Are You Using CEFALY Dual Correctly?

July 21, 2021

We designed CEFALY DUAL to be easy to use — there’s just one button to press — and safe, with minimal side effects. Still, it can take a little time to get the hang of using your CEFALY DUAL correctly so you get maximum migraine relief.

Here are a few comments and questions we frequently hear from new users.


Is CEFALY DUAL actually working? It doesn't feel like I'm getting any relief for my migraine.

One of the most common issues is the placement of your CEFALY DUAL. If it’s too high on your forehead, it won’t be able to stimulate the trigeminal nerve. 

Here’s a trick we suggest for new CEFALY DUAL users: Pretend the small, flat, bottom edge of the electrode is your unibrow. Place the electrode on your clean forehead so that the bottom edge is aligned with your eyebrow line, as in the diagram. Then, you’ll optimize the placement of the electrode for nerve stimulation.

If you’re confident your CEFALY DUAL is in the right place and you still feel like it’s not working, you may need to check the electrode. Standard electrodes are designed to be used up to 20 times and hypoallergenic electrodes up to 10 times, if used and stored carefully. If an electrode gets dirty, or loses adhesion, you’ll need to replace it. Shop for electrodes.


Will I be able to handle the sensation? It often feels like it is too much for me.

It can take time to get used to the sensation of using CEFALY DUAL, but it should never be painful. We recommend starting off slow and gradually ramping up the intensity. Whether you’re using the ACUTE or the PREVENT treatment program, you can press your device button once at any point during the first 14 minutes of the program, and the intensity will be held at that level for the rest of the session.

Watch our video on stabilizing the intensity of CEFALY DUAL.

Over the first few weeks of using CEFALY DUAL, you can increase the intensity to the level that feels comfortable for you. Many longtime users say that for them, the sensation feels relaxing, like getting a gentle head massage.

Just remember that the maximum intensity for each program is the clinical threshold: That means if you’re always using it below the maximum intensity, you’re not getting the full benefit of CEFALY DUAL.


I don’t feel anything when I’m using CEFALY DUAL?

That’s not necessarily a problem! You may just be getting accustomed to the feeling. If you just began a session with your CEFALY DUAL, allow 2-3 minutes for the intensity to increase. Once you’re at least 4 minutes into your session, you can press and hold the device button to increase the intensity. When you release the button, the intensity will stabilize and remain constant. If the intensity becomes intolerable or painful, stop the program and begin again.


The ACUTE program helps my pain, but what happens if my migraine frequency hasn’t decreased?

The CEFALY DUAL’s two programs work in different ways. ACUTE, a 60-minute program for acute migraine relief, influences the trigeminal nerve to block pain signals from getting through. PREVENT, a less intense, 20-minute program, desensitizes the nerve over time. For PREVENT to reduce pain signals in the trigeminal nerve, you have to use it every day. It typically takes 90 days to see results. Occasional or irregular use won’t result in effective migraine prevention.


Having trouble fitting CEFALY DUAL into your hectic daily life? Try these tips for establishing a migraine prevention routine. If you have other questions about how to use your CEFALY DUAL, please email us at info@cefaly.us

Reviewed by: Deena E. Kuruvilla, MD, a board-certified neurologist and the director of the Westport Headache Institute, where she employs a holistic biopsychosocial approach to diagnosis and treatment. She held clinical appointments at the Yale University School of Medicine prior to starting her own practice and has authored many articles, book chapters, and research publications.

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