When you wake up, do you feel fabulous?
Unusual question, isn't it? If I had to boil it down to one concept that has made NTI therapy successful, it's the acknowledgement that most chronic headache sufferers don't/won't admit that most every morning upon waking, they have some degree of headache.
They've seen plenty of doctors for their headaches. They're asked, "When you get your worst headaches...", and "What makes your headache worse?", or "How many times per week/month do you get your worst headaches?". Rarely, if ever, is a headache sufferer asked, "Exactly when DON'T you have some degree of headache, even the slightest?".
There are two simple questions to ask in a interview of a headache patient.
Question 1: On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the worst headache pain you could imagine, and 0 being no pain at all, how many mornings per week do you wake with a ZERO, that is, you fee fabulous?
Most chronic headache sufferers will hesitate with their reply, and then begin to rationalize their condition. They'll tell you, "Well, when I get my really bad headaches...", or, "Nobody ever really feels fabulous", or some justification as to why they have headaches. The practitioner must press on, and confirm how many mornings per week that the patient wakes with ZERO pain.
Experienced practitioners will soon find that being pain free is quite rare for the chronic headache sufferer, especially upon waking. The practitioner can remind the sufferer that waking daily with, say, liver pain, or kidney pain, is certainly not normal, and so it is with chronic headache pain. They can't be helped to the fullest extent if their entire presentation is not understood.
Question 2: On those days that you don't wake with a ZERO, what's the average "number" that you have?
Now the practitioner will have a clearer picture of the patient's condition. Waking 5 days per week with a level 6 headache, to some chronic sufferers, is not worthy of reporting. Certainly, the chronic sufferer figures that their worst headaches are far more important than their chronic existence, but to the practitioner, this information is critical in the assessment of the cause and/or perpetuation of their patient's condition.
Following the first month of NTI therapy, the practitioner can re-ask the two question above. Although the patient might first proclaim, "I'm still having headaches" (as if no improvement had occurred), the practitioner may discover that the patient is now waking once or twice per week with a "3". Continually using the two questions above is a handy tool to follow a patient's progress.
-James P. Boyd, DDS, Developer of the NTI therapeutic protocol.