READ this series !!! & my 2 cents worth

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Posted by gary g ( on October 08, 1999 at 12:54:24:

In Reply to: (im)balance posted by Ueli on October 07, 1999 at 20:40:59:

Jack & Euli are SMOKIN now !

If you are REALLY serious about learning about this problem, which is the pathway to dealing with it, start with Jack's header post and read all the others VERY carefully
Euli's stuff, especially about fluctuating chemical balances getting out of sync, resetting, etc, is GREAT - he's got a good handle on the multivariable dynamic of MANY biological processes,
and also clearly understands that our biological existence is NOT a static machine that has uniform parts that perform the exact same function over & over - that idea is a VERY popular conceit of the 20th century obsession with mechanization, but that don't make it true !!
(and it's why I'm usually a skeptic about chiropractic - it tends to blind itself WAY too dogmatically, purely to defend the philosophy that the body is a mechanical device, - and if you look at WHEN it developed, Palmer & all that, it falls right in with the upsurge in popular obsession with mechanization - NOW it's changing its marketing "tune" and capitalizing on the currently popular idea that scientific medicine is automatically bad, and simplistic explanations are automatically dependable)

(the same way that the late 18th c. Rousseau-type romantic theories arose about there being steady-state environmental conditions as the result of a natural liner progression, and a natural endproduct state of primtive grace for man & nature alike, still SOUND very appealing to kneejerk envirochic types - as they were meant to during the Enlightenment -BUT we now know VERY clearly that, though they were an important step in the path of building a knowledge base, they just don't actually work in real life as the answer, and aren't anywhere near an accurate descriptor of how nature works)

Those two asides were NOT complete irrelevancies, BTW, because what I'm talking about is HOW we think about approaching the CH challenge, and the first step in THAT is to have as firm a grip as possible on WHY we pursue the form of investigation that we do
I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Cluster Headache attacks are - schematically speaking - something atavistic we are carrying with us, but that is no longer appropriate to our environmental and biological existences, and when it manifests, it is causing us trouble instead of helping us

this is completely consistent with the less biological, more demographic type inquiries I have been making the last couple years -

the reason I am thinking in terms of atavistic rather than progressive aspects of evolution is that evolution is completely random - so progressive change doesn't predictably result in like aberrations in future time (in fact it tends to produce UNLIKE specimens)
BUT retention of an atavistic characteristic, from a back time when it was standard, COULD result in eerie similarities in individuals retaining it, in whom it "lurks", despite their separation in time & space at present and in the immediate past

IMPORTANT to understand that EVOLUTION:

1. is random and unpredictable, but origins of characteristics CAN often be traced BACWARDS along merging lines
(like following confusing roads in the forest - if you try to follow the diverging paths you will have no idea where you're going, but if you get lost, and go in the direction the "forks" point at every junction, you will ALWAYS get back to town, and usually in the shortest manner)

2. is nothing more than a way of describing the changing GENERAL nature of a collective community, as driven by specific changes in individual members of the community, which manifest between generations

3. is ALWAYS occurring in ALL communities (species)

4. is NOT linear except in the egotistic, anthropomorphic analysis - which is to say the only thing linear is our personal backward view of where we derived our individual characteristics - there is no "higher" or "lower" life form - just different lifeforms - and that variety is in constant flux

5. usually occurs as a result of completely external forces, and can have hugely varying timelines, even within species

6. is ALMOST seamless, and IS continuing in every species/community - the idea of a progressively developed species, like rungs on a ladder, is an artifact of our limited observation capability,
and of our tendency to only recognize the points at which changes offer sequential examples which are notably different AT THE TIME OF OBSERVATION, and ignore the countless finetuning changes in between, which don't strike us as worthy of note
(imagine walking along a path of flagstones, each stone & step is equal in your journey, but you only notice the ones where you spot to take note of a new scenic view -
the natural tendency is to think of the journey as a sequence of those very different views we saw, when ACTUALLY the journey is made up of very small, individual steps, each nearly identical to the one that preceded or follows
so I propose, for argument's sake:

Cluster Headache model MIGHT be something like:

1. pre-existing tendency/predisposition from incomplete (lagging) OR misdirected evolutionary change in certain individuals, reflecting a pasttime relationship between humans and external forces, in certain place

2. currently, those individuals do not react constructively to certain external stimuli which most other people have either adapted to OR avoided

3. the very complex biochemical systems, functioning with a few "inappropriate" components from #1 & #2, produce functional effects that just aren't relevant to our current physical and environmental situations

4. those "malfunctions" manifest as our cluster headache syndrome - -

5. certain predictable external forces, probably singular or of very limited variety, set off an accomodation response which -in OUR bodies - is a malfunction, a system design/assembly inconsistency fault as it were - THAT is the overall cluster cycle as we recognize it

6. within that cycle - the malfunction period - when the body is running out-of-limits, the "normal" neurological/biochemical mechanisms that we DO have, can't properly regulate BECAUSE there is a fundamental defect in part of the overall system - so the whole thing goes unstable

7. when the attempts of the body to deal with the instability reach certain points, the attacks occur - - in this case thinking of them more as VERY BADLY TRANSLATED versions of what "should" be happening

8. our own behavior (including medication, coping activities, etc) admix into the body's automatic compensation mechanisms and do 1 of three things:

a. alter the process producing results we like
b. " " " " " " don't like
c. alter the process producing results we don't notice or don't care about

9. because of 8, what we do CAN affect how long and how severe each cluster/individual attacks may be

BTW - there is support for the evolutionary idea thru levels 5 & 6, because it is highly likely that in the absence of medical treatment, we would be "selected out" of the population thru suicide, tribal demon-killing, accident resulting from attack during dangerous conditions, etc.

it is unfortunate we can't ever get an accurate idea of historical tendencies with this disease -
I'm even suspect of any data much over 5 years old, simply because of how late this has been come into identification & recognition as a very specific malady, with repeatable diagnostic features
and NOW with the onset of Cyberchondria as a social factor, it is even MORE important to be sure all data sources have verifiable standards of qualificaton
OKAY - where does that leave us ?

hopefully with at least ONE theoretical framework to consider-
I DON'T claim this IS the answer
I DO CLAIM it is the most logical explanation I have seen expressed to date for the origins of this really WEIRD disease
I would appreciate any feedback that addresses this premise -
whether it strengthens it or weakens it

I don't have any personal "stake" in this exact theory, except being obsessed, I guess, with trying to get a handle on what the most accurate model IS

the way I proceed is to let some scheme like this synthesize as it will and when it "gels", seize upon it as a theory

then, I start looking for information that would DISprove it
if & when such faults, such faults appear, see if they require adjusting the model, or completely discarding it
incorporate any sustaining information that appears along the way

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