How Migraines Could Be Affecting Your Life

If you are living with constant migraines, then you know it's more than just a bad headache. Migraines are neurological conditions that can impact all areas of our lives and our health.  

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. During this time, we must raise awareness and educate others about migraines, headaches, related diseases, and conditions. Migraines impact over 40 million people in the US, and nearly 400,000 Americans experience cluster headaches. These painful, intense headaches can be frequently known as a cluster period and could sometimes last weeks or even months. 

Migraines can affect your work environment, productivity, and earning potential. 

Migraines may cause you to disappear during work hours because of your experiencing symptoms due to migraines, like debilitating pain, blurred vision, or even nausea. The most common migraine symptoms sometimes make it impossible to work. Some may go to the workplace, which triggers migraine attacks because of the long hours on the computer screen or feelings of being in a stressful environment. 

People who experience consistent migraines cannot work normally and function as they could. Because of this, you feel less productive, get less done, reschedule meetings, call in sick, and miss out on essential details to reach your goals. 

Migraines can affect your personal life and relationships.

Because of migraine unpredictability, you never know when or where you will be when a migraine attack occurs. The encompassing nature of these attacks means sometimes, we wind up disappointing ourselves and the people close to us. You never know when and where you will feel a migraine come on. It could be when you're out trying to support a friend or on an important date for you and your partner. Those relationships could feel threatened. After all, you can't show up when they need you most because you're dealing with unbearable pains and symptoms. 

Dealing with migraines can make parenting feel impossible. 

It's hard enough being a parent, or even a single parent, and having to deal with the difficulties of migraines. Even the most minor things can feel challenging when dealing with children while you have a migraine attack. You may feel bad for your partner, who is taking more responsibility because you have to rest and feel the burden of migraine symptoms. For single parents, there is no help, and juggling parenthood while feeling pain can take a toll on our bodies and mental health. 

Don't fear, managing migraines IS possible. 

It's not uncommon for people who experience migraines to experience mental health problems. Because of these effects on our lives, other body parts have trouble coping with regular life tasks. 

At times there is no cure for migraines; however, there are common ways to manage them effectively with upper cervical chiropractic.

Migraines are neurovascular headaches. "Neuro" stands for the nerve component and "vascular" for blood vessels. Another primary issue that directly causes migraines is a disruption in the cerebrospinal fluid, which is crucial for proper brain function.

At Atlas Brain and Body, we can measure stress on the brain stem and the pain-sensitive surrounding tissue. Sometimes the blood supply to the brain is often compromised. Another primary issue that directly causes migraines is a disruption in Cerebro spinal fluid, which is crucial for proper brain function. 

If you want to start making significant changes in your life and live without the pains and agony of migraines, make an appointment at Atlas Orthogonal at  (828) 253-0700 to see how we can help. 


Many of us have experienced burnout without fully understanding what it is and how to move beyond it.

Let's face it: the world can be an extremely stressful place to be and we all have stressors that can't be fully avoided or controlled. We feel pushed to the max in our daily lives and up against the limits of what our bodies can handle.

On her recent podcast, “Unlocking Us,” Brené Brown, professor and renowned author of many bestselling books on topics like vulnerability and shame, chatted with sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski, co-authors of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle.

First of all, please consider listening to the podcast itself, which is fascinating and focuses primarily on one of the main components of burnout: emotional exhaustion.

The authors define emotional exhaustion as “the fatigue that comes from carrying too much for too long” (via Herbert Freudenberger who coined the term “burnout” in the 1970s).

Essentially, as the Nagoski sisters explain, emotions are cycles that happen in the body. They are an involuntary neurological response with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

From the book: “In short, emotions are tunnels. If you go all the way through them, you get to the light at the end. Exhaustion happens when we get stuck in an emotion.”

So...what happens if you get caught in a tunnel?

Unfortunately, this means that you’re operating at a chronically-elevated stress level for much longer than your body was designed to withstand. It can go on for hours or days (even months or years!) causing all kinds of problems throughout the systems of your body (digestive, immune, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, reproductive, etc.).

When stressors trigger a stress response, a chemical stew activates inside the body (think fight/flight/freeze)--but removing the stressors does not mean the cycle is complete.

You need to do something to signal to your body that you’re safe or else you’ll never fully shift back into relaxation.

How to Avoid Burnout
Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

So, what’s an efficient way to complete a cycle after a really stressful incident?

The Nagoski sisters share some simple strategies:







How do you know when you’ve reached the end of a cycle?

Your body tells you. We’ve all experienced the relief that comes at the end of a big cry. It’s like that.

So many people come to see us who are dealing with chronic stress and the toll it takes on their bodies. Hopefully some of these strategies can help you get ahead of it. Let us know how it goes!

(And if you’d like to check out the Nagoski book, be aware that it’s mostly focused on women’s experience of burnout. You can learn more about it here.)

Contact us today to learn about Atlas Brain and Body and the many conditions we treat. 828-253-0700

Dr. David Nygaard, MS, MBA
Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist
Atlas Brain and Body
(828) 253-0700
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Upper Chiropractic Care to Support Working from Home

As the world shut down due to the pandemic, millions of office workers transitioned to working from home overnight.

With laptops and WiFi, anyone who could work remotely plugged in at home and...kept right on working.

Sure, it was great to skip the commute and wearing pants! 

But how many people actually took the time to set up an ergonomic workstation at home?

Work Safely From Home

It seems easier and faster to simply set up shop on the couch, at the dining room table, or in bed. Though cozy in the short term, these places are not designed to be ergonomically healthy and lead to postural stress and eventually pain.

(Totally understandable given the urgency of the global shutdown.)

However, if you haven’t put some thought and planning into your work-from-home setup, it’s well worth your time to do it now. Why?

For the same reason so many companies offer ergonomic assessments and adjustable chairs, desks, and monitors at the office:

Repetitive stress can lead to debilitating musculoskeletal disorders.

Whether or not you’re experiencing pain, stiffness, or stress now (but especially if you are), take a few moments to consider these tips:

Evaluate and correct your position.

Are your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle? Are your knees also at a 90-degree angle? Are your monitors at eye-level? Check out this diagram for correct positioning and DIY your home setup so it fits your body:

Work Station Ergonomics

Build movement into your calendar.

Working from home can present fewer natural opportunities to move around--so build them in. Schedule hourly breaks to stretch and do some yoga, take calls while walking around the neighborhood, or try The 7-Minute Workout.

Reduce your stress.

As you consider your physical well-being, don’t forget that your mental health needs attention too. Check out this post about stress and create a holistic plan to keep yourself relaxed and positive.

Work from Home - Desk
Photo by Susanna Marsiglia

And if you are experiencing pain, stiffness, or other discomfort after months of working from home, give us a call!

Dr. David Nygaard can help.

Come on in for an evaluation, and Dr. David Nygaard will:

With all the competing priorities and stresses of life right now, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of your physical work environment at home.

But it’s critically important in preventing serious issues down the road!

Contact us today to learn about Atlas Brain and Body and the many conditions we treat. 828-253-0700

Dr. David Nygaard, MS, MBA
Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist
Atlas Brain and Body
(828) 253-0700
Follow me on Facebook

Imagine you’re an early human in ancient times, sitting around a bonfire next to a river, grilling meat with the family. The sun is setting and it’s quiet.

Suddenly, an ancient alligator comes flying out of the river on the attack!

What happens in your body?

First, you get a shot of adrenaline. Your muscles clench, your heart starts racing, you’re instantly sweating, you get tunnel vision, and blood rushes to your vital organs.

Your emergency survival mode has been activated, giving you the energy you need to scoop up your family and run to safety.

We survived as a species thanks to our complex stress response.

Upper Chiropractic Care for Stress
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

In the perilous existence of early humans, our fight-or-flight response was extremely helpful when we were being attacked.

Nowadays, we face a different set of potential dangers. Modern-day threats are usually not as life-threatening as they were for our ancient counterparts. 

But our stress response is the same.

When our boss gives us unwelcome feedback or we discover an expensive parking ticket on our windshield, the switch can flip. Our ancient survival system can get triggered even when it’s not really needed.

While you may not actually be running for your life, many stressful situations can feel like an emergency. 

Unfortunately, our body’s response to what feels like a series of ongoing emergencies can be debilitating.

As you ruminate on life’s day-to-day stressors, you may develop pain or discomfort. Stress causes your muscles to stay contracted, which can result in tight shoulders, headaches, and lower back pain. 

Your body is trying to keep you in a ready position to fight off a wooly mammoth or sprinting leopard at a moment’s notice!

When your body holds its clenched position, awkward angles can create new stressors as the body works against itself, trying to avoid pain and maintain equilibrium. This only adds to the original stressors by creating new stress and pain in the body.

In a nutshell, our stress response can cause problems that can spiral, and the long-term effects of stress on our bodies can lead to serious illness.

Luckily, we have many tools for managing stress!

Some of us gravitate toward some not-so-healthy tools that bring temporary relief but ultimately do more harm than good. We might not even be aware that we’re avoiding exercise or reaching for an extra glass of wine every night to numb or avoid pain.

Ultimately, when we set the intention to reduce the stress in our lives and optimize our body to manage stress, we can feel empowered to make some healthy changes that will make a huge difference.

We’re fortunate in that we have a great understanding of how the stress response works.

Have you thought about getting some professional help in this department?

Tools for Managing Stress
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Dr. David Nygaard at Atlas Chiropractic in Asheville can help you create a personalized plan for reducing and managing stress.

You may think of the chiropractor as someone who simply restores balance when the body gets out of whack. 

Of course they do! And you should seek treatment for misalignment that’s causing problems, for all the reasons mentioned above.

But you may not realize that a chiropractor can also work with you to address the causes of your body going out of whack in the first place.

They can do an assessment and then work with you on a holistic plan to address your:

With more tools in your toolkit, you will better manage the specific stress of your life in your specific body.

Which will reduce your stress and spark a positive chain of events!

Ultimately, you may not have actual predators chasing you (we hope not)! No matter what is stressing you out, we recommend working with a chiropractor to integrate stress management techniques.

Leading you to better health and a happier life.

Contact us today to learn about Atlas Brain and Body and the many conditions we treat. 828-253-0700

Dr. David Nygaard, MS, MBA
Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist
Atlas Brain and Body
(828) 253-0700
Follow me on Facebook

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Are you suffering? Is your body telling you something is wrong and isn’t working correctly? Explore a different approach to maintaining health.
This doesn't have to be the way
you feel for the rest of your life. Find long-lasting pain relief and restore brain-body balance at the only atlas orthogonal clinic in Asheville.


190 Broadway #205,
Asheville, NC 28801



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