Vol. 12

No. 5



A discussion of the possible causes of headache/migrane syndrom

All of us have had a headache now and then that may be located on the top, the front, the side or the back of the skull. For some, this may be an occasional experience, and for others this type of pain can be continuous and life altering. Head pain is not a disease but a symptom of something going wrong inside the body. It is a warning signal that the body-mind is stressed.

The causes fall into three main categories: structural, chemical or emotional.

The structural headache is a chiropractic specialty that focuses on the muscles and joints of the neck, jaw and cranial bones. Spasms of the neck muscles due to traumas such as whip­lash injuries or intense mental stress can displace the neck bones, lock the jaw, or lock the motion of the cranial bones. The result is decreased blood supply and nerve irritations to the brain resulting in throbbing and persistent neck or head pain. Additionally, poor posture can increase or decrease the natural spinal curves creating a shortening of muscles.

The chemical causes of this disorder can vary. Some headaches come from a diet too rich in refined sugars and starches which contribute to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Food intolerances such as gluten sensitivity can precipitate an allergic headache. Toxic headaches can be caused by constipation, poor food choices.

Another type of intestinal-derived headache is caused by a condition called Ileo-Cecal Valve Syndrome, a spasm in an area between the small and large intestine that causes retention of food wastes destined for elimination. The result is autointoxication with head and neck pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

The latter symptoms are reminiscent of a condition some medical circles refer to as the Abdominal Migraine. As early as 1912, H.A. Hare, M.D., author of A Textbook of Practical Therapeutics, remarked: “In the majority of migraine patients there is some fault in the gastro-duodenal-hepatic chain.” Body fatigue and nervous and emotional stressors reduce peristalsis in the gastro-intestinal tract, particularly the small intestine. Lack of proper intestinal movement inflames the small intestine resulting in the absorption of poorly digested foods. The modern terminology for this condition is Leaky Gut Syndrome, a condition much discussed in the nutrition world and considered to be a factor in many chronic pain syndromes including migraine.

Emotional headaches can be caused by worry and fear which place the Autonomic Nervous System on alert for flight or fight with tense and tight muscles. If one tries to carry the world on one’s shoulders, sooner or later the burden shifts to the neck and head. Practicing the Relaxation Response, outlined in the article, “From Stressed Out to Chilled Out,” calms the nervous system and can break the anxiety syndrome.

In addition to the above three primary causes, it is not unusual for dental, sinus or ear infections to disturb the cranium. Poor vision and hearing loss are also contributing factors. Hormonal imbalances, particularly low thyroid or adrenal function should be suspect in this condition. Not to be forgotten is the high blood pressure headache. Airborne seasonal pollens and air pollution due to smog, smoke, tobacco, perfumes, and furnaces are also headache-causing stressors.

No matter the cause, there are a number of easy self-help steps most people can perform to prevent or head off an oncoming headache:

1. In times of pain, place a cold pack on the head and neck, and place the feet in a pan of hot water.
2. Thumb pressure on the roof of the mouth (hard palate) activates an acupressure point that can be helpful.
3. Reduce meal size, and drink hot water with lemon squeezed in it throughout the day.
4. Alleviate constipation when it occurs by taking a natural laxative.
5. Control your blood sugar by eating small, frequent meals. The diet should be whole foods with reduced caffeine and sugar.
6. Vitamins B-Complex and C support adrenal function.
7. Rest and meditate (Relaxation Response).
8. A common theme with this condition is the health of the digestive system. Besides the above factors, re-setting the neurological-gastrointestinal mechanism with a chiropractor versed in Neurovascular Dynamics can be of great assistance.

Dr. Friedman uses gentle neurological and muscle relaxation methods to promote self-healing. For more information, visit http://www.FriedmanChiro.com.


Newsletter Archives

The following previous issues can be accessed by clicking on the title:


Vol. 12, No. 4: "Hidden Factors in Depression"

All of us experience feelings of sadness, unhappiness or frustration at times, and this is a normal part of human existence. However, when these feelings persist and start to interfere with our normal functioning, we begin to suffer from depression.

Vol. 12, No. 3: "Your Aching Sinuses"

There is a simple – yet unseen – mechanism in the human body that regulates and restores our health. This “Great Harmonizer” is actually wired in to the human nervous system and needs only to be properly stimulated in order to maintain health.

Vol. 12, No. 2: "From Stressed Out to Chilled Out"

There is a simple – yet unseen – mechanism in the human body that regulates and restores our health. This “Great Harmonizer” is actually wired in to the human nervous system and needs only to be properly stimulated in order to maintain health.

Vol. 12, No. 1: "Surprising Eyes"

Heredity can be either blessed or blamed for many of our physical characteristics...  from the inheritance of Mom’s curly hair to Dad’s bald head to, unfortunately, Grandpa’s diabetes. In fact, just knowing about or having observed a beloved relative suffer from a hereditary illness can create an aura of ticking time bomb in our own lives.

Vol. 11, No. 1: "Natural Immunity"

Human beings have always searched for methods to preserve health in the face of aging, infection and disease. One such route to health has increasingly been the promotion of the body’s own self-protective and self-healing mechanisms.These mechanisms, in turn, are dependent upon the  strength of the body’s “natural immunity,” its inherent ability to defend itself against infection and degenerative disease.

Vol. 10, No. 1: "Reflex Healing"

Chiropractic methods may seem, at times, to be mysterious and have little obvious connection with the object of a patient's complaint. While the "light touch" used at Friedman Chiropractic may possibly appear superficial, it is actually a critical tool for helping the body to regain health.

Vol. 9, No. 1: "Hara and Healing"

There is an old Taoist saying which advises: "When you are sick, do not seek a cure. Find your center and you will be healed." "What is this Òcenter" of which the ancients spoke and what is its importance to natural healing?

Vol. 8, No. 3: "Water: The Overlooked Nutrient"

We can live weeks without food, but no more than a week without water. For health, we need a balance of fluids for all of our cells to function properly.Our bodies consists of from 50% to 80% water. These fluids are what carry nutrients, waste products, and minerals to our cells. The fluid in our bodies can be divided into two main groups: There is fluid inside our cells (intracellular fluid) and fluid outside our cells (extracellular fluid).

Vol. 8, No. 2: "Fibromyalgia"

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects over 8 million Americans, 80% of them female. People with this chronic condition have symptoms of severe fatigue and multiple sites of aches and pain in their muscles, ligaments and tendons. Years ago, people with this condition were told they had fibrositis, myalgia, rheumatism or were just plain hypochondriacs.

Vol. 8, No. 1: "Food Allergies"

Many medical experts predict that between 50%-60% of all Americans have negative reactions to some foods. These reactions are not restricted to the intestinal tract but can also cause brain, immune system, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, respiratory and skin symptoms...

Vol. 7, No. 2: "The Law of Polarity"

Since ancient times there have been many seekers of Nature's secret laws of healing. One such doctor was Randolph Stone, DO., DC., who explored the world in hopes of determining the common denominator of all healing systems. He concluded that there is an unseen field of electro-magnetic energy that both runs and heals the body. Dr. Stone organized his discoveries into a method he called Polarity Therapy ...

Vol. 7, No. 1: "Toxic or Tired?"

Fatigue is epidemic is our society. Common causes of this malady can vary from life-style choices to dietary indiscretions. Many people are aware that their exhaustion may come from poor food and emotional pressures, but an often overlooked factor is "auto-intoxication." Autotoxemia is poisoning with toxic substances formed within the body.

Vol. 6, No. 1: "The Importance of Posture"

There is an old adage that states: "The shape you are in determines the shape you are in." The implication is that the way one's body looks reflects one's general health. This idea goes back to the ancient Greeks who appreciated an erect and poised body in athletics and the arts, particularly statuary. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, exhorted: "In all diseases, look to the spine."

Vol. 5, No. 1: "The Four Stages of Healing"

An understanding of how the body-mind becomes ill can be helpful in guiding us through the healing process. The body becomes ill and gets well in an orderly manner whether the stressor is nutritional, mechanical, or emotional. The stages of disease in the order of progression are Acute, Sub-acute, Chronic, and Degenerative. All stages are various degrees of a condition called "inflammation." ...

Vol. 4, No. 1: "The Healing Field"

Many people wonder what is the mechanism in the human body that co-ordinates our daily physiology and also heals illnesses and injuries. A simple finger cut, for example, goes through many stages of tissue healing. How does the body know what type of connective tissue to lay down and when the scar is ready to fall off? ...

Vol. 3, No. 6: "Understanding Your Gut Feelings"

Most of us believe that important decisions are made via the intellect or the reasoning part of the mind. Current scientific research reveals this to be only partially true. It appears that we think with our minds but experience our emotions from another locale within the body: the stomach area. ...

Vol. 3, No. 5: "Retracing: The Untold Story"

There is a belief among many health practitioners working with natural therapies that a person who is in the process of getting well may undergo some sort of a "healing reaction" in order to fully heal. The "healing crisis," as it is known, occurs at a point when the body's self-healing mechanism has begun to "retrace" its own history of illness in order to completely heal and rid itself of the accumulated residues of disease...

Vol. 3, No. 4: "May the Force Be With You"

The physicians of the ancient world believed that health comes from a power within the human body which they called "Vis Medicatrix Naturae" or the healing power of nature. The Greek physician-philosopher Plato observed that every living thing is activated by an "inherent vital principle" which both runs and heals the body-mind complex...

Vol. 3, No. 3: "Change Your Thinking...Change Your Life"

The philosopher-psychologist Henry James observed almost a century ago:
"The most profound discovery of my generation is that, by changing one's thinking, one can change one's life."
Increasingly, science is finding that, by engendering positive and uplifting thoughts, we can not only improve the quality of our emotional and spiritual lives, but we may be also able to influence the quality of our physical health. ..

Vol. 3, No. 2: "Is It Mind? Is It Body? Is It Body-Mind?"

Except for a small number of physical complaints such as injuries or acute infections, there is an increasing array of health complaints being labeled as having a "stress-related" or emotional component. By current estimate, almost 90% of present health issues have emotional stress as a partial cause of disease. How can we, as health consumers, know if a disease derives from emotional or physical causes or from a combination of both? To find the answer to this question, it is helpful to look to the past. ...

Vol. 3, No. 1: "Fatigue and Its Remedies"

At various times throughout our lives, all of us will experience a sense of tiredness or fatigue. Sometimes this feeling will last a day or two but, for some people, it can persist for months, years, or even a life-time. It is important to understand that serious fatigue, that is, fatigue that is not attributable to temporary over-exertion, is actually a symptom of some other process going on within the body-mind unit. Prolonged fatigue is not an illness in itself, but a manifestation of a health imbalance. ...




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Jeffrey I. Friedman, D.C.
711 D Street, Suite 104, San Rafael, California 94901-3703
(415) 459-4646

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(707) 773-0288

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is intended to provide health information to improve quality of life an assist users to better understand their health and arrange more easily for healthcare services. It is not an attempt to replace the need to seek healthcare services nor to provide specific healthcare advice. Information provided should not be used to diagnose or dispute a qualified healthcare professional's judgement. If you have any questions, please give our office a call or check with your local healthcare professional.

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