I used to get headaches, a lot. Every month I’d lose several days to them (which I know, compared to many of you, is not bad at all…) I tried lots of things: expensive vitamins and herbal supplements, meditation, eating really, really, strangely, boringly well. And these things helped. A little.
I’m also a physical therapist. Graduated from Marquette University in 1981. But the headache person and the physical therapy person didn’t really connect until about 15 years ago, when I started learning more about how a person’s overall state (as in, the condition of one’s entire nervous system, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself…) affects headaches and chronic pain.
For the last 15 years I’ve worked with people suffering from headaches and various other kinds of chronic pain, mostly neck and back. And people get better. Not because I’m the most fantastic PT in the world, but because our nervous systems are amazingly resilient and adaptable, and, given half a chance, work toward turning off pain, not turning it up. But we have to learn how to give our bodies this “half a chance.”
Me? I rarely get headaches anymore. Except for the occasional self-induced red wine kind. I’m starting this blog in the hopes that you will soon be able to say the same.