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HeadWay, Issue #012 -- Straight strength
July 21, 2004
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In this month's issue:
Say what?! The Alexander Technique
Straight strength...an often overlooked treatment which may answer a lot of questions
It can not only trigger your migraines, it can also cause problems throughout your whole body, painful problems that get worse with age. It has been linked to depression, and it can be passed down from generation to generation, or just appear over time. Your migraines may seem to come out of nowhere, or they may be triggered by back or neck pain – all of which may be caused by this. What is it? Poor posture!
There's a difference of opinion about what good posture is, and how to learn it. Posture is incredibly important to your muscles, nerves, and everything in between. You need to have a strong, relaxed posture, and so you don't want to be tensing your body trying to stand like a soldier 24 hours a day. Then again, if you go into that so called relaxed slouch, you can pull muscles and pinch nerves.
What you need is not just a relaxed and strong standing posture, but a proper way of moving, bending, walking, sitting, and doing all your day to day tasks. If you've become used to bad posture, it will take a bit of work to relearn what you may have done intuitively as a child, but you may find in a few weeks that you have less pain, and you'll reap the benefits for the rest of your life.
Here are a few key things to remember when it comes to posture:
There's much more that could be said, but remembering these types of things will get you on the right road. WebMD has this brief but very helpful article on preventing back pain that will give you a few more practical suggestions.
Bad posture is giving me a headache – I need more help!
Zap me!As electrical charges in the body became more understood in the last century, researchers began to find ways to use devices to stimulate muscles and nerves. The pacemaker was an early achievement that has had great success for people with heart problems.
But the research is far from over. Muscle and nerve stimulation continues to be a major point of research. For example, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is being used for many patients that have epilepsy, and even depression. Migraineurs will recognize that very often drug treatments for these two ailments have also been effective for migraine treatment. Is VNS another possible example? Research is just starting to investigate.
A VNS device is similar to a pacemaker. It's implanted by surgery (usually outpatient) in the upper part of the chest, and a wire runs up to the vagus nerve in the neck. It's programmed to stimulate that nerve at various intervals.
We have yet to see if this may be a way of treating migraine. Even if it is, it's likely to be a last resort for patients who have tried non-surgical alternatives. But keep your eyes open for more alternative surgical treatments like this. You may be able to leave some of the more damaging drugs – and your migraine symptoms – behind.
Say what?! The Alexander TechniqueThe Alexander Technique is a very popular way to obtain better posture. It is always done with the help of a professional – not because you're too stupid to do it on your own, but because it often requires an extra pair of hands. Visit alexandertechnique.com to find out more about the Alexander Technique.
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