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When the Pain is "All in Your Head"
By Anthony Palumbo, Doctor of Naprapathy , (c) 1999

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Have you ever had a bad headache? Virtually everyone has had a headache at one time or another. Some people get them more often than others and some get them more severely than others. An occasional mild headache can almost be expected and when one does occur, most people are not overly concerned about it and generally take something to alleviate the discomfort. However, frequent, severe headaches are another thing.  

In some ways, headache pain is the worst kind of pain there is because for many people, it is an extremely difficult condition to manage. While it is true that even these kinds of headaches are almost expected depending on a person's life style, they should still be seen as a signal that too much stress is being placed on the body or there is something in the person's life that is inflicting stress. The body will tend to cope with stress but it does so in different ways. One way is by the signal of a headache.  

Pain is actually a good thing in the sense that there is something happening to you that the body does not like and it is trying to tell you this. But the body will also convey this message in ways other than pain. Moreover, the body and the mind will tend to absorb stress and it can manage a remarkable amount of it but like a sponge absorbing water, it has its saturation point. This is when either the stress must be eliminated or at least diverted in order to better cope. If it is not, the body will then resist. This resistance will be in the form of pain, sickness or possibly a physical condition such as sleeplessness. 

It may not be practical for a health care practitioner to require a patient to make sweeping changes in their daily lives to avoid stress. The challenges of life will always be there as will the stresses they bring. However, the patient may be allowing more stress into their lives than they should and will need to understand this. If the body is trying to let you know that it is attempting to resist stress with the signal of a headache, it is important to differentiate the headache.

 Different headaches may mean different things. Some headaches however can be a result of a natural process such as those relating to menstruation. However, those more directly related to stress are categorized generally as tension headache or migraine. Other causes of headache may also be related to high blood pressure, sinus conditions or even the result of other medical conditions.

 Naprapathy as a health care system has had remarkable success in the management of headache, especially recurrent, severe migraines. The naprapath not only assesses the level of stress in the patient's life but effectively interprets how this stress relates to the connective tissue directly in contact with the spinal nerves in the upper back and neck area.  

Naprapathic therapy for migraine is two-fold. It consists of charting this connective tissue tension and applying techniques that will remove this tension and secondly, it affects the nervous system by way of the Naprapathic Nerve Function Principle to constrict the dilated blood vessels that are contributing to the pain. The combination of these approaches is very effective. Most patients did not even have to resort to medication. Depending on the patient and their circumstance, the headaches will tend to become less frequent and less severe.

 So, here, if the elimination or even diversion of stress is not practical, the patient must find a method to help the body cope with the stress. Naprapathic therapy seeks to treat the connective tissue that directly comes in contact with the nerves that regulate those structures relating to the source of the pain of a headache. As stated, I am happy (as are my patients) to say results have been impressive.

 Anthony Palumbo, Doctor of Naprapathy