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Got questions? We’ve got answers! Here are answers to questions about: migraine vs TMJ headaches and their treatment; excercises for beginners: and a better way to lose weight than skipping meals.

This and other episodes of “Natural Health Today” can be watched on line at Click on the public access tab in the middle of the page. Then click on the broadcast schedule to find the show. Or you can watch Natural Health Today on Comcast channel 99. 

TMJ or Migraine Headache?

Questions: Audrey from Danversport:  My friend says she thinks my headaches are not migraines, she thinks they are from something she calls TMJ. My headaches are so intense I have to lie down and take some Percocets my husband got when he had his back pain and they barely help. She says it’s TMJ because it’s in the area of my temple and it’s only on the left. Is there anything that can help?

 A: The temporo-mandibular joint is where the jaw bone (the mandible) hinges to the skull (temporal bone). We call it TMJ for short and this joint can cause headache pain if it doesn’t move properly or if some of the muscles that attach to the TMJ develop trigger points.

The intensity of the pain can be just as intense as a migraine headache. However, most people who suffering a TMJ caused headache don’t see auras or feel as sensitive to light as a person who suffering migraine headache pain.

People who had braces as children are more prone to TMJ pain as are people who grind their teeth.

Chiropractic adjustments can help TMJ pain as well muscle work. I have also even seen TMJ headaches helped by straightening out a bad foot problem using orthotics and special exercises.

Percocets are an opioid drug that can be dangerous while doing nothing to promote healing or improvement of the underlying situation that caused your headache symptoms. Get healthy with care that finds the cause of your pain rather than merely masking the symptoms using all natural, drug-free chiropractic care.

Good Beginner Exercises? 

Questions: Theresa from West Peabody: Now that my kids are old enough to go to school I want to start to get back in shape, but I don’t have the money to go to aerobics classes. What do you recommend for someone who hasn’t exercised in a few years?

 A: You don’t have to spend money or take the time to drive to aerobics class to get yourself to be healthier and more fit. Aerobic exercise really means anything that causes you to breathe hard. And that just means that you are doing something that makes you have to breathe through your mouth and not just through your nose.  You could walk up a bunch of hills, or dance, run or bicycle or climb up and down stairs.

We also recommend the Foundation Training exercise for any fitness program because it helps strengthen muscles that need to be stronger and stretch muscles that are too tight.  You can see some of the Foundation Training exercises at this URL:

 A better way to lose weight than skipping meals

Questions: Al from Middleton: I’ve been told I need to lose weight, so why shouldn’t I skip a meal if I want to? I think that will help me lose weight quicker. Sometimes I skip lunch when I am at work because it gets so busy in the middle of the day, isn’t that better than skipping breakfast?

 A: The main thing that helps us lose weight is to avoid rapid swings in our blood sugar level. Eating carbohydrates is our worst enemy in that respect.

The rapid rise of your blood sugar when you eat carbs makes your pancreas put out insulin to drive it back down; but insulin also causes us to store fat.

Many people think that skipping a meal will help but it does not help you at all; because when our blood sugar falls below a certain level it makes our adrenal gland put out a hormone called cortisol which raises our blood sugar level back up. But cortisol causes us to break down muscle in order to raise our blood sugar.

So, skipping meals is not wise or healthy and won’t help you lose weight. You will just get weaker. Eat every 3-4 hours, don’t skip a meal, and use the glycemic index chart so that you can choose foods with a low glycemic index for better weight loss. We have included a glycemic index chart in this newsletter for your convenience.

 What is a glycemic index?

 Different carbohydrates raise your blood sugar at different rates. The faster something raises your blood sugar level the worse it is for you. Raising your blood sugar level too quickly strains your pancreas into putting out too much insulin. When insulin rushes into your bloodstream it causes many ill effects throughout your body. The measure of this effect is called the glycemic index. Numbers above 30 are not healthy foods for a person trying to lose weight to stay healthy.

High glycemic index foods cause a rapid high output of insulin. The most immediate ill effect is to drive your blood sugar level back down too quickly, to a lower than optimum level. This low blood sugar level then requires your adrenal gland to bring the blood sugar level back up once again by releasing cortisol. The hormone cortisol raises your blood sugar level once again by breaking down your muscle tissue. Cortisol will also do this if you do not eat healthy. You cannot be healthy or lose weight long term without keeping your carbohydrate intake down and making sure that you have protein each time you eat.

Here is a simple break-down of what works best to keep your energy levels steady and to lose or maintain your weight:  Low glycemic carbohydrates (10-15%) with protein (30-35%) and fat (50-55%)

Glycemic Index

Here is a sample list of foods with their glycemic index numbers. There are many choices of Glycemic Index charts on line.



cherry – 22

grapefruit – 25

apple – 38

pears – 38

plum – 39

strawberries – 40

peach – 42

orange – 44

grapes – 46

kiwi – 53

banana – 54

cantaloupe – 65

pineapple – 66

watermelon – 72




All Bran w/fiber – 38

Oat Bran – 55

Raisin Bran – 61

Cream of Wheat – 66

Pancakes – 67

Special K Cereals – 69

Shredded Wheat – 69

Cheerios – 74

Waffles – 76

Rice Krispies – 82

Corn Flakes – 92


Broccoli – 15

Cabbage – 15

Lettuce – 15

Mushrooms – 15

Onions – 15

Red Peppers – 15

Asparagus – 15

Cucumber – 15

Eggplant – 15

Green Beans – 15

Carrots – 49

Corn – 60

Beets – 64


Spaghetti (protein enriched) – 27

Fettuccini (egg) – 32

Spagetti (whole wheat) – 37

Meat Ravioli – 39

Long Grain White Rice – 44

Brown Rice – 55

Spaghetti – 67

Instant White Rice – 87

Sticky Rice (sushi) – 98




Plain Yogurt – 14

Whole Milk – 31

Skim Milk – 32

Sweetened Yogurt – 33

Ice Cream – 38

Low Fat Ice Cream – 43


Sweet – 54

Canned – 65

Mashed – 70

French Fries – 75

Baked – 85

Instant – 86

Red Skinned – 88


Hummus – 6

Peanuts – 15

Walnuts – 15

Cashews – 22

Potato Chips – 57

Corn Chips – 63

Popcorn – 72

Pretzels – 83


Pumpernickel – 41

Multigrain – 48

Whole Wheat – 50

Sourdough – 53

Pita – 57

Hamburger Bun – 61

Croissant – 67

White Bread – 71

Bagel – 72

Kaiser Roll – 73