Migraines may be one of the most annoying feelings ever, and many people do not realize that these are not just simple headaches but a neurological disorder. Therefore, stopping migraines will take more than just relaxing or taking pain killers. Rodney Flowers sits down with retired chiropractor Adam Meredith who spent most of his life helping migraine sufferers. He explains how the increased exposure to blue light triggers migraines and why we should control our light consumption, from phones to interior lighting. Adam also presents the Migraine Stopper, a relatively new invention aiming to relieve people of this painful throbbing sensation in the fastest and most convenient way possible.
Listen to the podcast here:
How Technology Can Help In Stopping Migraines With Adam Meredith
I’m excited about our show. I have a retired chiropractor of twenty years from Australia. He is passionate about helping migraine sufferers. Without further ado, I’m going to go ahead and introduce this guy, Mr. Adam Meredith. I’m excited about getting into this conversation because I know a lot of people are dealing with migraines. I have people that are very close to me that deal with these things on a regular basis. This guy is The Migraine Stopper. He knows how to stop these things. We’re going to talk about that. Without further ado, Mr. Adam Meredith, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Rodney. It’s great to be here.
It’s great to have you. I want to commend you, first of all, for taking a stand for something that so many people are suffering from, which is migraines. I haven’t heard of anyone taking a stand and creating a solution for migraines. This is one of those things that people have to deal with. Here you are saying, “There’s a solution to this problem.” From someone who does not suffer from those things but I know a lot of people who do, thank you and I appreciate that. Before we get into The Migraine Stopper, what caused you to want to do this?
I’m also a chiropractor for twenty years. I had two practices in Sydney, Australia. My entry point was I broke my back from water skiing. The bone has no nerve damage but I had a broken back. I saw a chiropractor and I loved it. I liked anything to do with physical therapy so I got into it that way. Migraines are interesting. They do respond well to chiropractic but a lot do not. I was frustrated by that.
The disease itself is a lot more debilitating than I realized. After speaking to chiros and patients after twenty years, you realize that this disease ruins their life. In fact, depression, anxiety, and suicide rates are higher in this group because it’s debilitating. I felt that because people thought they were having headaches but they’re not. It’s a neurological disorder. I didn’t realize it was impacting their lives so much. Back pain, neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain are not good to have, I could fix but it wasn’t impacting their lives as much as migraines.
What causes the migraines to occur in the first place?
They’re complicated. That’s why they’re having such a hard time fixing them. Migraine brains don’t produce energy as well as non-migraine brains. There’s a whole brain global energy problem. There are other parts of the brain that don’t behave properly and there’s part of the brainstem, which also doesn’t behave properly. You’ve got multisense of the brain not working that well. The culmination of those areas of dysfunction leads to migraine. That’s why it’s hard to fix.
Is there a group of people more susceptible to migraines than others? Is this something that’s preventable?
It’s a female predominant disease. One in seven people gets it. That’s one billion. That’s why you know people get it because it’s common. About 18% of women get it and about 6% of men. It’s about 10% of children get it. It’s prevalent that a lot of people are suffering.
Is this something that you’re born with, develops over your life, based on lifestyle, or anything like that?
You’re born with it. We know that it runs in families. If you have a female member of your family with migraines, there’s another close female relative that gets it as well. It’s genetic and inheritable. I believe that this is a disorder, not a disease so that there are things that make them susceptible. If those things are around, they get them. If those things aren’t around, they don’t get them.
What are those things?
It’s stress. We are dealing with about eleven million bits of information per second that our brain has to process. That’s a lot of information and they don’t process it well. If I have stress on top, that will trigger the migraine. Stress is interesting. It can be wanting to do a talk at your daughter’s wedding and that stressful event will do it. It can be pressure at work, physical stress, or physically tired. We’ll talk about it, Rodney, but blue light from devices like iPhone will also trigger it. Blue light is a double threat for migraines.
How can we treat this disease? Is this something that can go away? As a kid, were you stuck with this forever?
We were taught that for women after menopause, it’s supposed to go away. If you go to my website, there are 17 to 18-year-old women that are still getting migraines that have responded to the therapy. Generally, I see them get worse with time and not better. That’s a real problem. While your brain and my brain that doesn’t get migraines can hold down that eleven million bits of information, there are who can’t. It’s a sensory overload disorder and we have to decrease the sensations on some things. That way they won’t get overloaded and won’t get the migraine.
Are you talking about meditation, relaxation? What are some of the things you do?
The vagus nerve is the big nerve that when you hug a puppy or you meditate, that’s the nerve that you activate and it does calm down your body. The more active the nerve, the more calm the body. You want to stimulate the vagus nerve. Meditation is good. Walks and being outside, these are good things to calm you down and good social networks also helps. The device which I invented directly stimulates the vagus nerve as well. One of the biggest things I can fix with my clients for their migraines is to get their sleep-wake cycles or their circadian rhythms back to normal.
That’s a massive stressor for migraines. I had to wake up at 4:30 AM because we’re in Sydney, which is cold. If I was a migraineur, that in and of itself could cause a migraine because it was stressful to get up, plus I’ve got a new puppy. It’s very stressful because he wakes my sleep up. If a migraineur wakes up early or they sleep in late, which is tragic, they have a sleep in, they’re breaking their sleep cycle, it’s stressful enough to cause a migraine. For my clinical observation, fixing the sleep-wake cycle is one of the biggest things you can do to help your migraines.
What is happening when someone is experiencing a migraine? What’s causing the pain and throbbing in the head?
It’s complicated because there are multi parts of the brain. The actual throbbing pain which is what they’re famous for, there’s a whole lot of other horrible things like vomiting and nausea, you feel like you want to curl up into a ball and die, you feel very depressed, and a whole lot of things but people know that migraines are a throbbing pain. There are blood vessels in your brain and they’re attached to another nerve called trigeminal. That relays the pain centers from these throbbing vessels to the brain that’s why you feel it. Its blood vessels and an overactive nerve saying the pain is greater than it physically is in reality. It’s an over-amplification of this pain response.The more active the nerves, the calmer the body. Click To Tweet
I’m not a migraine person. When you talk about sensory overload, the world we’re living in, everyone is almost overloaded. That could trigger anyone to have a migraine.
That’s true. I don’t know the science on it but when someone says to me, “I had a migraine two years ago, I’ve never had it before and I’ve never had it since. I was going through a stressful period of my life.” That indicates to me that a so-called normal brain or a non-cerebrum brain under the right sensory overload could do it. You could argue, they’ve got a susceptibility but it’s low compared to others. It would be interesting if I could create a migraine in you, Rodney, if I put all my knowledge together and overloaded your brain.
Have you seen a spike in the patients that you see? Have you looked ten years ago and fast forward, ten years to the present? it’s been such a great leap in technology, social media and all those things. I would imagine the numbers have increased tremendously.
During COVID which started in Australia in February and March, any stressful event overloads the brain that’s predisposed to sensory overload. I noticed that for the last years, it’s hard to say because as my interest in migraines grew, I started to focus more on migraineurs. One thing I will say is I believe I am starting to see it in younger people like 12 to 13-year-olds. I get a lot of emails from parents saying, “My son is eight and they get migraines.” I don’t recall when I first graduated in 2001, talking to people about their kids getting migraines. It has improved.
What do you think the contribution? What’s attributing to younger?
It’s blue light from mobile devices. When I was young, we grew up with no shoes. We rode our bikes with no shoes in Adelaide, the Southern part of Australia. Outside, climbing trees, we had a cubby house and everything. When I look at kids that are little, they’ve got the phones in front of their eyes. The parents give them the phones because it does calm a child down. If a child is talking, all over the shop at the café, you’d give them a mobile phone and put a video on it, I get why they do it but that constant blue light does two things. It breaks their circadian rhythm which is the sleep-wake cycle. That is what I correct in all my patients. It directly stimulates the trigeminal nerve which has the major nerve involved in migraines. Blue light is a double threat. It breaks your waking and sleeping patterns which overloads the brain and it directly stimulates the trigeminal nerve. That’s why I believe it’s coming up. and I’m seeing it earlier.
As a doctor, what is your recommendation given the fast-paced, high sensory world that we live in? This stuff is not going away so we are responsible for how we manage ourselves with all of this.
It’s strange. It’s to control your light environment. When I first started reading, I’m like, “Light? Not really.” The more I read about light, the more I realized it was affecting all of us and particularly, my migraine patients. It’s simple. You have to block blue light. My stand is from an evolutionary point of view. We know that blue light was the light that Mother Nature selected to go into your eye to tell your body what the time is. That’s why sunrise is reddish. In the middle of the day, it’s white which is the blue light. Sunset is reddish again. That change in the blue light tells our body what time it is and therefore what to do.
Do you send out your T-cells or your immune system? Do you start to modulate your hormones? Do you start to prepare your body to digest for lunch? This is the circadian rhythm. The whole thing happens to be on blue light. It happens at a nice iPhone screen that produces blue light. Blue light is everywhere now. I tell them to control their blue light to get their sleep-wake cycles back to calm down their brain. The fact that blue light stimulates the nerve that causes migraine. It’s simple, Rodney. As soon as the sun goes down, all my patients put on these red glasses. They block 100% blue light.
When the sun goes down, I do this myself, I pop them on, my brain knows that it’s dark and to prepare for sleep which is to release melatonin. Most people know melatonin is the sleep hormone. You will not release it if you’re watching Netflix at night and that blue light is hitting you in the face. They all do that. When they wake up, they don’t turn on any lights. They don’t check their iPhone, they go outside and let the sunlight hit their eyes, and then it tells their body, “It’s morning.” If you can do that to tell your body morning, tell your body night, you’ll start to sleep better. Once you sleep better, your migraines in and of themselves will improve.
Are you aware of an alternative to blue light? Could technology companies show different light?
They could but the screen would be red. That’s the trouble. The crisp white light that you say has a lot of blue in it. When we were much younger, they’re the incandescent lights which were hot, they push out a lot of red light and less blue. When we went to more efficient LEDs, they’ve got more blue lights. Even the indoor light, the blue came up. Our lifestyles went from outside onto the phones.
It’s interesting now because there’s LED. LED is some lights like those floodlights, you can’t get the regular lights anymore. They’re all LEDs. The LEDs are coming into the house. If you walk into your kitchen and you turn the light on. If it’s 7:00 or 8:00 at night, you’re getting blue light.
What’s even more fascinating, I was shocked when I read it, is the pigment that picks up blue light to tell your brain what time it is so that you know when to wake and sleep, they found that pigment in your skin. It looks like the skin and the eye has the receptors of blue light. Your skin is picking it up as well. Evolution did that which is smart, but blue light happens to be selected by us and therefore it’s hurting us. You can tell when it’s fixed. You wake up in a dark room, 10 or 15 minutes before sunrise, you know how sunrise changes over the months, your sleeping follows it. That’s how you know you’re in cycle or your circadian rhythm.
Now I’m looking at my lights in my house. I have a lot of LEDs and it may not be the best choice. What are you doing in terms of the lighting in your house?
I’ve turned them on because I’m talking to you but I don’t turn on any lights. Me and my puppy, as soon as we wake up, we go out for a walk. Five minutes is better than nothing but if you can get 10 to 15 minutes of that sunlight, your brain will know it’s the morning time and then it will know what to do with that 24-hour cycle. As soon as it’s sunset, I put the glasses on. I turn off all the lights in the house and I use a candle. Honestly, if you do it for two weeks, you will have forgotten what deep sleep is supposed to be. You’ll think you’ll be sleeping okay but you’re not. Once you’re in the circadian rhythm, you sleep deeply.
Let’s talk about The Migraine Stopper. For those people that are suffering from migraines with doubts about a cure seemingly, what have you created? How can you help these people?
I’ll show it to you. It is an air pump. I’d like to say it was a moment an apple dropped on my head, and I realized how gravity works. I’d like to say I was inspired by angels. A colleague gave me a paper and it was a small published study of thirteen people. It was a chiropractor in Canada. He was putting air into the ear of his patients as they were having a migraine. I love biohacking. I’ve always bio hacked. Even that light therapy, there’s a bio hack. I’m like, “Really?” I understand the neurology of why it might’ve worked but I was shocked. We had team meetings, me and my six chiros. We’re like, “Let’s put air in the patients who are about to have migraines and see what happens.”
We emailed the database then you’d get an email, “We know you suffer migraines. If you’re about to get one and you can come into the office, come in.” We start to apply air into the ears and it definitely shut off the migraines in about 70% or 80% of people, which in medical terms is huge to get a clinical response that was from air in the ear. I was like, “This is interesting.” I remember my first one when I did it, she sat up, and she said, “You’ve turned my migraine off.” I’m like, “We did.” It was exciting. That was in 2015. I’m a simple thinker. I realized quickly that not everyone could come into my office every day when they had a migraine.
I built twelve prototypes. This was my approach, it’s like, “Do you get migraines?” They’re like, “Yes.” I’m like, “Take this home, stick in your ear, come back in six weeks. Tell me what happens.” We did that for about a year when we have these little prototypes and we got the 70% to 80% response rate as well. I’m like, “I have to build something that I can sell to people.” What’s warms my heart is I’ll get an email from somebody in America or Germany and I’ve never met them, but they’re my patient and they’ve responded. That’s what motivates me all the time that people I don’t even know, that I don’t even meet in my practice are responding.Control your light environment, and you are one step away from having migraines. Click To Tweet
What is happening? Walk us through the mechanics of blowing air into someone’s ear?
When you scratch your arm, there’s a sensor, a nerve goes to your brain and you can feel it. There happens to be two nerves in the ear and this is a fluke. It’s the way that anatomy is built. They’re the nerves I’ve already mentioned, vagus and trigeminal. When you blow air in the ear, the ear canal opens and closes a little bit, the eardrum flexes a little bit, and that’s the same as scratching your skin. That activates the nerves there which happened to be the vagus and the trigeminal. They send a bit more information to the brain, it calms down the migraine. It’s almost like having an anxious dog. You calm down the brain by putting this information into it, which is patted the inside of the ear. You use air because it’s a gentle structure and the air is safe.
It’s like massaging the nerve or something.
It’s a fluke. If one was in your nose and one was in your ear, do you have to put the migraine stuff up to your nose and your ear and do it at the same time?
Gratefully, that’s not the case.
What a simple, elegant entry point for migraines. As a biohacker, chiropractor, I’m studying neurology is quite high. I was tickled pink that it was like, “You can access it through the ear and turn off the migraines?” It’s effective. Seventy percent to eighty percent is high. Not everyone responds, but a lot of people do and not everyone has it turned off, although a lot do. If you can’t turn it off, if you can stop the vomiting, the need to go into a cold dark room, and the headache goes from 9:00 to 5:00, that’s clinically successful.
Are you prescribing or recommending some type of therapy? How do you use this device?
There are two ways. It’s what they call abortive. That’s the term they use in the migraine world. That means you’re trying to turn off the migraine because you know it started and then you simply put the pump in your ear and pump gently 30 times, take it out, give it a couple of seconds. You repeat that until the symptoms go away. If the symptom stopped and then not quite done, oddly enough, you pump it to the other ear and keep pumping to see if you can switch it off. That’s for acute therapy or abortive.
My patients did this. I never told them to. We were trying to study the acute effects, but some of them started to pump their ear daily and they came back to my office excited saying, “The frequency of my migraines is down. I used to get them twice a month or three times a month. Now I’m getting them once every two months.” There’s a preventative protocol where you pump your ear in the morning and the night, 5 days a week for 30 days. If that reduces them then you continue that protocol and we back it off. Acute therapy or abortive and then there’s a preventative role.
Is this device safe? Do you have any approvals from FDA or any because you’re inserting this inside the body?
Our FDA is called TGA, Therapeutic Goods of Australia. It’s listed with them as a class one medical device. We’re looking at FDA approval. It’s been approved by the equivalent of our FDA approval.
Congratulations on that and thank you. How can people get their hands on one of these devices?
It’s easy. I call it The Migraine Stopper because migraine people have trouble with memory, their brains are fried a little bit, the poor things. If you go to www.TheMigraineStopper.com, you’ll see my website and I’m on it. There’s a 1300 number that you can call on. People from America have called it. It’s at 3:00 AM in my time because I didn’t work it out. You can email me and you can Messenger me. We sell it directly from the website. We do offer a 90-day moneyback guarantee because in practice, if you come into my office, you had a neck issue, and I couldn’t help you, I didn’t charge. I would say, “You need to go to this place.” It’s the same thing. If it doesn’t work for you, send it back, and we do a full refund.
How long have you been testing this device?
Five years clinically. We went live in 2019 selling it to the public. I’ve got all information from my patients and now I’ve got all the information from people that I’ve never even met. It’s giving me their feedback and how it works. We have a low return rate which means it’s working for people.
Is the feedback that you’ve mentioned all on your website?
We’ve got unsolicited feedback on Facebook. We’ve got about 60 testimonials on my website and another twelve testimonials on the website, which are videos. They’re my actual patients. I ask people, “Do you think they’re paid actors?” People were like, “No. It’s held on my iPhone. It’s shot in my clinic.” In my job, I talked too much during it. You can check out the people and it’s in my office.
Is this something that you feel is going to go mainstream? What are your plans for this device in the future and your company? Tell us a little bit about that.
If you get a medical breakthrough, it takes about 10 to 15 years for it to be taught at medical school. That’s a long time. To get it taught in medical school, there’s a whole machinery of people, industries, and companies that do that. There’s whole machinery or people that market medical devices. I’m a chiro. I’m a single guy that retired in 2020. I don’t have the know-how and the backing to go big like a medical device company. I’m going to do what I’m doing now. I’m going to talk to people like you. It’s on the internet. We’ve dabbled with some Facebook advertising and I’m going to let it grow organically. It does work. When I get to a certain point, I’m sure there will be a tipping point where people have heard about it to tell their family and friends.
It’s good that you are getting the feedback that you are getting. I’m going to personally recommend this episode to a couple of friends of mine. I have one in particular and I’ll have him read it because we’ve had to stop some of the things that we were planning because of migraines. For a lot of people, this is disruptive to their lives. Can you imagine you’re an entrepreneur or anyone for that matter, you have an important meeting or appointment that you can’t make because of a migraine? That could be disruptive.Don't break your sleep cycle, don't consume too much blue light, and don't let stress overcome you. Click To Tweet
If you talk to migraine patients and I’ve talked to hundreds, you say, what’s the biggest thing? They’ll always say, “I always miss out on the big events.” The big events are normally associated with stress. Even if it’s your daughter’s wedding or your son’s graduation, always think leading up to you and you get there. They keep tingling us out on big events. Here’s a horrible thing about migraines. There’s a thing called a letdown phenomenon which means when you relax on the stressful events over like Friday is done, the work is done, Saturday, Sunday, that’s when you get the migraine. When you relax a little, the migraine goes off. When they go on their first day of the holiday, they’ll often get a migraine then. It’s horrible.
When you use this device, you still have to keep up all the other things we talked about doing all those other things to support healthy to help the nerves in the brain.
We’ve got super responders. There are a couple on the website. One guy was getting 25 migraines a month. Can you imagine that, Rodney?
It’s almost every day.
Can you imagine vomiting a couple of times a week and having to go into a cold dark room? She was a student. She was a super responder. The first time she used it, it turned the migraine off. She doesn’t have to do anything. If she gets a migraine, she pops it in. She’s a super responder and that’s all she does. The lower responders have to do the daily pumping. They have to live the circadian life. They have to be healthy and The Migraine Stopper will do it. That’s the whole spectrum of health. That’s the type of back pain. It’s all the same. There are always super responders and low responders. Everyone should, regardless of migraines, get their light environment correct and the circadian rhythm correct.
Could you overuse this device?
Since it’s never been invented before, we don’t know but what I can tell you in years, I’ve never had any issues with it. No one’s ever said this has done this or that. The truth is if you put it in your ear and there’s any discomfort, you stop. It’s air. It’s not like an injection or a drug. Your body has a reaction. The half-life of the drug is fifteen hours. For the next fifteen hours, you’re in trouble. It’s a massage inside the ear and as soon as you stop, it all stops. I was waiting for it but we’ve had no reports.
Some of the people who send The Migraine Stopper back is because migraine people have a thing called allodynia, which means a sensation is overly amplified. It’s bad that some of them can’t have the sheets of their bed on their body because it hurts. Some are bad that when they brush their hair, it’s too painful. It can be in the ear. When they’re using it, it’s uncomfortable. That’s the only rule side effect that we’ve seen where they can’t use it. It’s with this allodynia, it’s too uncomfortable to have the air in their ear.
What about ear infections? Some people may be concerned about things like that.
It won’t give you one. Don’t share it. They’ve got little nibs on it. The nibs are replaceable. You can clean the nibs with baby wipes. If you have an ear infection, you can’t use it until it’s cleared up.
This is one-size-fits-all. Is there a version for children?
There’s one-size-fits-all and there are two shape nibs, a little one and a big one. That was one of the challenges. To build something that would create an airtight seal in everyone’s ears because I never looked at ears as much before, but ears are variable. There are a lot of shapes out there. I didn’t realize it.
Adam, thanks for creating that. If I had migraines every day, I definitely would consider this. Experiencing other people’s pain that have those migraines, it’s sometimes like, “Chop my head off almost seemingly.” They want the pain to stop. Thanks for coming on the show and sharing that. If you could tell us where they can find you and find one of those devices, that would be great.
The easiest thing is to google Migraine Stopper. The website is www.TheMigraineStopper.com. You can purchase directly from the site and you can contact me by Messenger or email at Info@MigraineStopper.com.au. That’s why it’s a little confusing because it’s in Australia. Messenger is the easiest. Most people go through a messenger because that doesn’t matter where you are in the world.
Thanks for coming on the show and sharing this with us. This is outstanding. Thank you for creating it. Thank you for your contribution. I love it when people contribute. To me, that’s game-changing. That’s why I was excited about having you on the show. This could be potentially game-changing for a lot of people to have this and for you to bring that forward as your contribution. You’re definitely a game-changer.
Thank you. It’s been my privilege to learn about it and develop it. It’s selfish. I get a massive kick when someone emails me and it’s like, “It turned off my daughter’s migraines.” Thank you for having me on the show. It’s been a privilege to build it. If you get into chiropractic and health to help people and I can help people through this. It’s always been pleasing for me. I appreciate your comments.
That’s another successful episode. For all of you reading who have migraines, maybe this might be the solution. Check them out. It’s worth the shot. Check out the reviews and the feedback that he’s getting about the device. This could be game-changing for you. Until next time, peace and love.
- Mr. Adam Meredith
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About Adam Meredith
When you consider migraine is more prevalent than epilepsy diabetes, and asthma combined, it shows you it’s not getting the attention it deserve.This inspired me to invent the Migraine Stopper. Over the last 5 years, I have been testing and refining the Migraine Stopper with great relief on hundreds of migraine patients. I wish the same relief for you.