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Video Resource Library

Clusterbusters, with the help of several other organizations, has put together a variety of videos that show the extent of cluster headaches. View our video gallery to see demonstrations on how to properly use oxygen or grow psilocybin mushrooms and a series of presentations and media appearances.

Introductory Videos

People with cluster headaches often describe the attacks as an invader, otherly entity, or “beast.” In this video, multiple clusterheads describe what an attack feels like and how it impacts their lives.
This video features our annual Clusterbusters conference for cluster headache patients, their families, and anyone interested in learning more about the condition. The 3-day event takes place every September and showcases emerging treatments, personal testimonies, and provides group support sessions. Most of all, the annual conference is the place for those with cluster headaches to feel at home. Learn more in the video.

For more information on the next upcoming conference

Helpful Clusterbusters Videos

Bob Wold discusses psychedelics and their ability to treat cluster headaches effectively. Listen as he goes into the history of using psilocybin mushrooms and LSD for the condition and how the treatment has evolved since the 1900s. Bob discusses his experiences with episodic and chronic cluster headaches and how essential it is to continue researching these compounds. 

High-flow oxygen is the most effective treatment for cluster headache, but many patients go years without a prescription. When you do get a script, it’s often for the wrong liter flow and mask. Clusterheads need 12-15 liters per minute through a non-rebreather mask (O2ptimask®) using a specific breathing technique to abort attacks. In this video, Bill Mingus demonstrates how to use oxygen for cluster headaches.

The 2018 meeting in Stowe, Vermont, was a momentous occasion as the Headache Cooperative of New England had never before allowed patients to present at their conference. Dr. Brian McGeeney discusses cluster headaches and introduces the first of three patient speakers, Ashley Hattle. She discusses her journey with the disorder, which led her to write a textbook on the condition for patients, loved ones, and providers, Cluster Headaches: A Guide to Surviving One of the Most Painful Conditions Known to Man
Andrew Cleminshaw speaks at the 2018 Headache Cooperative of New England conference in Stowe, Vermont. Andrew has had chronic cluster headaches since age 12 and goes into his often-heartbreaking experience with the condition. He is “treatment refractory,” meaning he does not respond to traditional treatments and had as many as 12 attacks a day at his worst before trying LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, which he says saved his life. 
Ashley Hattle, episodic cluster headache patient and author of Cluster Headaches a Guide to Surviving One of the Most Painful Conditions Known to Man, presents at the Inaugural Mississippi Headache Symposium in Ridgeland, MS. In the video, she speaks to medical professionals about the severity of cluster headaches, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, and proper high-flow oxygen use. Ashley presents slides on patients of different ages, sexes, and ethnicities to debunk the “Cluster Personality” further. 
Watch the full version of the first time patient speakers present at the Headache Cooperative of New England conference in Stowe, Vermont. Dr. Brian McGeeney introduces the trio and discusses the diagnosis and treatment of cluster headache. Ashley Hattle and Andrew Cleminshaw share their experiences with the episodic and chronic forms of the condition. Bob Wold goes into detail on his decades-long battle with cluster headaches and the founding of Clusterbusters. Learn more in Bob’s Blog
Psilocybin mushrooms can be a safe and effective way to treat cluster headaches. Alternative treatments such as psychedelics have helped episodic patients to end their cycle and turned patients who are chronic into the episodic form. In this video, learn about the best method for growing mushrooms.
Joe McKay is a fun-loving family man who was a 9/11 firefighter. In this video, he recounts the harrowing trials he and his fellow firemen went through at Ground Zero and how he developed episodic cluster headaches in the months following the terrorist attack. He struggled for many years to gain control of the “beast” and find effective treatments. Learn more in this video of his presentation.
Firefighter and cluster headache patient, Joe Mckay, was featured on ABC Dallas News in September 2019 to discuss the impact of cluster headaches and how 9/11 firefighters face many health concerns due to the conditions at Ground Zero. Watch his interview in the video below.
Professor Torsten Passie of Hannover Medical School in Germany discusses LSD, psilocybin, and Bromo-LSD for cluster headache treatment. Clusterbusters worked with Prof. Passie to study the non-hallucinogenic compound 2-Bromo-LSD (BOL-148) in the prevention of cluster headache attacks. He goes into detail about the condition and why psychedelic research is critical. 
*WARNING: This video may be difficult to watch if you have cluster headaches.
Andrea Trichopoulos endures a cluster headache attack in the hospital. She later had brain surgery to implant a
neurotransmitter that reduced her attacks by 90 percent.

*WARNING: This video may be difficult to watch if you have cluster headaches. 

Chuck Setzco experiences a cluster headache attack on camera. He is unable to take abortive medication because of a heart condition and uses high-flow oxygen to treat the attack.

In this National Geographic video, Dan Ervin discusses treating his cluster headaches with magic mushrooms. Choosing to treat the condition with psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms can be a difficult decision because of its illegality. As Dan puts it, “It’s a bullet or a mushroom.” Clusters are nicknamed suicide headaches because many contemplate or attempt to take their lives during an attack. Dan and his family are interviewed in this short documentary. 
Bob Wold gives a presentation in 2009 at a Horizons conference in which he discusses cluster headaches, suicide, and psychedelics. He founded Clusterbusters in 2002 to promote research into psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms and LSD to treat cluster headaches, and his hard work over the last two decades has saved countless lives. Listen to his compelling speech and learn more in Bob’s blog
Headache on the Hill is an annual event where people with headache and migraine disorders come together with neurologists and other medical professionals to meet with House and Senate members to increase funding and research into these conditions. Listen as Lee Markins, and other cluster headache patients explain how the attacks are considered the “worst pain that humans experience” and why this yearly meeting is critical.

The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA) organization with Clusterbusters welcomes patient and provider advocates to apply to attend. If you’re unable to join, consider making a donation to the scholarship fund to help others make the trip to convince Congress why headache medicine is crucial to healthcare. 

A simple procedure to treat cluster headache attacks – known as a sphenopalatine ganglion block (SPGB) – was first described in 1985.. The procedure has never been widely promoted, either for cluster headache or migraine. In recent years, catheters have been developed to allow a physician to perform the procedure in the office, and is commonly used for migraine headache, but this technique cannot be used by patients at home. A YouTube video has been created by Morris Maizels MD, that illustrates a technique that is simple for patients to use at home. Dr. Maizels is a headache specialist who published the first scientific trial of the procedure, for migraine headache, in JAMA in 1996. He has treated 100s of patients with this technique, but experience with cluster headache is limited. The video was created primarily for patients with migraine headache, but the procedure is identical for cluster headache.

***Important note for technique – the video instructs patients to lie in position for 2 minutes after instilling the lidocaine. We don’t know the ideal length of time. We would suggest staying lying down until you feel relief, or for 10 minutes, if possible.***

You will need a prescription from your physician for viscous lidocaine 2% (NOT topical lidocaine solution 4%) and a 1ml syringe.
(Some patients with migraine do use the lidocaine as a spray, using topical lidocaine solution. If you wish to try that, you will need an empty spray bottle, and to fill it up with topical lidocaine 4%.)

We would be very interested in comments from the Clusterbusters community from individuals who try this procedure. There have been no studies of this procedure for cluster headache since the original reports. If even a small percent of patients with cluster headache find this procedure useful, it will be an important addition to the treatments available.

More Videos Coming Soon

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