Samantha: With Cefaly, I Am Empowered

First Name: Samantha

Age: 32

Location: Reno, NV

Years with Migraines: ~20

Occupation: Student

How long have you had migraines?

I’ve had migraines for about 20 years. They started when I was going through puberty. I can still vividly remember the dream I had before waking up with my first migraine: I dreamed a carpenter was drilling a hole in my forehead.

When do you usually get migraines?

I am more prone to get migraines when I am dehydrated, exhausted, over-stimulated by intense smells or bright light (including light from electronics), or going through hormonal shifts. I avoid excess muscle tension and stress as much as possible, and the idea of red wine with dinner is a nonstarter.

What have you tried pre-Cefaly?

Before CEFALY I was primarily using prescriptions to prevent and treat my migraines: between two and five prophylactic medications, including hormonal birth control to smooth out major swings in hormone levels; and four to six prescription options for migraine treatment, in addition to over-the-counter pain relievers. Going to summer camp when I was a teenager required being equipped with my migraine treatment algorithm and a bag of pills.

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What does your migraine feel like?

My migraines are usually preceded by aura: a strange smell, numbness in my fingers, and/or bright flickering lights at the edge of my vision. Between 2 minutes and an hour later the intense pulsating pain starts, right behind my eyebrow on one side. Occasionally I will have a headache that gets out of control and intensifies into a migraine. During migraines I am acutely sensitive to light, sound, and smells. During my worst migraines I focus on avoiding the nausea more than the pain, because the nausea makes my pain and the migraine snowball.

How did you hear about CEFALY?

I learned of CEFALY in October 2016 in some reading material at my neurologist’s office, and I asked him about whether I was a good candidate. He wrote me a prescription and I think I filled it right away, but it took me almost a year before I was using my CEFALY consistently. When the Dual came out in 2017 I immediately enrolled in the exchange program so that I could try the new acute treatment program. I’ve had great success with the Dual.

What’s your CEFALY experience like?

My personal experience with CEFALY’s preventive program is that I use it every night – it is part of my bedtime routine. I experience a gentle buzzing and tingling in my forehead during the treatment. Sometimes I fall asleep before the program is finished. I wipe the electrodes down with alcohol wipes when I feel like they’re not sticking well. This seems to help revive the adhesive, and I notice a difference in how intense the program is when the electrode is not well adhered to my skin. I’m very happy with how long the battery life is; the only time I’ve noticed it is a problem is when I need more than one acute treatment program within a period of a few days. I use the acute treatment program 2-5 times per month, most often when I feel a headache escalating and I’m concerned about it turning into a migraine. When I get aura and know a migraine is coming I take my abortive migraine medications, lay down as soon as possible in a dark room, and put my Cefaly on the acute treatment program.

Thankfully my migraines are well controlled now with prophylactic medication and CEFALY. I take my CEFALY with me if I’m going to be farther than an hour from home, or if I know I won’t be able to return home during the day. I think CEFALY has helped me decrease the number of medications I use prophylactically or for treatment; it has also decreased the number of migraines I experience every year and the number of hours I spend consumed by migraine pain. I spend less time now visiting my neurologist than I ever have, and my most recent neurologist has been very supportive of incorporating CEFALY into my treatment plan. CEFALY has been a life-changer for me because it has given me the courage to do things that previously I wouldn’t have considered because of the potential for a migraine to ruin the experience. Armed with my CEFALY, I am empowered to address a migraine quickly rather than wait for a drug (and its side effects) to take the edge off. I understand some individuals hesitancy to pay for the CEFALY device up front, but it has proved a worthwhile investment for me.

Want to share your story too? We’d love to hear from you! Please send an email to Please include your name, contact information, and let us know where you’re located so we can set up a good time to talk.

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