Migra Well

MigraWell: A Different Approach to Migraine Education and Support

May 21, 2024By Robert Bonakdar, MD
Robert Bonakdar, MD

Hi everyone,

Dr. Bonakdar here. I'm thrilled to welcome you to the MigraWell blog!

You might be wondering what sets MigraWell apart from other migraine websites? In a single phrase MigraWell is your: 

Personalized, research-backed migraine companion

We built MigraWell based on research that asked a key question: what truly supports people with migraine? The answer [1] was individualized and holistic approach that addresses the overall impact of migraines, not just the headache itself.

To achieve approach we created MigraWell with with focus on these core principles:

Lifestyle and Integrative Health Focus:

Medications are important, but managing stress, sleep, diet, and exercise is crucial. We offer clear, actionable advice to help you navigate these areas.

Research-Driven Content:

You'll find vetted information on effective treatments backed by science, not just testimonials.

Personalized Conversational Support with (Maia):

Maia - Migraine AI Assistant with a symbol of phone on top left
Maia - Migraine AI Assistant

Generic advice can only go so far. Maia, our Migraine AI assistant, provides immediate and personalized answers to your specific migraine questions. Whether you're looking for a magnesium-rich breakfast recipe or tips to improve sleep, just talk to Maia. In a recent study at Scripps Health in San Diego CA, Maia significantly improved patients' knowledge and confidence in managing their migraines within just one week. The results from this study will be highlighted the 2024 American Headache Society 66th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Empowering the Clinician-Patient Conversation:

Young female patient listening to her doctor.

We want to help you collaborate with your doctor to explore treatment options. We enable you to do so by offering latest research backed educational content from migraine symptoms and triggers to medications, devices and lifestyle interventions. Most importantly, we deliver this information in simple and personalized format through Maia. We encourage you to engage with Maia before you see your clinician. Maia can help you cover the basics and prepare you for your consult. After your consult, Maia can also support you by helping you understand the details of your treatment plan and next steps.  

Why this approach?

A 2023 Mayo Clinic study [1] examined patient perspectives on migraine treatment. The findings highlighted the importance of an individualized and holistic approach that addresses the overall impact of migraines, not just the headache itself. Patients expressed a preference for treatments that are:

Highly effective.
Affordable and accessible.
Self-managed for greater autonomy.
A combination of acute and preventive options.

The study also revealed key aspects desired during discussions with healthcare professionals:

Sharing knowledge and exploring various treatment options.
Trust in healthcare providers.
Clear communication, especially for complex treatments.
A respectful and validating approach.
Shared decision-making.

These results align with what I've observed in my 20+ years of treating migraines and echo the following conclusion:

Patients want to be active participants in their care and learn about all their options, particularly non-pharmaceutical and self-care strategies.

While clinicians support this approach, our current system often lacks the tools to fully address these needs. Here's why:

Discussing and incorporating lifestyle topics like diet, stress management, and exercise can be time-consuming.

Clinicians may not feel fully equipped to provide detailed guidance in these areas, leaving patients to navigate them independently.

Unfortunately, much of the online information available is either not scientifically vetted or contradictory, making it difficult to find safe and effective guidance.

MigraWell aims to bridge this gap by integrating wellness into migraine treatment in a way that's both scientific and individualized, and practical for both patients and clinicians. We'll help you answer questions about and incorporate treatments you're considering, especially non-pharmacological and lifestyle therapies. We'll also help you connect these options with your care team to facilitate shared decision-making.

We hope MigraWell becomes your trusted partner on your migraine journey. We understand that everyone's path is unique. Having access to reliable information, especially information you can share with your doctor, is a key part of achieving the comprehensive migraine management you deserve.

In the coming months, this blog will delve into new migraine management topics and explore important lifestyle questions with clear and actionable answers. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as we embark on this journey together.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Bonakdar

[1] Urtecho M, Wagner B, Wang Z, et al. A qualitative evidence synthesis of patient perspectives on migraine treatment features and outcomes. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2023;63(2):185-201. doi:10.1111/head.14430