Migraine Prevention: How To Make CEFALY Part Of Your Routine

May 21, 2020

The best way to prevent migraines with CEFALY Dual is consistent use: 20 minutes on the PREVENT setting, every single day.

That sounds easy enough. But for busy people, making the commitment can be tough. Maybe your evening routine is unpredictable, so it’s hard to carve out the time. Maybe you’re so exhausted by the end of the day, you just don’t have any energy left. Or maybe your migraine days have decreased in frequency, so you feel like you can skip a few days here and there.

It’s not the end of the world if you sometimes forget to use CEFALY, but you should strive to get the maximum benefit from your device by using it regularly. Here’s what we suggest. 

1. Start off slowly, to get used to the sensation.

The CEFALY device stimulates and desensitizes the trigeminal nerve, which is associated with migraine pain but does not control any muscles. Nevertheless, new users sometimes feel as if their eyebrows or facial muscles are twitching, or they may feel a prickly, numb sensation under the electrode. Many people find that the PREVENT setting feels like a relaxing head massage, once they’re used to the feeling.

New CEFALY users sometimes set the device to its maximum intensity, and then they decide the sensation’s just too much for them. This isn’t the best way to begin! Instead, you want to gradually work your way to maximum intensity at a rate that’s comfortable for you.

Try a desensitization routine when you’re first beginning to use the CEFALY Dual for migraine prevention. The simplest method is as follows:

  1. Start a PREVENT session and stop it after three minutes.
  2. Repeat the three-minute session once per day for three days. 
  3. Then, start a PREVENT session and stop it after seven minutes.
  4. Repeat the seven-minute session once per day for three days.
  5. Then, try using the CEFALY’s full 20-minute PREVENT setting as detailed in your user manual.

While the CEFALY sensation may be unfamiliar, it should not be painful. If you feel pain while using your CEFALY, you may decrease the intensity and/or adjust the electrode’s position on your forehead (be careful not to position the electrode too high or too low). If pain persists, stop using CEFALY and speak with your healthcare provider.

2. Connect your CEFALY session with a routine you already have.

The easiest way to establish regular usage of your CEFALY is to couple it with a routine part of your day. For example: If the morning is the best time for you, place your charged CEFALY Dual by the coffeemaker or teakettle. As you’re making your morning beverage, put your CEFALY in place and start the PREVENT session.

Many users prefer to wear it before bedtime, because the PREVENT session relaxes and soothes them. Some studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggest it’s more effective at migraine prevention when used in the evenings. You might place your CEFALY by your toothbrush (make sure it doesn’t get wet) or on your nightstand. It’s fine to watch TV, read, or engage in other activities while using your CEFALY. Just be aware that the sedative effect[1] can last up to an hour. 

3. Don’t get discouraged if you miss one or two CEFALY sessions.

Eager for a drug-free migraine prevention treatment, some users get really excited about CEFALY. “I’m going to wear it every day for the rest of my life!” they declare — and then, when they forget for a day, they feel like they’ve failed. 

It’s okay! Like any other good habit, regular use of your CEFALY can take a while to establish. In the beginning, aim for three days in a row. Then, treat yourself to a small reward. Keep trying to establish a daily routine, and know that it’s never too late to begin again.

If you sense that a migraine is coming on, immediately apply the ACUTE treatment. The sooner you begin an ACUTE cycle, the more effective it will be.   

Learn more about CEFALY migraine treatment and prevention.


Article Footnotes
[1] Piquet M, Balestra C, Sava SL, Schoenen JE. Supraorbital transcutaneous neurostimulation has sedative effects in healthy subjects. BMC Neurol. 2011 Oct 28;11:135. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-11-135.

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