The Methodology

Performing Kiatsu® for Migraine

Methods and Materials

This is a non-randomized, minimal risk study in humans.  Participants will be consented, and will undergo condensed instruction in an integrated approach of relaxation training (deep breathing meditation, postural correction, and movement training) and receive Kiatsu® therapy.
 Participants will be asked to keep a record of migraine history for 1 month (baseline control) before any relaxation training instruction or Kiatsu is initiated.  Participants will then keep a daily migraine and headache diary for data for comparison.  The single group of participants will all complete the same study tasks.

Baseline Control: (Visit 1, -4 weeks)

Participants will be consented. Participants will be instructed on how to access and use the study daily migraine diary, with which to keep a record of daily migraine frequency, duration, use of migraine medications, doses and times, and the daily number of headaches for 4 weeks as a baseline measurement before treatment initiation. Demographic data will be collected.

Treatment Phase: (Visits 2–5; weeks 0–3)

These visits will take place weekly for 4 weeks.  The first visit will last 1 hour, subsequent visits will be 30–45 minutes.  These visits will consist of instruction in relaxation training (deep breathing meditation, postural correction, and movement training) and Kiatsu therapy.

Kiatsu: Participants will be touched while sitting for an average 15–20 minutes with a mild to moderate amount of pressure at the base of the head and with less pressure along the neck on the neck on the sides and back of the neck while one of the investigators relaxes deeply to facilitate relaxation and flow of energy to the participant. The scalp and temple areas will be touched with mild pressure. The subject will be encouraged to relax and let the neck stretch naturally side to side, forward and back, and rotating to either side.  At no time will the neck be forced to move, and there are no rapid movements or manipulations. The upper, mid, and lower back will be touched with a moderate amount of pressure in the same way with the subject sitting, standing or lying. There is no rubbing of skin, muscles, fascia or nerves, only light touch.

Instruction in relaxation training: 15–30 minutes
  • Deep breathing: Participants will be instructed in a slow, deep breathing method involving exhaling slowly through the mouth while making a quiet “ha” sound, then inhaling slowly through the nose to relax and focus mind and body.
  • Postural adjustment by instructing subjects to straighten their lower back and shift weight forward as they sit, stand and move, along with softly touching the lower back and helping subjects to experience good posture and balance.
  • Movement training: exercises include walking, holding up an arm while the arm is being bent, sitting down in a chair and standing up from the chair.
Extension Treatment Phase (Visits 6–10; Months 2–5)

These visits will take place once a month for 4 months and will last 1 hour.  These 1 hour visits will consist of instruction in relaxation training and Kiatsu as described in the Treatment Phase.

Participant Daily Diary Log

Migraine and headache frequency and duration, and medication use will be logged online 3–7 times per week on a secure online e-diary at

Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MSQoL)

Quality of life will be measured using the MSQoL; a validated instrument with documented accuracy. There will be a baseline MSQoL measurement (control) and subsequent monthly MSQoL (months 1–5) secure online data capture system. Samples of the diary and the survey are submitted along with this research plan. The daily diary will take 1–5 minutes to complete and the monthly MSQoL will take approximately 5–10 minutes to complete.

Participants may contact Dr. Copperman throughout the study if they have questions about the study. During and after the treatment period patients may consult with their private physicians as needed and as they desire for medication management of their migraine.

The Methodology August 31, 2017

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