Anti-Migraine Headband Now Available in the US

May 19, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. get the green light /gɛt ðə grin laɪt/ (idiom) – to be approved and allowed by authorities
Example: The company got the green light to operate again after one year of suspension.

2. long-awaited /lɔŋ əˈweɪtɪd/ (adj.) – referring to something that is expected in a long time
Example: The long-awaited device will be available tomorrow.

3. alleviate /əˈliˌeɪt/ (v.) – to help lessen the pain or suffering
Example: The medicines did not alleviate her bad condition.

4. recurrent /rɪˈkɜrənt/ (adj.) – happens repeatedly or often occurs
Example: She is worried about her recurrent neck pain. 

5. stimulation /ˈstɪməˌleɪt/ (n.) – process of causing something to become active
Example: The device cures the patient through muscle stimulation.


Read the text below.
The first ever anti-migraine headband got the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will be available in the US market.

After careful evaluation, FDA gave the long-awaited approval last March for Cefaly Technology’s device that can help alleviate people’s suffering from migraine [MAHY-greyn].

Migraine is characterized by severe and recurrent headache that can last for days and can even harm one’s vision. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one out of seven adults worldwide experience migraine. This illness is one of the top 20 causes of disability, WHO added.

With the Cefaly headband’s arrival in the U.S., the number of migraine sufferers is expected to decrease. The device works by sending electric micro-impulses to facial nerves while the user is wearing the band on the forehead. These impulses help lessen the pain and the frequency of the user’s headache.

Though the product cannot fully eliminate the severe headache, National Migraine Centre medical director Giles Elrington [jahylz EL-ring-tuh n] believes that such kind of drug-less technology will be further developed in the future.

Cefaly is a Belgium-based company that started its research on sports medicine in 2004. This area focused on electrical stimulation of muscles. Cefaly device was first launched in 2008 and further development followed.

Before FDA’s approval, the anti-migraine headband has only been sold in Canada and some European countries for about five years now.

According to Cefaly Technology’s managing director Pierre Rigaux [pee-AIR ri-goh], the American market will help boost the company’s sales up to 25 percent in the next five years. Cefaly expects to sell 10,000 units of headband per month in the US.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Cefaly headband will soon replace oral medicines for headache? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the disadvantages of using Cefaly’s anti-migraine headband?

Discussion B

·         What can a person do to eliminate or avoid common headache without taking any drugs?
·         Do you think technological devices will soon replace drugs in treating illnesses? Why or why not?


May 19, 2014