Biofeedback Assisted Diaphragmatic Breathing and Systematic Relaxation Versus Propranolol in Long Term Prophylaxis of Migraine

Complement Ther Med. 2005 Sep;13(3):165-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2005.04.004.


Objectives: To evaluate utility of biofeedback assisted diaphragmatic breathing and systematic relaxation in migraine and to compare their efficacy with propranolol in long term prophylaxis of migraine.

Methods: 192 migraine patients were randomly distributed into two groups. Propranolol group received propranolol 80 mg/day while biofeedback group received electromyogram (EMG) and temperature biofeedback assisted diaphragmatic breathing and systematic relaxation training accompanied by home practice for 6 months.

Results: Significant clinical response was seen with biofeedback in 66.66% and with propranolol in 64.58% of patients. Frequency, severity, duration of attacks and number of vomiting episodes were significantly reduced in both the groups at 6 months but inter-group differences were statistically insignificant. During 1 year post-treatment period, significantly lesser resurgence of migraine was seen in biofeedback group as whole (9.37%) and in biofeedback responders in biofeedback group (9.37%) in comparison to resurgence of migraine in propranolol group as whole (38.54%) and in propranolol responders in propranolol group (53.22%) respectively.

Conclusions: Biofeedback assisted diaphragmatic breathing and systematic relaxation were very useful in migraine and had significantly better long-term prophylactic effect than propranolol in migraine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use*
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Propranolol