An eye for headache relief: New study finds the most effective form of migraine treatment is not medicinal

For the estimated 31 million North Americans suffer pain, nausea and other effects due to migraine headaches, the new treatment could be revolutionary. Using the One Eye Integration treatment normally reserved for post-traumatic stress disorder, Lefebvre reveals that by manipulating a patient's field of vision, headache symptoms can be reduced by up to 70 per cent, or be prevented altogether.

For two weeks, Lefebvre employed a modified form of the One Eye Integration (OEI) therapy on 16 headache sufferers. The treatment controls the amount of light entering parts of the brain through the eyes by alternately covering each eye in a “switching” method. The results saw thirteen participants experience considerably reduced migraine and non-migraine headache pain. Three participants did not experience any headache pain claiming the process created a “heightened awareness to symptoms” which helped prevent the onset of headaches.

“The effects of this treatment are robust,” says Lefebvre, a former migraine sufferer and mental health clinician for the Ministry of Children and Family Development in Prince Rupert. “Often headaches were relieved within one to two minutes.” Response rates of established pharmaceuticals such as Tylenol or Aspirin™ can take between 30 to 60 minutes.

“If we understand migraines as lateralized or one-sided head pain then it's only logical to shift the sufferer's attention exclusively to the side that doesn't hurt,” says Lefebvre who completed the study as part of his thesis for his MA in counselling psychology. “That's done through the eyes.”

OEI therapy is based on the understanding that each eye stimulates different parts of the brain which elicits different reactions. By focusing on different parts of the brain we can have different responses. With post-traumatic stress disorder, this treatment can be the difference between feeling anxious or calm. For headache sufferers it's the difference between feeling pain or not feeling pain.

“The problem is that we're having two different experiences simultaneously,” says Lefebvre of the fractured phenomenon. “That's why turning off the lights when you have a headache generally doesn't relieve pain—you're still stimulating both hemispheres equally. This treatment gets the patient to focus on the part of the brain that is not experiencing pain.”

Lefebvre recommends this treatment be conducted under strict supervision. “I've seen some strong reactions,” he says. “But it seems the more intense the presentation of symptoms, the more effective this treatment can be.”

Lefebvre's methodologies are documented in a written manual. For more information, contact him at

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,500 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 13 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-16
Author: Keela Keeping