44th Scientific Meeting
Update on Health, TMD and Sleep from a Global Perspective

May 7-10, 2020 • Orlando

BREAKFAST SESSION 4. Complimentary and Integrative Medicine for Headaches

Rebecca Erwin Wells, MD, MPH, FAHS

Saturday, May 9, 2020 — 7:00 am – 8:00 am

SYNOPSIS: Many headache patients are interested in complementary and integrative medicine treatment options, with prevalence of use ranging from 29-74%. The evidence, potential benefits, and risks for the use of mind-body therapies, acupuncture, massage, supplements, and chiropractic manipulation will be discussed.

Learning objectives:

• Define Complementary and Integrative Medicine

• Examine the evidence base for complementary and integrative medicine for headache, including a discussion on mind-body therapies, acupuncture, massage, supplements, and chiropractic manipulation

• Discuss how to apply this knowledge into the clinical practice of headache medicine

Meet our outstanding presenter. Rebecca Erwin Wells, MD, MPH, FAHS. As a member of the American Headache Society since 2010, Dr. Wells is involved in multiple Special Interest Sections: Behavioral Issues, Women’s Health, New Investigators & Trainees, and Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Wells uses her training as a mindfulness meditation instructor to deliver compassionate care. She is very curious to know if mind-body treatment options can help those with headache, and, if they do, how they work. Her level of interest in this area has earned her funding from the National Institutes of Health to help better understand the mind-body connection as it relates to headache.

Dr. Wells says her passion for her field is not limited to her work itself, but what it does for and inspires in others.

While finishing her neurology residency, Dr. Wells realized that she had an opportunity to research one of her lifelong interests: the mind-body connection. She then pursued a research fellowship in complementary and integrative medicine at Harvard University. She also obtained a master’s degree in public health in order to “gain the clinical skills to conduct rigorous research on techniques that are typically considered less-than-rigorous.” Dr. Wells then sought a headache fellowship at the Graham Headache Center in Boston.

During her headache fellowship, Dr. Wells visited experts across the country who allowed her to see their headache programs and learn from their models of care. She used what she learned to found the Comprehensive Headache Program at Wake Forest Baptist Health Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when she arrived in 2012.


  • BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000

  • MD, East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, 2004

  • MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, 2010


  • University of Virginia Hospitals, 2005


  • Neurology, University of Virginia Hospitals, 2008


  • Neurology , Harvard Medical School, 2011

  • Neurology , Harvard Medical School, 2012

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurology


  • American Headache Society

  • Southern Headache Society

  • American Neurotological Society

  • American Pain Society

  • American Headache Society


  • Physician

  • Associate Professor, Neurology

Meeting Recordings