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Vertigo—A personal story

by Siegfried Othmer | April 23rd, 2018

I began experiencing vestibular migraines over 30 years ago. My symptoms included bilateral hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. This vertigo can be experienced by riding the Tea Cups at Disneyland or a Tilt-A-Whirl ride at the amusement park, by repeatedly spinning until you are so dizzy that standing up or walking a straight line is impossible.

Over the years I tried prescribed and over-the-counter medications (sedatives, antihistamines, steroids, and motion sickness pills). I tried multiple diets limiting sodium, sugar, carbs, and carbonation. I spent thousands of dollars on surgery and on the Meniett Device to pressurize my inner-ears. And I spent tens of thousands on hearing-aids from subsequent damage to my inner ears. Nothing improved and I knew with every storm or barometric pressure change I could expect my faithful nemeses to nauseate and torture me.

When I experience vertigo, relief is most often days away. I have learned to function moderately with the sensation of spinning and associated nausea, but often have to take three to five days off work (or life) to wait out the storm. The spinning becomes so severe that I am not able to close my eyes and rather stay awake at night keeping my bathroom company. I become so nauseated that vomiting and dry-heaving up to 20 times in a 24 hour period is common.

I am the owner and founder of ———————, a treatment program for both mental health and addictions. I wanted to offer neurofeedback to our clientele, and registered with EEGInfo for neurofeedback training in April, 2018. Upon learning of my registration, a colleague informed me that neurofeedback could be used to treat vertigo. I dismissed the suggestion… I am no longer reachable with promises of snake oil and magical elixirs. My nemeses defeated me years ago. It robbed me of hearing in both of my ears, weeks of my life, my income, and time with friends, family, and clients. I gave up any hope of ever finding reprieve.

I was beyond disappointed when the vertigo activated on the second day of training at EEGInfo. I forced myself to attend and we practiced neurofeedback on each other. I thought it would be nice to add neurofeedback to my growing list of “things I’ve tried,” so in a spirit of self-amusement, I opted to target the vestibular migraine with the recommended protocol for brain instabilities. To my utter disbelief, the symptoms of vertigo abated. In my first session, the storm dissipated. I felt balanced. For 30 years I had had nothing but false hope! Then in a single 30-minute session my world stopped spinning. I still have training ahead of me to reach a new and stable place, but I am profoundly grateful I no longer have to endure the torture of vestibular migraines. Thank you to EEGinfo and to the Othmer family for your commitment, and for sharing your life work. I will always be grateful.

Commentary by Siegfried Othmer:

It turns out that the above story bears some resemblance to my own. When our family got its first exposure to neurofeedback for our son Brian at Margaret Ayers’ office in March of 1985, the rest of us had to try it as well—Sue, Kurt, and I. At the time, I was suffering from occasional bouts of vertigo that would take me out of action for several days at a time. After a mere four sessions of Ayers’ beta training protocol, those episodes vanished. Of course it took some time to be sure that there would be no recurrence. But there was other evidence that correlated. The vertigo was traceable to a mild whiplash injury some years earlier, which also led to my experiencing memory holes. Those also disappeared with the training, and that was more immediately noticeable. Basically, the training resolved all of the symptoms associated with the whiplash injury, the vertigo among them.

2 Responses to “Vertigo—A personal story”

  1. Avis Leader says:

    Omg, I just read this article and feel excited about the possibilities of neurofeedback. I suffer from vestibular migraines and have tried a number of remedies. I’m still very susceptible and have to be very careful with diet and the way I function in life. Reading this article gives me great hope and a reason to explore what neurofeedback could possibly do to help me with this condition. Thank you!

  2. Neurofeedback brain training is very effective for migraine. It is so responsive that various methods can be helpful. Nevertheless, I would recommend that you look for a practitioner that offers infra-low frequency neurofeedback. This has been shown to be extraordinarily effective with migraines.

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