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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Not Much Thanksgiving in Holiday Headaches

by Dr. Michael Court

The Christmas music is playing, the turkey is in the oven. Presents bought, but not yet wrapped…is this headache ever going to go away? I don’t have time for a migraine! It’s not even Christmas yet.

During the winter holiday season, our bodies are bombarded by the many new stressors of buying gifts, visiting relatives, traveling, change in daily routines, and disruptive sleeping/eating schedules. Migraine headaches cause suffering in so many across America. Studies say 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some other triggers could be candle scents and even string lights. Caffeine, chocolate, and cheese are also known as some of the nasty culprits of chronic headaches. With hundreds of causes for histamine responses inside the body, migraines can be one of the most difficult and frustrating conditions to deal with. With all of these stresses and stressors going on simultaneously, what can we do?

Many people choose Tylenol or other over-the-counter medications or prescriptions to help with their headaches or migraines. Is this the answer really good for you in the long-term? In a new study out of the University of Washington (UW) evidence showed that taking over-the-counter painkillers can increase your risk of developing cancer. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study explained that taking acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, for extended periods of time can increase a person’s risk of developing blood cancer. In other studies, long-term exposure lead to kidney damage. To learn more, see and search for Tylenol.

As a practitioner, I believe there is hope for help without using harsh destructive medications. The human body is designed to work to heal itself naturally. Sometimes, it can be as simple as eliminating those harmful foods listed above. Taking whole-food dietary supplements have proven to help eliminate migraines also. As a naturopath my goal is to enable each patient’s own internal intelligence to heal itself by designing a personalized, clinically designed program that takes in your unique body’s needs, stressors, and deficiencies.

If migraines are getting you down and taking the enjoyment out of the holidays, a doctor of nutrition may be able to find the cause of your migraines using NRT.  Nutrition Response Testing (NRT) uses your body’s own operating system to scientifically and precisely communicate what the problem is by using acupressure points to determine what the underlying weakness is in the body. To restore health, the patient would follow a highly personalized nutritional supplement schedule. For more information on this topic, check out the book The Great Health Heist by Paul J. Rosen.

Getting spinal manipulations (chiropractic adjustments) have also been proven to relieve headaches and migraines. Oftentimes headaches occur because of muscle tension in the neck. Research on the American Chiropractic Association website cited that getting adjusted “is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after only four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication”. (  In addition, low-impact exercise and drinking lots of water should help to reduce headache pain.

One of my main purposes is to provide effective care for each patient, whether a nutrition patient or a chiropractic patient. Here’s what two former migraine patients are saying:

“My NRT doctor has helped me with migraine headaches!”

My NRT doctor has used nutrition to help me address the issues of concern at this stage of my life such as migraine headaches, stress, cholesterol, and weight. He also has helped me focus on generalized health improvement.  M. G.

“Taking the supplements and changing my eating habits and I haven’t taken any medicine for my headaches for three weeks now!”

I suffered from migraines all of my life. I took a lot of medicine for my headaches. I have been receiving treatment for three weeks now. Since I began taking the supplements and changing my eating habits, I haven’t taken any medicine for my headaches for three weeks either.     M. L. C.

It is possible to make the holidays fun again! One of the mistakes we can easily make is to undervalue our health and our ability to enjoy our lives. Don’t let a condition such as migraines keep you sidelined! Take action to get help at my clinic or with another local alternative health practitioner. There is hope for you to put the holly back into the holidays. This season take the worry out of wrapping. Seeing a chiropractor, massage/yoga therapist, acupuncturist, or naturopath may help prevent merry mishaps and turn those pesky problems into plum pudding.

Dr. Michael Court is a local naturopath and practices at Chippewa Valley Wellness in Chippewa Falls and Altoona, WI.  For information on whole-food nutrition, please see his website at, attend one of his monthly workshops or call his clinic at (715) 723-2713 for a free, personalized health consultation or a free article on Synthetic versus

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