Field Research

At the recent World Congress on Pain, there were enough exhibition stands to keep even the most mischievous amused. One of the most mischievous is Sarah Haag. Here she gives an account of the first of her investigations…..

On day 2 of the biannual IASP conference in Milan, I decided to try out the latest and greatest in headache management modalities.  This little doozy will supraorbitally stimulate your trigeminal nerve, resulting in what started to be a pleasant tingling in my scalp, but intensity was quickly increasing.

As the intensity increased, my forehead and eyebrows were pulled up painfully, and my left eye started deviate medially.  (Sandy is still laughing about this…).

I discontinued the session, as I didn’t have a headache when I started the trial, but seemed to be developing one as the session progressed.  The Cefaly non-invasive cranial neurostimulation claims to ‘anti-stress and anti-migraine’.  I did need a nap after this session, which worked out well, since I had a ginormous red mark on my forehead and didn’t feel that I could be seen in such a state.

(notice the medial deviation of my left eye…  I don’t think it’s usually like that….)

Other than the red mark on my forehead, I assumed I had escaped any other side effects.  Until I woke up the next day, and it felt like someone had poked me in the eye.  Turns out that there was a little delayed muscle soreness in my left medial ocular muscles….

It was a pleasure donating my body to science.


  1. Lesley Singer says:

    I.m not so surf that is something which should arbitrarily be used on people at something like this. This is a treatment t which can be used for chronic pain and is sometimes done in order to see if a permanent stimulation device may help when implanted. I have such a deice for chronic neuropathic pain and although it is not a miracle I have come off one opiod Ana ketamine in one year and do believe it helps me cope along with other both pharmaceutical and non pharmaceutical treatments but the voltage has been changed very very slowly so I know the side effects. Not everyone can have the same settings with the same effects

  2. Thought when I first heard of this it sounded promising. All for non drug treatments. One non drug treatment that really did work to stop acute migraine within 30 minutes is Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture. On 3 separate occasions my migraine was stopped and did not recur (as it commonly did). My GP (one of only about 15 doctors trained in this technique in Oz) recently passed away. Hence the interest in this device. Thanks for sharing your experience.