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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Music Therapy

First Advisor

David E. Wolfe

First Committee Member

Audree S. O'Connell

Second Committee Member

Ruth Y. Brittin


EEG biofeedback training, known as neurofeedback, has been explored as a nonpharmacologic prophylaxis for migraines. Based on the conceptual model of disregulation of central arousal function, the Othmers proposed a protocol in migraine prophylaxis by raising the sensory motor rhythm (SMR, 12- 15 Hz), accompanied by an inhibition of theta ( 4- 7 Hz) frequency. Relaxation with music, on the other hand, is another type of nonpharmacologic prophylaxis for migraines and is used to reduce perceived psychological and/or physiological stress and pain. Studies showed that an effective relaxation with music program is one that integrates certain relaxing musical characteristics and personal factors. Six female participants (29 to 57 years of age) previously diagnosed with migraines participated in this single-subject design study. This study employed two independent variables- the SMR/theta training and music therapy, and the dependent variables were the SMR and theta recording registration. Each participant first participated in the EEG Base-rate recording session, and was then randomly assigned to the following treatment conditions: SMR/Theta training only, music therapy only, and SMR/Theta training and music therapy." Counterbalancing of the treatment conditions was applied across participants, two sessions weekly for a total of 13 sessions, 30 minutes each session. In SMR/Theta training only, participants were instructed to raise their SMR while inhibiting theta. In music therapy only, participants were instructed to select their relaxation CD music to be played during the sessions. The SMR and theta data were graphed for each participant and implications were discussed. Graph analysis indicated that two participants were responsive to SMR/Theta training and music therapy and SMR/Theta training only respectively. Overall, all participants acquired relaxation skills and seemed better at adapting themselves to a stressful environment.



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