Oberon Biofeedback & Migraines

Oberon Biofeedback – Biofeedback and Migraines

Oberon Biofeedback contracted me for a website rewrite, social media management, and blog posts. They had already been cited by the FDA for making unwarranted medical claims about their device. It was absolutely critical that their re-write be compliant, as the FDA was watching them and would fine them if there were further violations.

How do you talk about a health product when you can’t make health claims? This blog post on Biofeedback and Migraines is a good example of leading the reader to make unstated conclusions.

Biofeedback and Migraines

For people who’ve never had a migraine before, it’s easy to dismiss migraines as “just a really strong headache”. But for those who’ve had a migraine, it’s easy to see that a migraine is different. But despite the misunderstandings surrounding migraines, they’re not uncommon; The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study revealed that 12% of adults in the United States have suffered from a migraine.1

Who Gets Migraines?

The majority of migraine sufferers are female (Stewart, 66), and migraines appear to be the most common in the lower economic classes (Stewart, 68). In the AMPP, Stewart theorizes that migraine sufferers in a higher socioeconomic group are more likely to receive adequate treatment from their physician. Stewart’s alternate theory is that in some individuals, headache-related disability may disrupt the ability to move to a higher socioeconomic class.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is not just a headache. For many migraine sufferers, the headache is only a small part of the problem. Migraines often progress through four stages.2

The earliest phase of a migraine (usually 1 to 2 days before the attack), the prodrome phase, is sometimes serious enough to be disabling, and sometimes it’s so mild that it’s not even noticed. According to the Mayo Clinic, the prodrome phase may include:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Food Cravings
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Uncontrollable Yawning

Some migraines (called “classic” migraines) present with an aura. It can occur during the prodrome phase or the attack, and it may include visual disturbances (seeing shapes or flashes of light), vision loss, “pins and needles” in the arms or legs, and speech problems. Common migraines do not present with an aura.

The migraine attack can last anywhere from four hours to several days (Mayo Clinic). While most people associate migraines with the headache, a migraine attack frequently presents with additional symptoms. Sensitivity to light and sound is common, as is nausea (and sometimes vomiting). Blurred vision is a frequent symptom, and lightheadedness can be problematic and can sometimes lead to fainting (Mayo Clinic).

After the migraine, most people feel fatigued and exhausted. Some people feel happy and even euphoric, but the majority of migraine sufferers feel weak, shaky, or extremely fatigued after an attack. This phase is called the postdrome. Additionally, if the migraine is severe or isn’t properly treated, some of the symptoms of the attack (like the nausea or lightheadedness) may continue in a milder form into the postdrome.

When to Call the Doctor

If you’ve never had a migraine before, you need to seek immediate medical attention. In rare cases, a migraine can be a sign of a neurological problem.3 Even if you’ve had a migraine before, go to the emergency room or seek immediate care if:

  • Your headache is associated with paralysis, speech difficulties, mental confusion, seizures, personality changes, or other neurological symptoms
  • Your headache presents with a fever, difficulty breathing, stiff neck, or a rash
  • The headache is severe enough to wake you in the middle of sleep
  • The headache causes severe nausea or vomiting
  • A headache occurs after an injury or accident (even an accident that didn’t directly impact the head)
  • You have a new type of headache and you’re over the age of 55

If your headaches aren’t urgent, you may still need to contact a doctor if you:

  • Have more than two headaches a week
  • Have headaches that continue to get worse and won’t go away
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever for your headaches every day (or every other day)
  • Take more than two or three doses of over-the-counter headache medicine each week
  • Have headaches that are triggered by exertion, like coughing, exercise, or strenuous activity
  • Notice anything different or new about your headaches

Treating a Migraine

There are three types of migraine treatment: Preventative treatment, acute treatment, and rescue treatment.4

Preventative Treatment

Preventative treatment is intended to help prevent migraines from happening. If you have a single migraine every few months, your doctor may not prescribe you a preventative treatment. If you’re having several migraines a month, preventative treatment can be effective in helping to reduce that number.

Acute Treatment

Acute treatment is designed to give you relief and possibly stop a migraine attack. Many migraine sufferers are treated with a class of drugs called triptans (Migraine Trust), but in order for these to be effective, they must usually be taken at the earliest onset of the migraine. You can discuss your acute treatment options with your doctor.

Rescue Treatment

Rescue treatment is what you use if your acute treatment doesn’t work, or doesn’t give you enough relief from an attack. In some cases, if you don’t catch the migraine early enough, your acute medication may not work and you’ll need a rescue medication. The goal with acute treatment is to stop the migraine, whereas the goal of rescue treatment is simply to mediate the symptoms.


Over-the-Counter Medication

For some mild migraines, over-the-counter pain relievers can help mitigate the symptoms. The most common of these are NSAIDs, like ibuprofen (Advil). NSAIDs taken at doses higher than the over-the-counter dose should be approved by your doctor. If you’re taking these drugs regularly (more than two or three doses a week), check with your doctor, as these medications can cause serious cardiovascular risk (including heart attack and stroke) or serious gastrointestinal problems (including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines).

In some cases, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be prescribed for mild migraines. However, an overdose of acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage, and it may react with some prescription medications.

Prescription Medication

Two of the most common medications used to prevent migraines are topiramate (Topamax) and divalproex sodium (Depakote). Topamax can cause drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, diarrhea, weight loss, and mental problems (confusion, trouble concentrating, etc.). Depakote can have side effects such as dizziness, diarrhea, drowsiness, hair loss, changes in vision, shakiness (tremor), and weight changes. In some people who take it, either medication can cause depression or other mood problems.

Triptans or ergots are sometimes prescribed as an abortive medication for migraines. Triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and muscle weakness, and they’re not recommended for people at risk of a stroke or heart attack. Ergots aren’t as effective as triptans, and they can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as causing more frequent headaches.

In rare cases, a doctor may prescribe opioids for migraine, but this is unusual. Most doctors are extremely hesitant to prescribe opioids (like codeine, Hydrocodone, or Oxycodone) because of the high risk of addiction, as well as the high rate of side effects.

Natural Treatments


A study conducted in 2002 and 2003 compared migraine patients who received acupuncture with patients who received no acupuncture, as well as with patients who received “sham” acupuncture. While acupuncture was effective in reducing migraines, it was no more effective than sham (placebo) acupuncture in helping to prevent migraine.5 Additionally, acupuncture can have complications. Improper sterilization of acupuncture needles has transmitted HIV and hepatitis. Acupuncture needles applied improperly can traumatize tissues and organs, or can become broken and fragments dislodged into organs.6


Several studies have indicated that regular massage may help to prevent migraines.7 Regular massage may help to decrease anxiety, heart rate, and cortisone production.8 However, many of these studies do not provide continuing benefits; that is, the migraine prevention seems to continue only as long as the regular massage therapy continues.


Biofeedback has been extensively studied as a preventive measure for migraine headaches. In addition to the immediate reduction in migraine frequency, biofeedback often provides improvement that remains stable even after treatment is discontinued.9



  1. Stewart, W. F., Lipton, R. B., Celentano, D. D., & Reed, M. L. (1992). Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. Jama, 267(1), 64-69.
  2. Migraine. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/symptoms/con-20026358
  3. When to Call the Doctor About Your Migraines or Headaches. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/when-call-doctor-migraines-headaches
  4. Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.migrainetrust.org/treatment
  5. Linde K, Streng A, Jürgens S, et al. Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2118-2125. doi:10.1001/jama.293.17.2118.
  6. Ernst, E. (1995). The risks of acupuncture. The International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 6(3), 179-186.
  7. Lawler, S. P., & Cameron, L. D. (2006). A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32(1), 50-59.
  8. Hernandez-Reif, M., Dieter, J., Field, T., Swerdlow, B., & Diego, M. (1998). Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96(1-2), 1-11.
  9. Nestoriuc, Y., & Martin, A. (2007). Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine: a meta-analysis. Pain, 128(1), 111-127.


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ItWorks Probiotic

I created this for a local ItWorks distributor who wanted to highlight the probiotics in the Greens product. Because this is a nutriceutical and must not make “medical claims” (per the FDA), it can be a challenge to convey the benefit to the consumer without violating compliance.

Preliminary research reveals that certain strains of probiotic may help to boost the immune system. A particular strain of probiotic called Bacillus coagulans can help to make you less vulnerable to the cold and flu. Further studies are necessary to determine how the probiotic acts..

Natural sources of probiotics include yogurt, fermented dairy products, and some cheeses. These natural sources seldom have high levels of Bacillus coagulans, but they may contain high levels of other probiotics. Due to the high heat of dairy pasteurization in the United States, fermented dairy products may have low levels of probiotics unless those bacteria are added after processing. Bacillus coagulans is patented in the US by Sabinsa Corporation under the trade name LactoSpore, so its use in probiotic supplements is uncommon, but ItWorks has LactoSpore in our Greens formula. Greens come in a convenient powder form in orange or mixed berry flavors, and ItWorks now produces a chewable Greens in blueberry flavor.


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Oberon Biofeedback Before & After

When I was brought in on the Oberon Biofeedback project, I was asked to re-write their website copy. The vast majority of their copy was either non-compliant or so highly technical and jargon-filled that it was useless. Here’s a sample of the original copy:

Bioresonance or Bio Resonance is based on the concept and observation that all living organisms and their components, the cells, tissues and organs, emit measurable electromagnetic waves. The frequency of these waves can vary from cell to cell or organ to organ and from tissue to tissue, based on their biochemical and physiological environment.  Accordingly, these can vary in responses to a variety of stresses from biochemical and physiological responses to pathogens, allergens, chemicals, or alteration in DNA. It has also been shown and measured that electromagnetic waves or oscillations emitted by diseased organs including cancer cells vary from those emitted by healthy cells due to their differences in cell metabolism and DNA damage.

By working with different tissues and organs under different pathological conditions it has been shown that each disease state elicits its own signature resonance frequency compared to the healthy ones. With modern electronic equipment it allows non-invasive scans for diagnosing different diseases. These diagnostic scans are not only non-invasive but can help diagnose even before the disease is full blown.  The BioResonance Machine from Oberon diagnostic is state of the art machine built with industry’s pioneering and most advanced hardware and software technology.

Bacteria, viruses, allergies, fungi, waste toxins, hormonal imbalances, adverse stress responses and electromagnetic pollution from various sources alter the physiology, biochemistry and functions of various organs and tissues which manifests into disease state. This in turn interferes and alters the cell resonance frequencies. Logically it follows that altering the natural frequency of healthy organs will create an unhealthy environment for the cells and tissues which in turn can promotes allergies, illness and disease. It has been determined that resonance frequency emitted in diseased state compared to healthy one is lower and if compensated and increased by external input can help restore the energy deficit and promote healing and reversal of the disease state. In short unhealthy cells or organs emit altered electromagnetic waves and that changing these waves back to normal will minimize the damaging effects of the disease and promote healing and cure of the body. This is the basis of Bioresonance Biofeedback Therapy.

Here’s an example of a re-write that I performed on one of their pages:

Oberon Biofeedback devices are non-linear biofeedback systems (NLS). They combine advanced information technology with the active homeostatic control.

Recent advances in computerized scanning allow for the analysis of a body’s homeostasis. The Oberon system is the most sensitive and active homeostasis control program in the world today.

Scientists at the Institute of Practical Psychophysics proposed a theory. They surmised that the human body had an energetic framework. What if this electromagnetic information framework could respond to external radiation?

Researchers examined many alternative healing methods. They developed a device capable of reading the frequency of this energetic framework. The device uses specially tuned magnetic oscillations, then records these frequencies as data.

Each organ and cell has its own distinct oscillations. This data can be stored in computer memory and displayed on the screen as a graph. As the organ, tissue, or cell interacts with its environment, information is exchanged. If there is any organ or tissue damage, this interaction changes. The Oberon biofeedback system measures the change in this interaction.

Because every person is unique, each person’s energetic framework will vary. The Oberon biofeedback system takes a person’s age, sex, and other variables into account. This allows it to distinguish between a normal state and a damaged state.

The Oberon biofeedback system is unique because of its hardware and software. The hardware correctly gathers information about the body. The software analyzes this information and presents it in a useful way.

In retrospect, I’m still not entirely happy with this copy. The F-K score says that the average reading level for this text is grade 11.9, which is generally much higher than I prefer. However, the target audience for this material consists of naturopathic and medical doctors, so I do feel that the increased F-K score will be less damaging with a better educated audience.

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