using mine a week ago, decided after an excellent week to stop my preventative and got a migraine! But the Cefaly definitely stops daily migraines and or fog after just a week. I think it’ll be amazing and can’t wait to review again after a month
Hi Melissa, have you looked at your diet? I suffered from chronic daily headaches and migraines, and tried many medications etc. but nothing helped. Then I started the FAILSAFE diet, which cuts out certain food chemicals, preservatives, and additives, and I feel so much better as a result. My headaches are now controllable. Let me know if you’d like some more info – I’ve been where you’re at and no fun 🙁 Cheers, Ciara
Thanks Ciara What is the failsafe diet never heard of it ,I am on lyrica which has put weight on me I am on trial with the Cefaly and it has helped me but still on heavy medication had to give work away 18 th ago due to my migraine so any help would be appreciated. Kind Regards Melissa Dwyer (Wauchope)..
Can you give me info on the diet? Email me at email@example.com thank you
Thanks For The information
Nice detailed review. I always like to read the unbiased, real world cases. Thanks for sharing!
FYI…I’d recommend that you also take a look at the “Kit Arnold” which is the option for the Cefaly. It is an electrode(using the same “headset”) which stimulates the Suboccipital área(base of the skull) and the nerves therein. Folks who suffer from fibromialgia really love that option. It uses a simple transmission gel(same as used for other TENS devices). The Kit Arnold is under $100 in all markets(that I’ve seen) and for me it doubles the value of the CEFALY(because I’m able to use the same device w/2 different electrodes and positively impact 2 áreas of pain). I suspect that if you had been able to use the Kit Arnold (after reading the laptop in bed) you would have been very satisfied with the impact.
Glad you folks in AU have the EU model(same as us in CR w/all 3 programs)! The US and Canadian models only have the 2nd program(prevention) 🙁
Note -FYIs: Most users perceive the intensity is “stronger” using the Supraorbital Electrode(the electrode for the front of your head).
Hi Robert ,Can you please tell me were you can get Kit Arnold from ….
Sure Melissa.I know that they are available on the CEFALY.com website for folks in mainland Europe(I don’t see it as an orderable option for the UK or US). I have an email in to the Factory asking what global limitations might be on shipping/selling the Kit Arnold in various markets(i.e.-not sure if prescriptions are needed in certain markets or if Health Dept permissions are pending approval, etc.). In Costa Rica we expect to have the Kit Arnold available in approximately 6 months time (April or May of next year). I do know that we are restricted(as are the folks in EU) from shipping the Cefaly unit to the US; however, I’m not sure if this also applies to the Kit Arnold. As soon as I get an answer from the folks in Belgium I’ll gladly share it with everyone here.
Thanks for your reply ,I look forward hearing from you regarding the Arnold device ,I have been using the Cefaly for nearly 3 weeks had good results ,can you tell me I having been having blocked ears and they need to pop feeling is this normal for the cefaly to happen or maybe have a ear infection ….. Kind regards Melissa Dwyer
It’s been over a month since I started using the Cefaly and although it hasn’t stopped the migraines, I’m now averaging one a week instead of almost daily. Secondly, I don’t wake up in the morning with a pre-migraine fuggy feeling as if one’s about to start. Thirdly, every night I’ve been able to get to sleep without any pills (that’s amazing for a post-menopausal woman). So for me the Cefaly works and I use it on the 2nd setting every night, on the 1st setting if I’ve got a migraine (I take Naramig for the migraine) and am waiting for the meds to work. I think it’s brilliant and I’d recommend it to anyone particularly if they can trial it for a month free of charge, as I did from the Brain Foundation in Australia. They also sell it cheaply too (and it’s tax deductable) at $320
The device originally only helps with front part of the upper head from the eyes to the top of the forehead, see my above for details, I was pleasantly surprised by the early results which were largely sustained over the last few months
I have been a victim of daily headaches with Migraines which average 11 to 16 per month for the last 26 years. Without rescue treatment such as steroids, my pain would probably never cease. With rescue medication the average time for pain to discontinue is 3 days but then it returns within 24 hours. I do not respond to any type of preventative dietary restrictions, holistic, naturopathic or western medical treatments. My life consists of scheduling my diet, activities, travel, personal and professional desires around my ‘head’. I consider my pain debilitating which includes nausea, abdominal distress, photophobia, phonophobia, irritability, weakness, severe cognitive dysfunction, slurred speech and pain that is so unbearable I almost cannot take it. I received my CEFALY medical device three days ago which was great timing as I was attacked with a migraine the same day. I waited until just before bedtime to use it so I could take my time learning the ropes. I prayed for my Lord and Savior Yeshua to use this device to heal or decrease the pain severity and frequency prior to my use. Day One I read the instructions carefully and then jumped right in to use it with the attitude I can’t give up but rather I have to keep looking for anything to release me from this bondage of pain. I turned on the power button and I was shocked the track the device followed of the nerves mimicked the exact location where I was experiencing the migraine! Along the nerve I felt a tightening that was linear and a Z shape which ended into the middle of my right eye! Crazy! I have never had ANYTHING track the exact outline of my pain associated with the migraine. That was startling but interesting. I describe medications I have used for the migraine pain as a blanket covering but you can still feel the pain underneath and then eventually the cover is removed and the rebound is worse than the migraine pain. I did not feel the device induced pain but actually relaxed me. The migraine pain I experience begins in my right eye and then takes over my head and neck, yet the Cefaly seemed to hit the very outline of the pain in my head with the sensation I wanted to keep the right eye shut and it wanted to water but didn’t. The 20 minute time limit seemed to fly……it certainly did not seem like 20 minutes. I wanted to wear it longer but followed the instructions exactly and put it away. After removal of the device my scalp, forehead, nose and both cheeks felt numb with no more pain in my right eye. Day Two after using Cefaly I did not have a migraine and upon awakening I did not have a headache or brain fog. Usually throughout the day I get nausea without the migraine, yet I did not after Day One. On Day Two I used the Cefaly and experienced the same sensation as Day One. Tonight is Day Three and I found your BLOG! I am typing with the Cefaly onboard. Upon awakening this morning I did not have a headache or brain fog or feel like I was wiped out. I did experience a bout of nausea this evening just before applying the Cefaly. Again, the Cefaly follows the exact outline of the trail of the migraines……….just so bizarre………….how does it do that? It seems to have a relaxing sensation to the head, scalp and my right eye as if someone is sticking millions of tiny pointy objects the size of toothpicks all over the top of my scalp and a pulling sensation to the scalp at the same time and yet my scalp, forehead, face and right eye are numb. Tonight I was able to keep my right eye open and type on the laptop comfortably without any problem and even increased the intensity a bit. It is very, very, very difficult to be optimistic when so many things have let me down but I cannot give up. I will continue to use the Cefaly exactly as recommended and follow your blog to share my experiences. So glad to meet you all and find it reassuring to read your experiences! As a chronic migraine sufferer it is a very isolated life with very little empathy from folks that have never experienced sickening pain in the head everyday. I look forward to ANY positive results great or small associated with the Cefaly.
Mustang! Wow, thank you for sharing such a detailed account of your own experience. I noticed that it’s been some time since you wrote this. Have are you going with the Cefaly device at the moment?
In Canada, the cheapest option is online through Costco.ca.
My experience thus far has been much the same… As long as I don’t get lazy with all my other treatment strategies, it does help.
The new site looks great!!
Thank you Anna for the tip! Canadian readers will discover your little gem in the comments. I also appreciate the feedback on the new design. Given the positive feedback so far, I think this is a keeper : )
I would say I did feel less brain fog.
The Cefaly device was part of many other things I am using to manage my condition. Such as regular and consistent sleep, exercise, meditation, clean diet etc. All these things combined helped me come off my daily preventative meds.
this is interesting but if you consider that your migraines come from your shoulder and neck it may be worth your while to try the watson headache technique which is done by a physiothereapist trained in this tecnique which lokks at realigning the neck shoulder and jaw (no manipaulation) it is very useful karen
That’s exactly what I’m focusing on these days Karen. Shoulder is actually pretty good at the moment. I’ve gotten a vertical mouse and better chair for working all day. I’m doing regularly rehab exercises and weights which have helped from a good physio. My neck remains a stubborn problem area. I saw Dr Watson personally a few years ago now and did not experience success. He was honest enough to be upfront and say that if this didn’t work after 5 sessions he would fire himself. So he did. Neck is tricky one, but I’m doing things about it and making slow progress.
I’m ordering mine soon and looking forward to great results.
Good luck Bianca, hope it works out well for you!
Same here – it is not a miracle, but it has really helped. I also position the electrode higher up than the booklet that came with the device, about the middle of my forehead – the same as you do in the picture. In my booklet, the electrode is really low, touching the eyebrows – I found this hurt and made my eye twitch. Higher up on my forehead is better. I use setting 2 or 3 daily, and really find setting 1 helpful when a migraine is coming on
I have suffered migraines for almost forty years. I use Maxalt and Zofron and if this doesn’t work I am off to hospital for a staycation. I purchased a Cefaly last June and the number of migraines has decreased. I know the Cefaly works as earlier this year I became complacent and reduced the number of times I used my machine to maybe once a week. I ended up in hospital for three days with a horrible migraine that did not even respond to morphine. I have learnt my lesson and now use my Cefaly daily, two consecutive #2. So far migraine free and ‘ordinary’ headaches have all but disappeared as well. Trying a Cefaly is well worth the expense but I guess it also depends on the type of migraine you endure. I still maintain a supply of Maxalt and Zofron ‘in case’ but so far, so good.
Glad to hear you’ve gotten results from it Elizabeth. It’s now been a year since I’ve been using the device and I think that it’s been helpful and something that I use when I’m feeling vulnerable… I don’t use it everyday. However I would certainly encourage daily use as designed when first starting out. It’s not a silver bullet or cure, but it’s a powerful tool in your migraine toolbox.
Unfortunately Cefaly did not work for me for my chronic migraines (about 6 – 10 per month). I didn’t find it terribly convenient or pleasant but I would have used it if it worked. I was using the device available in US so I don’t think it has as many settings as described in some of these comments. I ended up returning it and they were prompt in providing a refund.
That’s good to know Ellen. I’m glad to hear you were refunded promptly. I’m curious to know… Did you use it everyday for at least a month? Also did you ever try using it twice a day for a time period whilst you had it?
Really appreciate the review. You’re the second person I "know" who seems to have gotten some benefit out of the machine. Gonna ask my pain management doc for a prescription. I’m willing to spend three hundred bucks or so for my birthday if it means even one day of feeling a-ok
Based on comments that came out of the Migraine World Summit I have just (like yesterday) bought a Cefaly headband. Obviously its too early to tell if there are any benefits but Im greatly encouraged my the mostly good reviews I have found from various sources on the internet.
Like Vee (below) I also found that placing too close to the eyebrow was annoying and I didn’t like the feeling on the eyelids, etc. I have now been placing it on the middle of the forehead and it feels better to me, as well as I feel it more over the top of my head this way – which is great for my headaches. Fingers crossed going forward.
Ask them about their refund policy… but after speaking with the CEO recently in an interview. According to Dr Pierre Rigaux from Cefaly, 85% of compliant users i.e. people who DO use the device everyday for at least 20 mins (you can use it twice daily if you want to a well) get up to 50% reduction in migraine frequency according to their published studies. The trick is… you gotta actually use it.
I bought my Cefaly also after the Migraine World Summit with high hopes, unfortunately it caused me the most horrific migraines instead of curing them. I haven’t given up though, I’m going to start again slow and short and work my way up.
I was gonna find out if my doc had a sample one or knew a representative for the company or anything. Would be nice to try it out before I buy it, right? Still, I’m definitely intrigued.
thanks for the reply! I’ll keep the refund option in mind when I do more research.
I live in the US and have the US model Cefaly with only the one mode. I have had it less than 60 days so could still return and try to get the Canada model but what I’m not clear on is if it would be worth the hassle. To phrase it in a question, how does the US "preventative" mode compare to other countries’ "abortive" mode? If the abortive mode is the higher intensity for the entire 20 minutes, I believe this would work well for me! I’m just not finding a lot of information about this here in the US since we are only offered the one mode. Thank you for your amazingly detailed review. I’ve had my Cefaly US for about 3 weeks now and absolutely believe it is improving my migraine days!
It’s = it is. Its= possessive!
Hi Mark, yes I know I need an editor to review my writing. I’m pretty sure I have dyslexia (self-diagnosed) but I simply don’t see my own typos when I proof my articles. If anyone wants to volunteer as a reviewer let me know 😉
For me the Cefaly is most valuable when I have a migraine to de-escalate the pain. I carry it with me everywhere I go so I don’t get "stuck" somewhere where I can’t drive home or get through work. I’m better now and have rarely used it in the past months.
Do you feel less brain fog still from the endorphin level increase and did you decrease any meds at all?
Sounds like a good approach Mari. I hope it works out for you. It does take a few weeks to get used to it, but the results are pretty impressive if you can stick with it.
Hi Kristen, you can do it for free if you’re an advanced excel user. Or using MigrainePal which is what I used for that chart in the image. It’s $4 per month but it has a bunch more features, medications, side effects and ensures you’re tracking the right things. Visit migrainepal.com to try it.
From what I was told a few months ago, We can buy it for a trial and return it for a full refund in 30 days. Not a whole lot of time, enough to give it a try. Has anyone tried to return it for a full refund? Do they do as promised? I’m wondering about the difference between the Canada one that has two powers versus the US version that only has the weaker power only. My daughter is always in full blown migraine when she wakes up, so looking for something to lesson the pain. I wish preventative was our goal.
Mari, that scares me that your migraines got worse from the Cefaly; that’s why I haven’t tried my Cefaly, which I’ve had for two years now. You mentioned you would try it again. Any help?
Cefaly targets the trigeminal nerve which branches out from the temple. Given what I understand about the Cefaly device targeting the trigeminal nerve and reducing sensitivity there, I would say it’s worth trying as a drug free option.
I know in some places you can rent a device first in a try-before-you-buy scenario. You can call Cefaly directly from the website to find out what options are available in your country and if your daughter is old enough to use the device.
We’ve talked about rebound migraines until the sun comes up, all doctors that really know what we are going through agree, they aren’t rebound migraines (she can lower or not take the meds and it changes nothing, she takes less meds than prescribed). And, if they are rebound migraines, there are no answers because we can’t take her off the psych meds she is on and do a cold turkey with no meds as it would be a bad scene and the only way to rule out rebound is no meds at all for a long period. Yep, we are in a mess! That is why we are wondering if the Cefaly would be of any help with the migraines in the temple. Anything that would lessen the pain and be less drugs.
I’ve had the cefaly for well over a year now and my migraines are always in my left temple. Used to have 7 to 15 a month and now I’m down to 0 to 3.
BTW, thank you so much for replying!!!!!!!
Thank you for sharing Tammie. I’m sure readers will find your experience helpful for them.
I hope your condition turns around soon! Take care,
Thank you for sharing your experience Tronda.
Assuming it isn’t MOH, then preventative migraine treatments both medicinal and non medicinal should be considered (if not already) with your doctor.
There are also lots of non medicinal options which when combined can help the break the chronic cycle of attacks. Your daughter obviously has a highly sensitized nervous system at the moment which needs to ‘calm down’. Triggers feed this sensitization which need to be identified and either avoided or managed.
Behavioral and lifestyle changes like avoiding inflammatory foods known to overexcite and sensitize the nervous system such as MSG (for a more detailed list: https://migrainepal.com/toxic-food/)… As well as consistent, quality sleep, cardio exercise, relaxation training, biofeedback, CBT, supplementation for optimal brain & nerve function are all worth considering and have evidence of efficacy in migraine prevention.
I hope that gives you a few ideas to consider with your doctor. Aim for progress, not perfection.
Why can’t you resell it? I got my led light for SAD treatment on Ebay & am glad as I got to save a little money.
Wow, what a great result. Congratulations Peggy!
Wendy you should always consult your doctor when making changes to your treatment, but generally speaking a Cefaly device can be used in conjunction with a preventative medication.
I love your migraine graph! Can you show me what your daily migraine log looks like? What are the categories you fill out. And how did you make the graph? I want to be more thorough in investigating what triggers my migraines. I already have a huge list. The more info the better.
I’ve been using the Cefaly device for a few weeks now. I’m not sure sure if I’m having an adverse reaction but my scalp seems to have changed. My scalp feels raised like its swollen in places. I also feel tingling throughout the day. Not sure if anyone has experienced this side effect. I noticed it after the first two uses. Thus far I have not noticed a change in my migraines.
The Cefaly inventor, Dr Pierre Rigaux when I interviewed him at the Summit said that a small percentage (I think from it’s 1%-3% of migraine patients) are hyper sensitive to the current used by the device, but otherwise there are no significant side effects.
That’s a good point Lori.
It might depend on the country and whether it is classified as a prescription device or not.
What about migraines in the temple? My daughter wakes every morning with a migraine in either her left or right temple, she rarely has a migraine free day (maybe a few days a year). She has tried everything there is (some really drastic things) over the years and all doctors have agreed pain meds are the only answer for her. I’d like to have her try this but if it is only for the forehead it won’t do anything for her.
Really interesting. Thinking about trying this as a back up because I have been a migraine sufferer since I was a little girl. I get migraines almost everyday. HOWEVER I have to say my migraines have drastically changed in the last month. I’ve actually gone two weeks now without a migraine which is a miracle for me. It’s been a mixture of increasing my topiramate (preventive medicine – the annoying side effects only last a little while and can be beneficial to weight lost if you need a little help lol) (cutting out gluten, sugar, MSG and food coloring), exercising 5 days a week (which I have always done) and seeing a chiropractor (that is the newest element) and I can’t stress what a gamer changer THAT’S been. He doesn’t just snap me back in place, he employs acupressure and shows me how to do it at home. I’ve become so aware of my own posture and how it was wreaking havoc on my system. I’m off to buy a new desk and chair this weekend that will help maintain a better posture as well since I work from home as a screenwriter. But it’s always nice to have something like this for when you can’t keep your posture in check, like after a ridiculously long flight.
Yeah, I find it helpful to unwind from a long day at the computer… You probably know about that just as well as I do Nic 🙂
I’m pretty sure you can rent now as well before you buy them.
BUY IT, TRY IT (not unpleasant) and YOU ARE STUCK WITH THE DEVICE, unable to RESELL or DONATE it. Unfortunately it seemed to be helping and I did not return it within that 60 day window. Now I discover all I can do it throw it away, not able to resell or donate to someone who MIGHT benefit from it. This upsets me. Cefaly should have some provision for this situation, but they’d lose money so, probably won’t happen.
Hi Molly, the Cefaly device is only really tested for preventative treatment. Which means you use it at least once (or even twice) for 20mins each day. That is the preventative use the Cefaly is primarily designed for.
Some people have found that the Cefaly device actually can help at the early stages or perhaps during an attack. Whether or not this works for you will vary. But certainly when you are using the Cefaly device daily it has been shown to help prevent and reduce the severity of migraines. For a list of studies see http://www.cefaly.com/en/clinical-studies
For best prevention results, try using the device twice daily.
Huge waste of money, been using three times a day for six months. Useless. Completely useless for attacks. Another let down.
Thank you for sharing your experience Adam. Nothing works for everyone. I’d encourage others to trial or rent the Cefaly device before buying it as it is not cheap. There are also many other neurostimulators which operate using different mechanisms which are also worth exploring.
last week I listened the migraine world summit for the first time. I have been suffering episodic migraine for 30 + years. It turned to chronic migraine four yeas ago. I wonder how did you recover the chronic migraine (6 days of a week)? I realy appreciate if you share your experiments.
You can opt-in at the bottom of this page link: https://migrainepal.com/letter-to-people-without-migraine/ to receive my case study.
From someone who has suffered from chronic migraines for the past year, without any relief from preventative medication, I can honestly say the cefaly device mixed with trigger point injections have been a LIFE SAVER for me!!! I am nearly migraine free! I love the cefaly device – it is worth every single penny!
Thank you for sharing Paige!
I appreciate the fact that you mentioned "in combination" with.
Whenever I leaned entirely on one treatment or approach I never got anywhere with my condition. Only when I combined proven preventative approaches (many of which are free and natural) with my prescribed treatment regime, did I make significant progress.
I gave a neurostimulator is this kinda the same thing or something different. I still get migraines every day and I keep it on 24/7. Also if this is different can I use the tens if I have a neurostimulator
I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to Michelle. I’m not aware of any stimulation devices for migraine that are intended to be used 24/7.
Cefaly is a supraorbital transcutaneous stimulator to be precise. I hope that helps.
Hello…I am about to try this out, but am currently taking Topamax and Amityptaline daily. Is it okay to continue with current meds while using cefaly? I do not want to go off of them for fear of the obvious!!!
Can this disrupt a vp shunt?
It’s intended use is for primary migraine. It has not been studied and tested (to my knowledge) for secondary headache caused by other factors such as high or low pressure or shunts.
This comment may be useful to people who cannot afford a Cefaly. I had intended buying a Cefaly but after some online research I found out that a new model (minus the headband) is being sold in Europe and USA. It came out in July 2016. The new model is not available in Australia, where I live. I spoke to the authorised representative and they don’t know when it will be released here. I tried buying the new model from the Cefaly head office website in Belgium but they said I must go through their agent in Australia. I was disappointed with their response.
I did some more research. I found out that Cefaly is a TENS machine and that there is also a very similar product to Cefaly called Safetox, which is marketed in the UK as a wrinkle remover! It looks just like the Cefaly headband except it is a different colour. It is also worn across the forehead, attached to an electrode.
I ended up buying a reputable TENS machine which is FDA and TGA approved. It was a fraction of the price of Cefaly and the electrodes work out at AUD $1 each, with up to 80 uses per electrode. My machine uses two electrodes at one time. There are two channels so you can use four electrodes at one time if you need to – I am only using two electrodes at the moment. That is still significantly more uses than the Cefaly electrodes. The machine I bought, plus a replacement pack of 10 electrodes, came to AUD $50 in total. It has 8 programs/modes and you can vary the time, speed and intensity. I have been using my machine on my left shoulder and back of neck. These are the areas where my migraines seem to originate. TENS machines are marketed as a muscle relaxant/pain reliever and I have had good results so far. I have gone from daily migraines (I wake up with them) to having eleven days in a row with no headaches whatsoever. Previously I was having to take Sumatriptan daily. Also, if I have pain elsewhere – such as lower back – I can use the machine in other areas. I have not tried it on my forehead as the instructions say not to use it on the head, face, front of neck or chest. In fact, all of the TENS machines I considered have a warning to avoid these areas.
None of the preventative medications I tried over the years worked. However, I am currently revisiting Sandomigran. The dose was increased, and I was experiencing limited success until I started using the TENS machine. The combination seems to be the key.
An ordinary TENS machine may be an option for people who don’t have hundreds of dollars available to buy a Cefaly. It is also a lot of money to outlay upfront when there are no guarantees it will benefit you.
I have deliberately not provided the brand of the TENS machine I purchased as my comments are not intended as an advertisement. However, should you wish to know which machine I chose, I can provide further details. I would add though that my machine is from an American company. If you buy their machines for use in the USA they come with a lifetime warranty. The Australian company I purchased the machine from provides a two year warranty. Cefaly only has a one year warranty.
Thank you for sharing your results Rina!
It can dry out your skin. Especially if you’re using soap prior.
I would see a healthcare professional if you are concerned about it. It could be minor skin irritation or it might be something else. It’s worth checking. You could also call Cefaly to report your symptoms and see what they suggest.
If it is skin irritation it may be simple fix of moisturising after use.
Off the record, I use an oil free moisturiser for men.
Waking up with a migraine is sometimes a sign of medication overuse headaches… when medication is overused the body goes through a withdrawal overnight and often you wake early in the morning or experience headaches or migraines each morning as a result of this ‘withdrawal’.
Many doctors who aren’t specialists can easily miss this. Studies have shown approx 50% of those with daily migraines have medication overuse. More info available here: https://migrainepal.com/rebound-headache/
Thank you for sharing this resource Avril. I’m not an affiliate of Cefaly’s and my review is independent. I believe more choices of treatments for migraine are generally a good thing.
I would encourage everyone to do their homework and consult professional medical advice before using alternative TENS units "off label" or for other indications other than those it may have been originally intended for.
Hi. I hope you see this. It’s years after your post. My migraines also tend to stem from my neck & shoulder. I live in the US & would appreciate knowing what unit you bought. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just put Cephaly in the subject line so it doesn’t go into my spam file. Thank you. Hope you’re still doing well.
I’ve suffered from migraines since I we a teen and have now gone from episodic to chronic headaches. I use the Cephaly daily, and find it helpful to nip a potential attack in the bud, and lessen the severity of the pain. It does not abort a migraine in full force, but helps as a preventative and relaxes me too. I’m in Canada and Costco refunded me completely when my last machine was defective.
I wish that I could afford this device… I have been suffering from a low grade headache since November 2016. This headache spikes into Migraine intensity several times a month, though recently it has increased to at least 3 times a week. I am seeing doctors and specialists but they can do nothing. I cannot take the triptin range of migraine medication as it interacts with other medication I take. I have now been put on anti spasmodic epileptic medication along with strong doses of beta blockers.
Unfortunately being that I am a very low income earner I have to suffer. why can beneficial devices like this never be affordable
This isn’t a cure and the anti-epileptic medication and beta blockers have strong evidence to support their use for migraine patients so you shouldn’t feel like you’re not getting good treatment.
I personally didn’t get results until I employed natural strategies alongside my medications. i.e. generous sleep, good diet, regular exercise, relaxation etc. Doing these things, keeping a diary and managing your triggers in combination with your treatment gives you a much better chance of success.
I bought it about a year ago and used it for a few months… I have to say it gives you a very good feelings and it’s so enjoying but later on i started to have painful eyes. Anyway after six months I ended up with astigmatism. I can’t say for sure whether it was caused by this device or it was a coincidence but who knows… Even if it’s FDA approved doesn’t mean anything… I am doubtful about it and stopped using it
Thank you for Mnrz. I haven’t heard of painful eyes from this device but if that’s been determined by you and your doctor to occur from this device it’s a good thing you have stopped.
Hello. Are you still using the device? If so how is it working now a few years later? If you’re not still using it can you tell us why not? I feel I can no longer live with my migraines. I’m 48 now and I’ve been suffering from them since I was younger than 10. I’m unable to go to places due to triggers (esp due to scents and odors- even faint ones) due to hyperosmia. I look forward to your response.
I did use the device for a good 9 months, then infrequently for about 18 months and now I rarely use it although it still works.
The main reason is that I’ve gotten much better with migraine and manage by condition through good sleep, regular exercise, avoiding processed food, daily meditation/relaxation, and some supplements for migraine. Overall I’m fitter, healthier and now only have a few attacks per year. Not cured, but big improvement.
My husband has a Schwannoma or maningioma in-operable brain tumor. He suffers daily debilitating headaches that range fro a 4 or 5 to a 9 pain level for the past 3 years. He had a trigeminal ablation which helped for a short while and started Botox injections 6 months ago. The first series helped quite a bit for about 60 days. The second series hasn’t helped. His neuro-pain specialist recommended the Cefaly. Has there been any research with brain tumor patients?
I haven’t seen anything for Cefaly and Brain Tumors but it is unlikely to make things worse. I haven’t seen that Cefaly cannot be used by those with headache caused by tumor.
Hi Carl. You mentioned that Cefaly is ment to relief pain at the front of your head.
Do you know if the new model can be used for pain at the back of the eyes?
I’m not sure how targeted the pain relief is. For me the experience was more broadly the front side of the head… some people have migraine pain at the back of the head or even the neck. The device does not reach that area. For behind the eyes, I think it would likely help. In some places I know you can rent or try the Cefaly before you buy. That might be a worthwhile option for you to test it out first.
You might Google the Trigeminal Nerve and see exactly its path in your head.
My migraines are once a month related to my menstrual period and the fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone. They typically last 2-3 days, and my medication, Imitrex, has stopped working.
Will Cefaly help with migraines brought on by hormone triggers?
Hi Michelle, generally speaking, addressing the cause is going to be more effective than treating the symptom. I’d recommend reading this article on menstrual migraine for more: https://migrainepal.com/prevent-menstrual-migraine/
Thank you for this article. I have had these headaches since 1997. I have seen neurologists, acupuncturists, nutritionists, and a chiropractor. None of them have been able to help. The doctors just want to prescribe medications. I have pretty much tried everything in your article throughout the years, with no relief. I would prefer not to take the triptans if I don’t have to. This device is very expensive and I don’t want to spend the money if it hasn’t been proven to help menstrual headaches. Do you have any documentation that it helps?
My Dr gave me hers to borrow. I have been using it daily for about 4 days. I have had one migraine attack during this time. The device did help but I found it pretty painful but tolerable. I am quite impressed by its ability to reduce my general ‘brain fog’. In fact that is the first improvement I noticed. I plan on continuing to use it.
Hi Mairi, glad to hear you were able to try one and it seems to help. For me it helped, but I still had to be disciplined and manage other areas of my life to keep migraine under control. I think if it is used as a crutch or cure-all thats when it doesn’t deliver.
The Cefaly is essentially a small TENS device. Has anyone tried other small TENS devices such as the iReliev mini TENS? I’m unemployed and have a limited budget. If th iReliev mini TENS could help my headaches at a much lower cost, then that would be great!
Hi Suzie, I haven’t tried it. Take caution if you are using an alternative device “off-label”. You may not get the same results.
I just purchased the Cefely 1 on recommendation from my neuro. Oddly it can now be purchased online sans rx. So far I’ve tried all three settings and it seems to me the one intended for stress and anxiety is the most intense.
As a rule I have a high pain tolerance so this device is unnerving me. Perhaps it’s because I have a history of Bells palsy and it has left me with neuropathy on the right side of my scalp. However I was hoping to see if anyone else has tried it and found the device to cause what feels like a great deal of pressure on the forehead (in the area where the electrode sits). It feels toe like the edge of a brick is being pushed down on my forehead along with the pins and needles effect. I love the eventual “head massage” like feel that eventually occurs but it’s freaky at times feeling as though someone is pulling a comb through your hair! I do like the feeling of relaxation I feel afterward but to get there it’s quite an intense process. There is no working on the computer, watching TV or anything but laying down and doing all I can to get through the process for me especially since even the initial part is intense as it builds up to work its way up into my scalp. It has warded of a migraine that was in process so I’m keeping it! But YIKES! It’s going to takes a bit before I call this my best friend!
Hi Linda, it did take some getting used to for me too. You tolerance builds up over time which helps to de-sensitise us and increase our migraine threshold. The way you describe the sensation almost exactly how I felt when starting out. Glad to hear it is helping!
Wow, I know this comment is old, but I felt the same sensation, like someone stepping up into my forehead. The pain was great at start, but after a week I got accustomed to it and now I can tolerate it without a problem. Even I can do some work while running a preventive program.
Thank you Carl for all your work and information. I have been using Cefaly prevent daily for 58 days. Unfortunately, no reduction in my 11-18 headache days per month. The sensations are strange, like a brain massage, but in a good way. I was always fine during the session, but after I would get terrible ringing in my ears, and general headache that would frequently turn into a migraine. I tried the device once on the acute setting (1 hour). Turned my mild migraine into a massive, severe, pacing ordeal. I guess this device is not for me. Hoping to return it for a refund. There are so many glowing reviews, I just thought it would be useful to let people know it doesn’t work for everyone.
Thank you for sharing Nadia. You are absolutely correct. Nothing I know helps for absolutely everyone – except reducing processed food 😉
As background, I’ve had migraine for 45 years, averaging 13 a month and have never fallen into the medicine overuse trap. I use a preventive, which has latterly reduced the intensity of the migraines but I still get maybe 7 a month on average. Lately the efficacy of the preventive has waned.
I tried the Cefaly II when I couldn’t shift a 2-month headache. This headache varied in intensity from full migraine to low grade and I had the odd day off but was rarely free of it in that time.
In England there’s only one Cefaly supplier. Mine cost £355.99 with a spare elctrode pack. So far the first electrode has lasted about 6 weeks.
The headache disappeared after the second use and I’ve only had a couple since starting it in late February (it’s now early April). The first few times I didn’t let the device reach full power as it was too uncomfortable but after a week this was no longer the case. I’m using it every day and so far so good as a preventive. I haven’t found it useful for acute treatment however.
I would say the sensations felt using the device are tolerable and for me are not unlike that intense pins and needles discomfort when a limb starts to come back to life after the circulation’s been cut off a while. I can’t of course say for sure the Cefaly stopped the headache but it seems so.
Hi Beth, I’m so pleased you found such a great result from the Cefaly device. May I ask what model you used? Thank you for sharing.
I have a condition which has persisted for well over a year involving dramatic, piercing headache-like episodes (I call them “zingers”). The severity and number of episode has varied greatly over that time. I have had nearly every test, scan, x-ray, adjustment, injection and medication imaginable; all to little or no avail. Two doctors have suggested the Cefaly device, but I have been hesitant because of the cost and because my condition has not been officially diagnosed as migraine.
I really just want someone to encourage me, I guess. I’m tired of the pain. It’s like the zingers become the one thing I can count on. That’s a twisted way to live!
Hi Ray, step 1 is getting an accurate diagnosis. If diagnosed with migraine then the device is a worthwhile drug-free option to consider. Doesn’t hesitate when it comes to your health and wellbeing. What is more important than that?
Hi Carl. It’s a pleasant surprise that you’re still answering comments in this post.
So far, this is my story … I’m having migraines since 3 years ago (I’m 44 at this time), have followed a couple of treatments with no luck. Fortunatelly my neurologist put me on an Aimovig trial and results were pretty good.
As for today I’m following a full treatment with Aimovig, reducing my crisis from 10 to 13 per month to 5 to 7, about 50%.
For the other 50% I began to use Cefaly just a week ago, it’s the Cefaly II model (I’m renting it for a 3 month period just to try it before buying).
I’m using the PREVENT program twice a day, every 12 hours give or take, and I’ve tried the ACUTE program just once, it lasted 20 minutes and just sedated me for a couple of minutes, then the pain was there again.
Doing some reserch I noted that Cefaly has a new version of the device, the Cefaly Dual containing only 2 programs, ACUTE for 1 hour and PREVENT for 20 minutes, same as before. It doesn’t contain the third program Cefaly II has.
I can’t stop thinking about the ACUTE difference. Is it the same to use the old Cefaly II ACUTE program 3 times (20 minutes per session) than using the 1 hour ACUTE program on the Cefaly Dual device? Maybe they realize that having a 1 hour session without interruptions was much better than three 20 minutes sessions being interrupted each time.
What do you think?
Can you tell me the difference in the cefaly and a tenz unit?
A TENS unit refers to an entire category of these types of devices. The Cefaly is one type that is specifically designed to help with migraine.
Since this is a TNS unit, why not use a TNS instead?
There are now several devices on the market that help treat or prevent migraine. This is just one of them. For other TNS devices that have not been indicated or studied for migraine there is no guarantee that it will help. There is a potential it could worsen the migraine if not appropriate or incorrectly applied.