Approximately 5 years ago I started getting headaches. In my early 30’s at the time, it didn’t make a lot of sense that I just started experiencing these on such a frequent and regular basis. These were a new problem for me, with what seemed like sudden onset. Once they started, they continued repeating at what seemed like regular random intervals, getting progressively worse.
I am an advocate of healthy living and natural remedies, so I began making changes to help alleviate the headaches. I changed my diet, avoided foods like peanut butter, nuts and bananas. I tracked everything I ate, and started backtracking my history, once there was the onset of a headache. I made regular visits to my chriopractor and my massage therapist. I explored homeopathic remedies for treatment of the symptoms, though I knew there had to be a cause that would explain the issue.
I sought medical advice. I wondered if my thyroid dose was high enough, all my tests came back okay. I asked for investigation of my sinuses, which didn’t go anywhere, except a nasal spray that made my body feel like the sahara. I had my eyes tested, and came away with a perfect score. I sought help from the dentist and had all the metal fillings removed from my mouth. I changed the bed that I slept on, investing in a memory foam that was supposed to be the best option available. I changed my pillow. I have meditated as a part of my life for many years, I started to meditate more often. I increased my water intake. I increased walking for stress relief and increase exercise. I cut out caffeine. I cut out alcohol. Nothing worked.
The “best” medical advice I got was to medicate the headaches right away when they began, and live with it. They were diagnosed as migraines, and I was given several options of medications to try. Sometimes the headaches came with the blurry vision and auras. Sometimes they didn’t and hurt in localized spots. They moved around and didn’t always occur in the same place. Most of the time if my head started to hurt I could look out the window and it would be raining, hence the new barometer in my head. I tracked the barometric pressure in the atmosphere to see if there was a trigger number that had any correlation. I also started tracking what I refer to as my “migraine friends” on Facebook. In the past six months it seemed like whenever I had a headache there were 3-4 of my friends on FB in the metro Detroit area that were also complaining of similar symptoms. The weather correlation began to make more sense.
Many times the medication helped, but often it did not. The strongest migraine medication I had made me feel worse before I got better, often having to sleep for several hours before waking up to any relief. The challenge was recognizing the type of headache it felt like was coming on. It was important to take the medicine right away, but if I chose incorrectly and it didn’t work, I couldn’t take anything else for 24 hours due to the potency of the medication.
After years and years of treatment, and investment of thousands of dollars between medical treatments and all the changes I made in my life and health, nothing seemed to work. The headaches seemed to be getting worse. At one point I had a headache every day for two weeks. It just wasn’t normal.
I had been to an Osteopath many years ago for a well body check up. I didn’t have any complaints at the time, and remember the experience being an interesting exploration of another modality. They only Osteopath I knew now was quite a distance away, and not something I had seriously considered, until I came across an ad in a local magazine.
I saw the ad, thought this might help, and booked an appointment. At my visit I talked about a variety of things going on with my body, as my Osteopath was looking to get a comprehensive history of everything that was going on. Once we got through the Q and A, I got on the table and she began. We talked about the bones in my face and head not getting enough movement, and with a few quick manipulations things began to shift. I was told to schedule a follow up for 4 weeks later, and left. I understood that what we started at the appointment had to continue to work itself out, and I did have headaches/pains for many days after my appointment.
That is the last official headache I can report.
I have slight discomfort come on from time to time now and drink water, get some sleep, or meditate and it seems to pass as quickly as it comes on. I had two visits, one month apart. At my recent follow up visit, the Osteopath I saw said to come back in 6 weeks just to see that everything is as it should be, and then follow up yearly or as needed. No extensive follow up is necessary to remain headache free.
I believe that Osteopathy is a life changing practice that would serve so many people. It’s recognized by the medical community, though I think it is a very holistic practice that can help us solve issues prior to medical intervention, and recommend that anyone suffering from something unexplained give it a try. I have heard of DO’s that don’t do the physical manipulations, and recommend that if you are going to try it you find someone who does. There is so much more about our bodies that we don’t understand, and I don’t know that we need to know everything. Just take the time to see if Osteopathy can help remedy some of those unexplained quirks.
If you would like the name and number of the Osteopath who helped me in Brighton, I’d be happy to share. (Dr. Susan Rose)