Watson Headache Approach

I’m not sure if I’ll have to have watson approach forever - I’m lasting longer and longer between appointments since starting doing the neck and shoulder exercises, and at this stage last up to about 3 months between appointments, and I don’t regress anywhere near as badly as I was in the beginning. I have been pretty slack on doing my neck and shoulder exercises the last few months - I’ve two littlies with seemingly boundless energy to look after which makes it harder to find the time, not to mention when I lay down my little man thinks it’s funny to body slam me! lol The treatments are quite costly (AUD$150 per visit where I go), which is really tough as without me working we’re extremely financially strained, but I think it’s worth it to keep me on track.

I’m not specifically on the migraine diet, however as I have a type of allergy induced esophagitis (Eosinophilic esophagitis) my Gastroenterologist but me on a special diet since last October - I cut out dairy, soy, gluten, egg, fish/seafood, avocado (am allergic to this anyway), banana/papaya/mango (they have proteins related to avocado). I also decided to avoid refined sugar (use raw instead).
I very very rarely drink alcohol as it makes my balance symptoms worse, but if I do I make sure to avoid red wine and dark spirits.
I thought about doing the migraine diet too, but wasn’t sure I’d actually have anything left to eat if I did both diets at the same time!

I feel like my symptoms have improved since I started the diet, but it also coincides with when i started the PT exercises.
I’ve recently reintroduced dairy and soy and seem to have gone down hill a little bit…but again this coincides with my slackness on doing the exercises so I’m not sure (as with everything about this stupid illness) whats making the difference.

Dear Faera,

can you share with us the exercises you do? And the important points to keep in mind while doing them?

I had a friend in Australia check with his WHA physio who said that there doesn’t seem to be any WHA trained physios here, so when I go to a regular one, I’d like to show him the exercises.

Thanks a million and feel much better :slight_smile: .

Hi there,

I have been newly diagnosed with Vestibular Migraine and am searching for anything that could be of benefit. My friend has found the Watson Headache approach and they apparently work from the Melbourne Headache Centre here in Australia.

I see the last post here was a while back. I wanted to know if anyone has gone there and what results they found?

Has it helped with specifically MAV symptoms?

I’m thinking of going soon. I’ll let you know how it goes for my vestibular migraine.

I’ve booked in too. However my neurologist thinks it doesn’t do anything. Are you in Melbourne? I’m in two minds now

Hi Helen, I couldn’t get this link to work

Hi Belindy.
Yes I’m in Melbourne. I’ve had my initial appointment. Be aware (I wasn’t) that the whole time of the first appointment there is no hands-on work done. It was all talking about history and dizziness assessment. While I understand that is necessary, I was expecting some physical therapy when the cost is $135 and the appointment is for an hour. Also I’d decided that this treatment was worth a try, otherwise why am I there after “free” initial assessment over the phone. I’m deciding whether I go forward as the future plan involves a lot of sessions and money.
I’ll post again if I do go. Let us know what you think if you go.

Mmm interesting… I want to try anything at this point. I also had a long chat over the phone. My initial assessment is apparently an hour and a half?? And more $ than that!! There are a lot of sessions hey. I booked 5. I might go for the first couple and see how it’s going. Week after next. Will keep you posted.

I’ve just realised that I went to a different centre to the one that you are going to- hence that will explain the price difference. I went to Melbourne headache Solutions (osteopaths) whereas where you are going are physios. They seem to have the same business model and training in the Watson headache technique. Very interested in how you get on.

@Belindy @Onandon03 I’ve no idea why, but somehow, someone at some point put that Topic into #staff Category … anyway, I’ve moved it, so you should be able to see it now!

@kayla57 I’ve just cancelled my appointments - for now. Been talking it over with my family and have decided that if I did it now, during the early stages of trying a new med that I won’t know which is helping more. But I’m very keen to go and I will. I do believe my neck is out - and I did jar it slightly only days before this all came on. I’m thinking January. Did you go to your next appointment?

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Good decision. If you throw the kitchen sink at a problem simultaneously, you will never know what actually helped. Time is probably the biggest help in my experience …

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If that’s the case I would ask your doctor about further investigation, scan etc. It could possibly be your root cause. Most MAVers find they develop neck discomfort but if yours came on first …? I would be more than wary about any sort of manipulation with acute MAV symptoms…

@Belindy No- my gut feel (based on years of experience with muscle issues) is that if it was that simple, then everyone would be getting treated this way. The neck is not isolated from the rest of the body - need to take a whole body approach. I already see a physio (less than monthly) who has helped me a lot with my balance issues and have come a long way in the last year. I’m always open to new ideas though, which is why I thought I’d see what the Watson technique was all about. I’ll ask my physio what he thinks when I see him in a few weeks time and let you know.

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From the little I have read seems to me this Watson approach is aimed at treating Cervicogenic headaches which are in fact secondary headaches, headaches caused by another condition in this case adverse condition of neck/spinal involvement. Not for migraines or migraineous symptoms. The American Migraine Foundation website (good site, liked it) has further info on Cervicogenic headaches and also discusses the involvement of neck pain in migraine. Dr Messina of the Michigan Headache Clinic (Neurologist) writes

‘Neck pain often accompanies migraine. “We have solid data that shows that migraine itself radiates pain to the neck,” says Dr. Messina. A severe migraine attack causes posterior pain in the back of the head and up the top of the neck. “The whole system mingles together when the battle for migraine is being fought,” says Dr. Messina. He adds that physical therapy and occipital nerve blocks are two potential ways to manage neck pain caused by migraine’.

The AMF’s article on Cervicogenic Headache is based on a cited paper.

Before venturing forth and spending money certainly worth more research.

Thanks for that information regarding neck pain and migraine. Currently I can relate to that paragraph! I talked to my treating physio about the Watson Technique. He actually occasionally uses the technique for some patients. However, he said that he wouldn’t use it on anyone with vestibular issues such as I have, as it risks making the situation worse. So right decision not to proceed. I should also add that he doesn’t prescribe to the “x” sessions in “x” weeks model of treatment, which is purely financially driven and not outcome driven.

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