Updated: Oct 18
If you're one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from migraines or cluster headaches, you know just how debilitating these conditions can be. Unfortunately, traditional treatments like medication or surgery don't always work, leaving sufferers with little hope for relief. But now, a new device on the market could change everything. The gammaCore Sapphire is a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator that offers drug-free headache relief–that actually works.
What is the gammaCore Sapphire?
According to the parent company electroCore, the gammaCore Sapphire is a handheld device that uses gentle electrical stimulation to naturally activate the vagus nerve, a key player in the body's natural pain-relief system. The drug-free device can help reduce the intensity and duration of migraines and cluster headaches (2021).
How does the gammaCore Sapphire work?
The gammaCore Sapphire sends small electrical pulses through the skin of the neck, where they stimulate the vagus nerve, as stated by gammaCore.com (2021). This nerve, which runs from the brain to the abdomen, is crucial in regulating various bodily functions, including pain perception, inflammation, and mood. Similarly, when stimulated, the vagus nerve activates our parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging our healthy and relaxed “rest and digest” state of being. In addition, when the gammaCore Sapphire stimulates the vagus nerve, it triggers the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. The device can also stimulate the production of endogenous opioids, the body's natural painkillers.
Is the gammaCore Sapphire effective?
Clinical studies have shown that the gammaCore Sapphire effectively reduces the frequency, intensity, and duration of migraines and cluster headaches (Barbanti et al., 2019; Tasorelli et al., 2018). The device is FDA-cleared for acutely treating episodic cluster headaches and migraine headaches in adults, as noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2021). According to gammaCore.com, a clinical study found that using the gammaCore Sapphire led to a 25% reduction in the number of headache days per month and a decrease in the use of rescue medications. electroCore also reported that the gammaCore device effectively reduced the pain intensity of migraines within 30 minutes of use.
What are the benefits of gammaCore Sapphire?
One of the most significant benefits of gammaCore Sapphire is that it offers a non-invasive, natural, and drug-free option for migraine and headache relief. Unlike traditional treatments like medication or surgery, the device has no significant side effects or risks. The gammaCore Sapphire is also easy to use at home or on the go. It's small and portable, making it easy to carry in a purse or pocket. Finally, the gammaCore Sapphire is a cost-effective option for headache relief. While traditional treatments can be expensive, the device is affordable and covered by many insurance plans.
Who shouldn’t use the gammaCore Sapphire?
Patients with an implanted medical device like a pacemaker, hearing aid, or any other device should avoid using the gammaCore Sapphire. Similarly, patients with a bone plate, stent, or screw in or near the neck should not use the gammaCore. In addition, the safety and efficacy of the device has not been evaluated in pregnant women, so pregnant women should avoid using the gammaCore Sapphire.
What are some alternative methods to easing migraine pain?
Mindfulness Practice: These days, people use the phrase "being mindful" so much that the meaning can get lost. Still, there is fruitful information in this phrase regarding addressing migraine pain. Incorporating a mindfulness meditation practice during a migraine can help you alter your perception of the pain you are experiencing. Dr. Sait Ashina wrote in Harvard Health Publishing about a study published in the JAMA medical journal that shows how effective a mindfulness practice can be in reducing migraine pain. On Youtube, there are plenty of guided mindfulness meditation practices that you can utilize in the heat of the moment to help your migraine pain.
Avoid Screens: Electronic devices themselves can be stimuli for migraine pain. Screen brightness, blue light, and flickering screens can each be powerful screen-related triggers for individuals susceptible to migraines. If you cannot avoid using a screen, try turning down the brightness of your device, using blue light-blocking glasses, or simply taking a break from your screen time.
Know Your Triggers: If you experience migraines, you may know triggers that can exacerbate your migraine pain. For some people, this may be certain foods; for others, it is light sensitivity and dehydration. Please pay attention to your cues and be mindfully aware of them when addressing migraine pain.
Cold Face Mask: Some people report using a cold pad or mask where their migraine is present helps relieve their pain temporarily. For others, it could be a Warm Face Mask.
Peppermint Oil: Some people report that rubbing a small amount of diluted peppermint oil on their temples, forehead, and neck helps with migraine pain. Peppermint promotes relaxation and may help ease muscle tension that contributes to migraine pain.
While many tips and tools still need to be scientifically evaluated appropriately, some people report them as helpful in migraine pain cases. However, please consult with your physician for personalized medical advice.
If you're looking for a non-invasive, drug-free option for migraine or cluster headache relief, the gammaCore Sapphire could be the answer. With its gentle electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve, the device can help reduce the intensity and duration of headaches and improve your overall quality of life. So why wait? Come to Better Brain & Body, try the gammaCore Sapphire, and see the difference it can make.
1. Barbanti, Piero et al. “Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for acute treatment of high-frequency and chronic migraine: an open-label study.” The journal of headache and pain vol. 16 (2015): 61. doi:10.1186/s10194-015-0542-4
3. “gammaCore Sapphire: A Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator for the Acute Treatment of Episodic Cluster Headache and Migraine Headache in Adults." U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2021,
4. Goadsby, Peter J et al. “Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for the acute treatment of episodic and chronic cluster headache: A randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled ACT2 study.” Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache vol. 38,5 (2018): 959-969. doi:10.1177/0333102417744362
5. Tassorelli, Cristina et al. “Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation as acute therapy for migraine: The randomized PRESTO study.” Neurology vol. 91,4 (2018): e364-e373. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000005857
6. Wells RE, O’Connell N, Pierce CR, et al. Effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation vs Headache Education for Adults With Migraine: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(3):317–328. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.7090