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Disease Overview

Overview of Headaches

I. Physiological Considerations

From the viewpoint of the readings, the mental forces (attitudes), the nervous system, the digestive system and the circulatory system are all closely interrelated in the pathogenesis of headaches, i.e., the cause of the headache was most often not in the head itself but elsewhere.

The mental and spiritual forces are said to govern the circulation to a great extent. In case [171], these forces, and consequently the circulation, were in fairly good order. The cause of the headache was traced back to production of toxins in the colon in combination with deficiencies in the important secretions from Peyer’s patches leading to pressure in the nerve plexus opposite the pneumogastric center, which in turn reflexly transmitted this pressure to the brain as headache.

The deleterious effects of the toxins were not limited to this; imbalances in sympathetic discharge also occurred, as well as overstimulation of the sensory organs through the areas of connection of the sympathetic nerve plexuses, the pneumogastric center, and the sensory nerves producing a variety of sensory defects which might include visual, speech, hearing, smelling abnormalities.

The abnormal conditions in the nervous system can, through the pneumogastric center, react in turn on the intestinal tract (and on other systems as will be seen from other readings), causing pain, nausea, vomiting, etc. Thus, if the condition has been there long enough, virtually all organ systems of the body can be affected. Excessive mental strain can initiate the process in at least three ways; either through the digestive or circulatory systems, or both.

In reading 263-16, lack of storage of resistance in the body in the form of vitamins A and D was the cause; this leading to disturbances in the nerve forces, which together with changes in the general activity of eliminations produced stress in the glandular system in an attempt to compensate for these changes. Vitamin B I was also deficient. This finally led to pressure on the cerebrospinal and sympathetic systems, resulting in headache and other symptoms.

Overtaxation of the nervous system can produce lesions in the spine which can result in muscular contractions leading to headaches, fatigue, vertigo, etc., as was illustrated in case [294]. Mechanical injury to the spine can result in headaches through the mechanisms already described (case [ 1387]). Here the effect was mediated through the circulatory system, resulting in congestion and toxins which could not be properly cleared. In the case of too much stress on the nervous system, it is not necessary for lesions to be produced in the spine, for the stress can be transmitted to the circulatory and digestive systems, resulting in headaches. In anyone who has a predisposing condition as already described in the early parts of this writing-sudden changes in atmospheric pressure apparently can cause congestive changes, overacidity, which can bring on a headache.

In conclusion, any stimulus that can react adversely on the nervous, circulatory or digestive system can result in headaches. Through the very close relationship that exists between these systems, isolated abnormalities of these systems are seldom seen.

II. Rationale of Therapy

From the material in the readings, it seems logical that there would be four areas of therapy that could be instituted in every patient to bring about resolution of the headache problem. The four areas deal with underlying causes such as:

  1. Subluxations,
  2. Mental or emotional stresses,
  3. Intestinal abnormalities or malfunctions, and
  4. Circulatory problems or acid-base imbalances.

Perhaps it could be better stated that from these four areas of therapy, one or two could be drawn that would lead toward correction of the headache.

Removal of underlying causes should be accomplished, such as spinal adjustments to correct subluxations and removal or attenuation of stimuli that tend to overtax the nervous system (mental, emotional stress); correction of anatomic abnormality in the intestinal tract (e.g., corrections of the positions of the stomach through osteopathic adjustments, stomach brace, etc.); elimination of toxins from the intestinal tract and correcting overacidity in the system; proper diet (easily assimilated foods); correction of circulatory disturbances through osteopathic adjustments to improve flow; through diet building up the proper blood elements in the right quantities; development of higher spiritual ideals.

III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen

  1. For the prevention of making and absorbing toxins and for better assimilation and elimination and the relief of pressure on the pneumogastric center, the following was recommended:
    1. Tincture of valerian, 4 ounces
    2. Iodide of potassium, 2 grains
    3. Bromide of potassium, 4 grains
    4. Elixir of celerena, 4 ounces
    5. Tincture of capsici, 5 minims
    6. in sufficient syrup to make 12 ounces to be taken one teaspoonful four times a day. (171-1)
  2. The violet ray over the whole portion of the body from the sacral to the seventh dorsal, especially about the lower lumbar and the solar plexus center both along the spine and over the abdomen, along the right side especially. Total treatment not more than three minutes. This should be done in the evenings before retiring. Total number of treatments not specified. (171-1)
  3. When the cause was seen as lack of storage or resistance in the body leading to disturbances in the nerve forces, eliminations, glandular system, etc.:
    1. Spinal massage with peanut oil every other day and once a week with combination of peanut oil and oil of pine needles. This to be done in the evening.
    2. Wet cell appliance alternating with gold and camphor. (Special instructions-see reading 263-16.)
    3. Diet-well balanced (see 263-16).
    4. Being helpful and nice to others; being with other people.
    5. Other – with return of headaches, quiet environment was recommended, covering the eyes with cold cloth, bathing the temples with camphor and tincture or oil of lobelia, massage of the sacral and lumbar area.
  4. When anemia was coexistent, a blood-building diet which included beef, iron and wine was recommended (Wyeth’s Beef, Liver & Wine). (1387-2)
  5. When overacidity of the stomach was present, Alcaroid or Codiron tablets were recommended, the Codiron with meals for the duration of the spinal adjustments. (Intestinal antiseptics – Lavoris, Glyco-Thymoline.) (2290-2)
  6. Others: Electric vibrator; colonics; castor oil packs; fume baths; olive oil by mouth; milk of bismuth mixed with elixir of lactated pepsin for better digestion; hydrotherapy (witch hazel), three to ten treatments followed by shower, massage, four to five short wave treatments to area of brachial center.

From the foregoing a reasonable therapeutic program might consist of 1, 3(a), 3(c), as initial therapy with the addition of colonics, ultraviolet ray, etc., as further therapy is needed.

Note: The preceding overview was written by Hezekiah Chinwah, M.D. and is excerpted from the Physician’s Reference Notebook, Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.

Note: As this information is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, your use of this database of information indicates that you are aware of our recommendation that you consult with a professional healthcare provider before taking any action.