The patients who were taught relaxation also learned “breathing techniques, stress coping techniques, how to relax during activity and how to relax in everyday living.”
Immediately after the last treatment, the only significant between-group difference was a higher number of headache-free periods in the relaxation group compared with the acupuncture group. Otherwise, “there were no long-lasting differences between the interventions.”
Compared with initial measures, acupuncture significantly reduced headache intensity at 3 months and 6 months. Physical training was associated with reduced headache intensity and more headache-free periods immediately after the last treatment and after 6 months. Relaxation training led to significant improvements in headache intensity and frequency immediately after the training and at 3 and 6 months.
Soderberg and her associates suggest that a combination of all three techniques may provide the best outcome.