Today while working with one of my transformed patients who travels from Canada for treatment, he made a comment, “Last night watching TV in my hotel room, I’m appalled by the drug commercials aired in the US, it’s totally crazy that anyone would want to take medications after hearing some of the “side effects”, while at the same time everyone in the commercial seems so happy.” We had a good laugh over it and thus began a deep conversation of the drug culture in medicine. You have a problem, just ask your doctor for this or that drug, and you too can be happy.
I have conversations such as this everyday with many of my patients, but today it struck a cord with me related to the numerous patients that I see suffering, not only from their “problem”, but the “solutions” (drugs) that are handed to them like candy. When it comes to a topic that you will find me passionate about- headaches- I can say without hesitation, your headache is NOT a drug deficiency.
Headaches are in the top three of complaints filling up doctors offices, and with only 1-2% being organic- life threatening like meningitis or brain tumor, that leaves headaches with a 98-99% position of, “Well it won’t kill you, and we don't know why, but you may have to live with it.”
The other problem with headaches is the causes can be diverse, and intensity can be from acute and intractable to a constant head pressure that just never goes away. Due to this, America alone consumes 20 million aspirins a day, with headaches being the number one reason. This isn’t adding the ibuprofens, Tylenol, naproxen, narcotics, and anti migraine drugs. Headache drugs are not only an addiction, they are big business.
A New Way to Look at Headaches:
Defining the “They” and Appropriately Treating the Personality
So how are “they” producing the problem? Who are “they”? I define “they” as the current state at which we find our human condition. Stress, environment, food, relationships, unbalanced hormones, lifetime exposures, injuries, the plethora of other drugs consumed- “they” are producing your problem which is your headache (and a myriad of other health challenges). Many of these influences unfortunately start in utero, during birth, and in childhood, times when many choices were made for you and out of your control, and can develop into your personality. Thus the ‘they” also includes you, and YOU are the person that should be treated, not just the headache.
When I look at a person, their headache is a symptom, thus why in my last blog I talked about the personalities of the most common headaches I see. Once you identify a person and what is produced in their lifetime (or the ones before them- genetics), you can begin to understand their headache.
So lets take the Five Infamous Headaches I reference in my last blog (and yes there are many more types of headaches, which I’m sure a blog or two will be dedicated to in the future) and pick out one “they” that is relevant to all these personalities- weak digestion and gut issues.
If you want a healthy brain, adequate blood flow and arterial function, with appropriate nutritional status, you need a healthy digestive system. Improving one’s digestion and absorption will not only improve bloating, gas, constipation, etc, it will improve the overall functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular, and detoxification systems which can decrease headaches.
If you are a Pressure Cooker headache type it’s likely your excess fire is causing gut inflammation, whereas a Sinus Pain sufferer has mucous and needs to be dried out, thus the foods and strategies for treatment would be different. Then add the drugs that the patient may be on, because they each have their own “qualities”, and addressing these interactions and influences on gut health also becomes vital for successful treatment.
Example: Consumption of aspirin or ibuprofen by a Pressure Cooker or Cluster type headache may not be a good idea. Why? Ulcers are common in these Type A and stress maxed personalities, and OTC drugs create and promote ulcers. Decreasing their fire and excess heat moving up into the head through gentle detoxification, stress management, and calming exercises, will in the long run “cool” the body and decrease headache.
Again, you don’t have a drug deficiency if you have a headache. It’s multifaceted, seems complicated, but really could be very simple. Perhaps it’s all about getting a new perspective on your “they”, and if you want to dive in deeper into that question with someone who has been there and can guide you, set up an appointment with me today.
Did you figure out your headache personality? If not, go back and read the 5 Infamous Headaches, and leave me a comment, even if it means you think I”m a little out of my head….