Category Archives: Migraines and Headaches

Good News! Chronic Migraines/Headaches Exceeding 25 Years Have Finally Ended For Eva – After Only 2 Consultations with a ‘Gonstead’ Chiropractor!

Feature Image sourced from:

Dear Pain Matters blog readers,

Two days ago, my American friend and I went to a cafe where we were served by a nice woman named Eva.

Our conversation with Eva started because I was admiring her 21 earrings, 10 in one ear and 11 in the other ear!  As we discussed her 21 beautiful earrings, the topic of ‘earrings and X-Rays’ (somehow) came up.

Eva told us that she used to endure frequent, painful, and disabling migraines/headaches (that lasted many days at a time) for more than 25 years (until August 2013).  Eva does not know how these painful migraines/headaches started, although she does remember that they first started when she was only 15 or 16 years old.

Eva literally tried everything (without success) in her bid to get rid of her painful and disabling migraines/headaches including:

– Prescription drugs (costing more than $1,000 per year);

– CT scans;

– MRI scans;

– Stress clinics;

– Homeopathy;

– Acupuncture (that did help with nausea and vomiting due to her migraines, but that did not reduce migraine pain); and

– Psychologist (for stress caused by painful migraines/headaches).

Sadly, nothing helped with the painful and disabling migraines/headaches for more than 25 years.

Six (6) years ago, she gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  However, even as she lovingly nurtured and fed her baby girl, her painful migraines/headaches persisted.

Eva’s chronic and painful migraines/headaches robbed her of 25 years of her life including her youth, health, sleep, career, and social life, including 5 years’ quality time with her daughter (now 6).

Eva spent up to 5 consecutive days and nights in a dark and quiet bedroom, lying very still (but unable to sleep due to migraines), right next to ‘her vomit bowl’ – that was often used for vomiting.  As a result, she missed many days at work, and her social life was severely affected.  She added that often, she recorded 23 to 25 days of debilitating migraines per month, following the birth of her daughter.

‘What kind of life is this?’, she asked.  Finally, on a Thursday in August 2013, Eva couldn’t take it anymore.  She decided that she had to try something new and different for her painful migraines/headaches (for her and her family’s sake).

As she walked past the local Chiropractor/Exercise Physiologist’s practice (near her home in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia), she stopped and walked in for the very 1st time (after having passed by here many times before).  She asked the staff whether she needed a Referral to see the Chiropractor/Exercise Physiologist (also a Gonstead Chiropractor), and the staff replied ‘no’.  Eva added that she desperately and urgently needed help for her migraines/headaches, as she couldn’t take her migraines anymore.  Fortunately for her, the Gonstead Chiropractor was available to see her that very same day.  She was requested to bring in copies of all her imaging reports.

Here is the best part of Eva’s 25-year long, painful and unpleasant journey with migraines/headaches:  It finally ended that same week in August 2013!!  After only 2 consultations with this Gonstead Chiropractor (and a 3rd Follow-Up Visit, 2 days later), Eva’s painful migraines/headaches disappeared FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, AFTER MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF PAIN AND SUFFERING!  Imagine that!

At Eva’s 1st Consultation in August 2013, her Gonstead Chiropractor took a detailed clinical history including a review of her imaging reports.  As part of his thorough physical examination, he also used a Nervoscope instrument.

Quoting from the Gonstead Chiropractic Society Australia website:

“The Nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along the spine which can be indicative of inflammation and nerve pressure. This instrument is guided down the length of your back and feels like two fingers gliding down each side of your spine.”

Thereafter, her Gonstead Chiropractor gently treated her neck region with his hands (consistent with the ‘Gonstead System of Chiropractic’ approach).  Eva added that her Gonstead Chiropractor never exerted any strong force nor any painful manipulation during his treatment.

Even after Eva’s 1st (45-minute) consultation/treatment, Eva already knew ‘something was working’.  Her dizziness was gone!  And her vision (that was affected during her severe migraine attacks) was now clear!

The Gonstead Chiropractor suggested that Eva see him again in 2 days (on Saturday).  After this 2nd treatment (15-minutes) on Saturday, Eva confirmed that ALL the nasty and unpleasant symptoms of her painful migraines/headaches had finally disappeared altogether.

With only 1 exception, Eva has not had a single migraine/headache since these 2 consultations in August 2013 with her Gonstead Chiropractor.  Eva’s migraine briefly returned while on a recent holiday in Europe (where she had slept on very large, firm European pillows).  As soon as Eva returned to Sydney, she promptly went back to her Gonstead Chiropractor for treatment.  After only 1 short session (that included very gentle treatment of her neck), she was ‘as good as new’ again.  Importantly, her migraines/headaches have not returned since, and she is now living a pain-free life, without migraines nor headaches.

Eva has routine Follow-Up Appointments with her local Gonstead Chiropractor every 6 months, ‘just to make sure everything is OK’.  So far, so good… further treatments are necessary…..and no more painful migraines for Eva.

It is important to note that pain mechanisms vary from one migraine sufferer to the next.  In Eva’s case, the migraines were structural/anatomical in origin, and related to her neck region (that was virtually impossible to detect without the aid of a Nervoscope).

While Eva’s solution for her 25-year painful migraines/headaches may not work for everyone, her decision to see an experienced, qualified and gentle Gonstead Chiropractor is certainly worthwhile.

Different pain treatments may work for different people with chronic pain/migraines/headaches.  It may take a while to find the correct and effective pain treatment(s).

The moral of this story is:

Never, ever give up hope!  After all, Eva never gave up, even after 25 years!

If you have chronic migraines/headaches, please try different treatments … including Eva’s approach.

Thanks to 2 treatments by her Gonstead Chiropractor, Eva was finally able to stop her 25-year long chronic migraines/headaches.

Now in her very early 40’s, Eva is finally able to enjoy her life as a mother and wife, without also enduring constant debilitating and painful migraines/headaches.

One thing is certain to Eva:  The joys of motherhood without painful migraines is a true gift that words can never fully describe.  Her migraine nightmare is finally over.

On behalf of all Pain Matters blog readers, thank you, Eva, for sharing your story about your 25-year long journey with painful migraines – that finally ended in August 2013, after 2 visits within 2 days with a Gonstead Chiropractor (Eva’s own guardian angel).

I hope you all enjoyed today’s feature story about Eva, that may offer hope and inspiration to many migraine sufferers.!

Sabina Walker (Blogger of Pain Matters;  Master Appl. Sc. (Neurosc.))


(1) What is Gonstead?

Gonstead Chiropractic Society Australia

Oxytocin for Migraine and Headache?

Dear Pain Matters blog readers,

Oxytocin is a natural hormone made by the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary gland.  Nicknamed the ‘love hormone’, or the ‘cuddle hormone’, oxytocin helps induce labor (during childbirth), as well as promote lactation, maternal care, and couple bonding.

The word oxytocin is derived from Greek for quick birth (‘oksys’ = quick and ‘tokos’ = birth).

Oxytocin for Migraine and Headache?

Did you know that oxycontin may also relieve pain in some chronic migraine and headache sufferers?

Nasal-administration of oxytocin bypasses the Blood-Brain Barrier and directly activates the oxytocin receptors in the trigeminal nerve.  These oxytocin receptors are increased during inflammation.

In a study involving 40 chronic migraine sufferers, half were given a nasal oxytocin agent called ‘TI-001’, while the other half were given placebo.  This study reported that 4 hours after nasal oxytocin (‘TI-001’) treatment, 27% of the migraine sufferers had nil pain. 

Interestingly, nasal oxytocin (‘TI-001’) is most effective in the presence of pain-evoking inflammation.

‘TI-001’ is now being developed for chronic and long-lasting headaches, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, and other chronic facial and head pains.

Oxytocin’s Effects on the Autonomic Nervous System

A study found that intranasal oxytocin spray was able to increase heart rate variability in healthy men during rest (compared to placebo) (Kemp et al, 2012).  

A study showed that oxytocin enhances parasympathetic activity without affecting the sympathetic nervous system (Gamer and Büchel, 2012).


In summary, nasal oxytocin leads to:

(1) Activation of the trigeminal nerve and reduced pain in some migraine sufferers; and

 (2) Increased heart rate variability due to increased parasympathetic (vagal) activity. 

For more information, please listen to Psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s 14-minute speech on stress and oxytocin’s role in modulating the stress response.  Note: While pain is not discussed, oxytocin is specifically discussed by Kelly McGonigal from 7:50 on:

How to make stress your friend

Here’s to oxytocin…..that may help reduce pain and suffering caused by chronic migraines, headaches, etc!

Sabina Walker



(1) Megan Talkington; New Possibilities for Pain Treatment
7th Annual Pain Therapeutics Summit showcases therapies in development (20 Feb 2014).

(2) Yeomans et al; Abstract P59 Therapeutic Effect of Nasal Oxytocin in Chronic Migraine: Dependence on Cytokines (in ‘Abstracts of the 2013 International Headache Congress’); Cephalalgia (June 2013); 33(8 Supplement); pages 58-59.

(3) Yeomans; In the Pipeline: Nasal Oxytocin Explored for Migraines- Can migraine patients trust the “trust drug” to heal their pain? Practical Neurology (May/June 2013); 29-31.

(4) Phillips et al; Relief of acute migraine headache with intravenous oxytocin: report of two cases. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother (2006); 20(3):25-8.

(5) Wang et al; The interaction between the oxytocin and pain modulation in headache patients. Neuropeptides (April 2013);47(2):93-7.

doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2012.12.003.


(6) Kemp, Quintana, Kuhnert, Griffiths, Hickie, Guastalla; Oxytocin Increases Heart Rate Variability in Humans at Rest: Implications for Social Approach-Related Motivation and Capacity for Social Engagement; PLOS One (28 August, 2012); 7(8); e44014 (pages 1-6).

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044014

(7) Gamer, Büchel; Oxytocin specifically enhances valence-dependent parasympathetic responses. Psychoneuroendocrinology (Jan 2012);37(1):87-93.

doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.05.007. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

(8) Szeto et al; Oxytocin administration attenuates atherosclerosis and inflammation in Watanabe Heritable Hyperlipidemic rabbits; Psychoneuroendocrinology (May 2013); 38(5):685-93.

doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.08.009.