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If you are having headaches and want to get rid of them then you are not alone.  There are about 45 million Americans that suffer from headaches (1).  The most important thing when dealing with ANY health concern is to determine the underlying cause of that health concern.  There are 3 causes of ALL HEALTH CONCERNS.  There are structural,  chemical, and emotional causes of all health concerns and headaches would be no exception to this.  For example, according to Alan Miller, ND of Bastyr University, heavy metal toxicity is directly associated with headaches (2).  This is a chemical cause of headaches.

(Disclaimer – nothing shared in this article constitutes as medical advice or should take the place of the guidance of your medical doctor.  Only a qualified and licensed health professional should be offering individual advice regarding health and disease.  This is only a subjective narrative.)

Complementary and alternative medicine is a representation of holistic healthcare.  “Holistic” health care means it encompasses the “whole” of a person.  The “whole” includes the structural (physical), chemical (nutritional and biochemical) and emotional (spiritual / mental / emotional / feelings) health of a person.

Souza creates 4 main categories of headaches that also include a variety of subcategories (3).  To his credit, Souza is extremely thorough in his exploration of the headache phenomena.  As a clinician, the biggest difficulty that I have with Souza’s approach is that he does not look at the structural, chemical and emotional causes of the headaches, he just seems to be stuck in somewhat of a rut, looking at primarily structural causes while throwing in a few metabolic and chemical causes in order to do the science justice.  The four main groups of headaches that are first explored are Vascular/Neurologic that include migraines and cluster headaches, Tension-Type / Cervicogenic headaches, Metabolic / Toxic headaches, and Miscellaneous headaches that include sinus, eyestrain, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure changes and others.  There is a more in depth exploration of 6 of these headaches: migraine with aura (classic migraine), migraine without aura (common migraine), tension-type, cervicogenic, cluster, and temporal arteritis.  Although Souza is a chiropractor who taught at Palmer College of Chiropractic West of San Jose, his approach to helping with headaches is very conventional and prescription medication oriented.  Just because someone has a headache does not mean that they have a medication deficiency.  There are literally hundreds of thousands, if not an infinite number of causes of headaches.  Focusing on just 4 to 6 causes may be worthy of discussion but it is not really that helpful for the person who suffers from headaches who wishes not to experience those headaches any more.

The best approach to nearly ANY health concern is to follow these basic steps:

  1. Find a really well trained holistic health care provider that you are happy with and have them assess what is causing your headaches through their initial examination.  If they are good at what they do they will be able to determine the structural, chemical, emotional, spiritual, mental, physiologic and other causes of your headache.  For example, your headache might have something to do with what you eat, what you drink, chemicals you come in to contact with such as body lotion, hair spray, or air that you breath that may be contaminated, etc…
  2. So long as your properly skilled, trained and seasoned health care provider understands what is the underlying causes of your headache then they will be able to treat those causes and come up with a treatment plan that is individualized to your needs.  That treatment plan really should include a wide variety of herbs, classical homeopathy, nutriceutical nutrition, whole food nutrition, chiropractic adjustments that include muscle therapies, acupuncture meridian balancing, orthopedic therapies, energy medicine, naturopathic therapies, Professional Applied Kinesiology, reflex points diagnosis and therapy, emotional therapies and energy medicine.
  3. Once you understand what has caused your headaches and the doctor has a good understanding of how they can help you and what will be involved, then you can begin care.  Make sure to pay the doctor and if you have your headache go away after a few visits then it would be best to share how they helped you with people that you know.

According to the research and development and case studies conducted by Dr. John Courtney who worked at Standard Process for over 30 years, there are 6 main types of headaches that one can easily address with whole food and/or nutraceutical or herbal therapies.  There are basic headaches that are often related to stress, menstrual headaches, menopausal headaches, low blood sugar headaches, migraine headaches and sinus headaches (4).

Here are a few ways to help with nutritional / herbal / chemical therapies for each type of head cavity discomfort.  A list of things to support each type of head cavity discomfort is provided. (4)

General Head Cavity Discomfort – beef liver fat extract, Phosphorus high dose, parotid gland mineral extract, Kava kava herb, St. John’s Wort Herb, Hawthorne Berry (4)

Stress Head Cavity Discomfort – gingko, valerian root, jamaican dogwood (4)

Menstrual Head Cavity Discomfort – pig ovary nucleoprotein extract, chaste tree (4)

Menopausal Head Cavity Discomfort – organically bound minerals that are alkaline extracted from alfalfa and kelp, wild yam (4) (click on link) 

Low Blood Sugar Head Cavity Discomfort – chromium glucose tolerance factor from yeast or another source (chromium picolinate and/or chromemate), high quality licorice root, gymnema herb (4) (click link)

Migraine Head Cavity Discomfort – phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, feverfew, boswellia serrata, white peony (4) (click link)

Sinus Head Cavity Discomfort – beef liver fat extract, Euphrasia herb, albizia herb (4)

Magnesium and Headaches – According to more than 83 different research articles in peer reviewed research journals, there is a direct link between magnesium deficiency and headaches – especially migraine and cluster headaches (5). (click the link)

Here are some videos going over the causes and solutions to headaches.  In this first video we hear from Dr. Ilya Skolnikoff regarding some of the underlying causes of headaches as well as how to relieve them.

In this next video we can hear a little bit more from Dr. Skolnikoff regarding the nature of and treatment of headaches.

In this next video we learn about the 7 secret causes of headaches.

Here we are able to hear from someone that was able to get help with their headaches using holistic therapies.

Dr. Ilya Skolnikoff is a licensed and practicing chiropractor in the state of California.  He is also a Diplomate of the International Board of Applied Kinesiology and the Clinical Director of Triad Of Health Family Healing Center in San Rafael, California.  He has written several papers on Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction, the Acupuncture Meridian Systems, and a variety of other topics such as permanent weight loss, the benefits of high cholesterol levels, etc.

Becoming a Diplomate of the International Board of Applied Kinesiology (DIBAK) requires 3 years of study and 4 to 5 hours of exams.  There are only 5 practicing DIBAKs in northern California.  The DIBAK must be well versed in Cranial Sacral Therapy, the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Frank Champman, MD’s Neuro Lymphatic Reflexes, Dr. Clarence Bennett, DC’s Neuro Vascular Reflexes, mental / emotional / spiritual therapies, applied clinical nutrition, all aspects of the nervous system and a variety of other aspects of health and disease.  Dr. Skolnikoff specializes in helping women with hormonal imbalances and people who suffer from thyroid disease.

In addition to Applied Kinesiology, his studies and clinical expertise involve the following disciplines:

  • Energy Medicine
  • Functional Endocrinology
  • Emotional Therapies
  • Acupuncture
  • Naturopathy
  • Osteopathy
  • Applied Clinical Nutrition
  • Herbs
  • Flower Essence Vitalistic Therapies
  • Classical Homeopathy
  • Total Body Modification
  • Neuro Emotional Technique
  • Total Kinesiology
  • Behavioral Kinesiology
  • Gonstead Technique


  3. Souza, Thomas A., Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor – Protocols and Algorithms, Jones and Bartlett Publishers International, Sudbury, Massachusetts, Third Edition, (2005), p455-476.
  4. Courtney, John, Clinical Reference Guide, Nutritional Protocols, Palmyra, WI, 2001. p.8, 10/01
  5. Appleton, Jeremy, Birdsall, Timothy, Bone, Kerry, et. al., Alternative Medicine Review Monographs, Thorne Research, Inc., Dover, Idaho, Volume 1, First Edition, 2002, p256-260.

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