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A Plague Upon Your House--Headache

One of the most common of complaints, headaches, may be insignificant or herald some life threatening illness.  Despite decades of close study and thousands of years of people complaining, headaches remain a poorly understood medical condition.

There are more than fifteen different types of headaches.  Do they all need to be treated with a drug?

Headaches can originate from stress and tension; food sensitivities; toxic matter in the gut that is reabsorbed; sinus problems; or originate from teeth malocclusion or the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ).

Thank goodness bloodletting (use of leaches), trepanning (removal of part of the skull), and shocking with electric eels are no longer part of the armamentarium used for headache treatment. Recommendation of cannabis may return (originally prescribed by Sir William Osler, a founding physician of Hopkins) now that medical marijuana is legal.  But is that really how we want to address the problem?

Plato once said, ”in order to treat the eyes, you have to treat the head, and for this, you have to treat the whole body, and in order to treat the body, you have to treat the soul; neglect of this truth is the reason for the frequent failure of Greek physicians.” 

 Arnold Friedman, M.D., an international authority on migraine headaches has said “It is astonishing how successful we have been in treating headache without knowing what pain is or being able to define accurately how drugs can relieve it.  This perhaps is our present day magic.”

Many patients coming to a chiropractor’s office may describe their treatment  as ‘magic’ as well.  But is it?  Applied Kinesiology (A.K.), a chiropractic specialty, employs a system of evaluating body function with an emphasis on the three pillars of wellness…structural, chemical and mental factors.  This “triad of health” needs to be balanced.  An A.K. doctor emphasizes examining all three sides of this triad to direct therapeutic efforts towards these basic underlying causes.  It is important to keep in mind that one side of the triad can affect the other sides, both as causative and reactive factors.

Structure is the base of the triangle, the correction of which has always been a chiropractor’s bread and butter.  Nutritional supplements can assist in rebuilding organs and providing raw materials for normal body function.  Mind-Body techniques can help keep our mental and emotional state optimal.  If you want to consider an alternative approach to your headache…consider chiropractic.