A recent research study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that behavioral therapy in conjunction with medication can reduce the number of migraines that children and adolescents suffer.
Roughly 1.75% of children are sufferers of chronic migraines, whose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and inability to concentrate. Students who experience migraines may find themselves missing classes, sports practices, and falling behind on homework. School therapists can help students to learn how tension may worsen their migraines, and teach them relaxation and stress relief coping mechanisms.
If students recognize the signs of tension and anxiousness, this could help them stop a headache before it escalated into a migraine. Therapists can help students practice deep breathing techniques, relaxation methods, and practice understanding how bio-feedback from their environment affects them. The research study conducted showed that 86% of students who received behavioral therapy sessions in addition to headache education seminars saw a 50% reduction in migraines, whereas only 69% of the group that received only educational seminars saw similar migraine reduction results.
School therapists can help students learn a variety of therapeutic techniques, cognitive therapy being one method for students whose migraines are triggered by stress or anxiety. Teaching students stress management strategies can be as simple as organizing folders to decrease school related anxiety. Relaxation training can help students to put themselves first, and help to understand the importance of having time to relax in a world which is often connected 24/7 via technology.
Children with mood and behavior disorders may also suffer from migraines, and may require additional therapy tools to help identify and deal with outside stress or triggering situations. Therapists can adjust treatment based on each child’s particular needs and concerns for dealing with their migraines. Sensory therapy can help students that are more kinetically minded to de-stress and work through triggering or stressful situations. Cognitive therapy can help students to recognize when they are getting stressed, and adapt to their situation, change their behavior, or remove themselves from a situation to avoid a migraine.
School therapists can help students to regain control over their lives, and offer valuable tools and techniques for helping students to decrease the number of migraines they experience by practicing behavioral therapy techniques. Cognitive therapy can help students learn to reduce anxiety, leading to decreased tension and the possibility of less headache days.
Therapists play a unique role in helping children and adolescents cope with stress. Migraines are a serious medical condition, and one that can be debilitating for children and adults alike. Children can and do lose valuable classroom time as a result of migraines, and school therapists can help to reduce the number of headache days that a child experiences by offering behavioral and cognitive therapy to students in their school.