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Decreasing Headaches


More than 1 or 2 headaches a month are too many . . .


 This 4 session group program meets once a week, providing an introduction to current information on the proven, drug-free strategies most helpful in decreasing, better understanding, and managing stress-related migraine headaches and tension headaches.

After looking at numerous research studies, the U.S. Headache Consortium (which includes 7 medical societies) has given relaxation therapy, cognitive stress management approaches, and specific biofeedback treatments a Grade A efficacy rating in treating migraine headaches!



  • the most common causes for awakening with a headache

  • headache trigger combinations - and the ones to really watch for

  • the specific types of stressors that prompt headaches

  • 2 ways that breathing can cause headaches

  • the "3 mini-days" approach to headaches

  • to eat or not to eat?

  • practical strategies to try as a headache is coming on

  • skeletal muscle and smooth muscle self-regulation techniques

  • 4 techniques to relax your eyes

  • how to release tension in neck, shoulder and back muscles

  • see what a psychophysiological profile (using sensitive biofeedback monitors) can tell you about the brain/body connection and headaches

  • practice with 2 types of biofeedback helpful in decreasing or aborting headaches

  • if you have migraines :
    *  the 4 triggers that account for two-thirds of all migraines
    *  stages in the migraine's neurovascular process where you can intervene
  • techniques that decrease head pain

  • developing a personal pain management action plan

This Decreasing Headaches program includes ideas from the Menninger Clinic, the University of South Carolina Medical School's Headache Program, the New England Institute for Behavioral Medicine's headache program, the St. Louis University School of Medicine's headache clinic and chronic pain clinics. This educational program is meant to be a basic introduction to headache management with the primary goal of developing a comprehensive personal headache and pain management plan. Daily practice of techniques is very strongly recommended. Participants are encouraged to follow-up by self-monitoring, working toward further behavioural change / improved self-care, developing their skills, and/or seeking further resources.

This program is experiential, which makes it hard for you to get the full sense of its possibilities from simply reading a program description.  Perhaps it would help to know what past participants have said... read more...

After this program, some participants may benefit from enrolling in the 12 session Relaxation and Stress Management Skills Training program to further develop and strengthen skills in physical and mental relaxation.

Some people choose to have a combination of a group program and private training sessions. For example, you may wish to have one or more private sessions to get started on some strategies right away while waiting for the next group program to start. Some individuals progress further with some private training after a group program, tailoring the ideas to their specific situation.



The next Decreasing Headaches program begins on

Thursday, NOVEMBER 72024

meeting from 7:00 - 8:30 pm

for 4 sessions  

(this will be a virtual program via Zoom)


If you are unable to attend a session for any reason,
you may make up that particular class at any future Decreasing Headaches program. 
(Please call ahead to confirm time and location when making up a class.)


Program Fee :

  • $  20 for University of Guelph students   (due to a subsidy from U of G Student Health Services)
  • $  65 for members of United Steelworkers Local 4120   (due to a subsidy from Local 4120)
  • $ 127 for all others

Payment is on-line  (or by cheque or e-transfer, if pre-arranged)

Gift certificates are available.



Program registration will open in August on this webpage.



University of Guelph students  - to request your Coupon Code for the subsidized fee, e-mail your name and Student ID number to .

Members of USW Local 4120  - to request your Coupon Code for the subsidized fee, e-mail your name to



It would be ideal to attend all of the classes, however if you miss a class there are class handouts which can help you "catch up".

You may also pick up the missed classes at any future Decreasing Headaches program.


UNABLE  to attend the FALL 2024 program ?

  • Join a waiting list to start another program earlier, or meet on a different day / time :
    For those interested in having this program offered at another day or time, leave your name on the Decreasing Headaches waiting list by e-mailing or call the Stress Management and High Performance Clinic at 519 824-4120, ext. 52662. Please specify which days and times you prefer to meet. A program can begin anytime there are 6 or more names on the waiting list. 
  • Arrange for a program to come to your workplace or community site :
    The Decreasing Headaches program, or selected topics from this program, can be provided on-site at your workplace or community group site.   A 30-60 minute Lunch & Learn session can also be provided.  Call the Stress Management and High Performance Clinic at 519 824-4120, ext. 52662 to make arrangements for sessions at your location. 
  • Make an appointment for private training :
    Any of the Decreasing Headaches topics listed above can be provided in private, one-to-one training sessions. Daytime, late afternoon, and evening times are available on weekdays throughout the year. Call 519 824-4120, ext. 52662, or e-mail to make a private appointment for individual training. 
  • Access other resources : 
    FOR FURTHER RESOURCES on decreasing headaches or headache pain (websites, books, CDs, and headache organizations)  read more...



If you wish more information or have any further questions, do not hesitate to e-mail or call Kathy Somers at 519 824-4120, ext. 52662

Please leave a message so I can return your call.