As a chiropractor, headaches are at the top of my list of conditions I enjoy treating. Relieving painful headaches can completely change a person’s quality of life. I should know because because I once was a headache sufferer. I experienced first hand all three common headache types : migraine, tension-type and cervicogenic. My personal and professional experience has provided me an expertise in identifying and resolving the root causes. A headache is the body telling you that something is wrong in the system. By having tools to address all of the systems in the body and to pinpoint where something could be out of balance, headache sufferers can rest assured that their symptoms can be cleared within several visits.
How can Applied Kinesiology help for headaches?
The tools of Applied Kinesiology (also known as AK), allow us to pinpoint what specific muscles contributing to headaches. These muscles may be injured or under-firing. An inhibited muscle means the brain is making a two-way connection with the muscle to communicate, leading to muscle imbalance around the joint and loss of joint support and more injuries. We can also determine what bone structure of the spine is out of place and specifically what direction it needs to be adjusted in to fix it. Headaches can also have underlying emotional, biochemical, and cranial-sacral causes that can be found utilizing the tools of muscle testing and AK.
Migraine headaches will present as throbbing typically on one side of the head, and can bring about nausea and visual sensitivity. In my experience, migraine headache has underlying root causes in liver sluggishness and the liver meridian in Chinese Medicine. In addition, you would expect to find specific muscle imbalance and chronic vertebral subluxations (bones out of place). There truly is a biochemical component to these types of headaches as well which can include food allergies such as chocolate, dairy, and alcohol as well as hormonal components such as too much estrogen. When the liver has genetic defects known as SNIPs or when people don’t methylate properly, the body can get backed up on breaking these compounds down. By using AK, we can find the exact root cause of migraines and fix not only the structural or biochemical problem using supplements or diet change, but also we can fix the circuits that govern the acupuncture meridians so the body can then heal itself.
This type of headache typically presents as muscle tension at the back of the head or neck and can be chronic and long-lasting. Using AK principles, we can determine which muscles have an abnormal firing pattern and fix those muscles using manual therapy. In addition, we can pinpoint which bones are out of place and what direction they need to be adjusted to restore a person back to full function. These headaches respond very well to chiropractic care and muscle balancing.
Cervicogenic Headache (CHA)
This type of headache typically presents on one side of the head with symptoms sometimes radiating into the eye. They are nagging and also long-lasting, with patients sometimes experiencing them daily. In my experience and with new AK research that was published in 2018, CHA’s are due to inhibited muscles found anywhere in the neck. By using AK principles, we can easily find these muscles which are not firing properly and restore them to function. Typically, we would expect one of the larger muscles in particular such as an upper trap or sternocleidomastoid to be misfiring. By fixing the neurology of the muscle that is not cooperating with the group of neck muscles for example, we can fix the whole joint complex. Any muscles that are over-firing or hypertonic will also be worked on to calm them down and restore total balance and calm to the system.
Nutrition that I would recommend to help with headaches include magnesium citrate, potassium, riboflavin, methylation support, selenium and gallbladder support. Specific nutrition testing will allows us to address the Triad of Health and your more specific needs so that we can restore you to health and lose those nagging headaches for good.
Dr. Rebecca Sanchez is a chiropractor who specializes in pain management and Applied Kinesiology.
- Dr. Cuthbert’s study on headache and muscle imbalance: http://drscottschat.blogspot.com/2018/04/manual-muscle-testing-for-tension-type.html
- Magnesium in headache: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507271/