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Headache Clinic founder Helen Tufui has opened a new clinic in Nelson and is joining four more across the country.
Headaches and migraines can be common complaints, but a woman gets to the bottom of the problem in those locked in a dark room or popping pain medication.
When Helen Tufui, founder and senior headache counselor of The Headache Clinic, ran down her hallway nearly 10 years ago, she never thought she would tell a story of a minor concussion after tripping and banging her head hard against a door frame had.
She said it was “like someone pressed a reset button in my brain, everything in my head stopped immediately”.
After knocking, she had persistent symptoms such as nausea, throbbing headache, dizziness and visual disturbances that interfered with her “everyday life”.
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“The lack of energy and constant headaches were the worst. It just really pulls you down. As a mother of four and a full-time job, I was exhausted all the time. Simple tasks can be very difficult to complete and can have a huge impact on your mental health. “
But one day when she stopped at the traffic light in her car, she said she was having a Eureka moment.
“I poked around my neck and hit a spot that reproduced my headache symptoms. With my physiotherapy knowledge, I knew immediately that there was a connection between my neck and the persistent symptoms.
“From then on everything just worked.”
After training in Australia, she switched from physiotherapy to working exclusively in the field of headaches, migraines and concussions.
“Finding the cause of my symptoms was life changing, and now I can help our patients get their lives back. It really is the most rewarding experience to have such an impact on someone’s life. “
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Tufui says her switch to the world of headaches, migraines, and concussion came after suffering a concussion nearly a decade ago.
Nine years later, Tufui opens a fifth Headache Clinic, adding Nelson to existing branches in Christchurch, Cambridge, Auckland and the original center in Invercargill, which opened in 2014.
The August 8 launch in Nelson was triggered by demand for the service from the Tasman area, she said.
“Sick people with headaches, migraines and concussions have been traveling to our clinic in Christchurch for three and a half years to receive our treatment.”
And she said the clinic teams have helped “thousands” across the country since opening about seven years ago.
“We have patients who have lived with their symptoms for more than 25 years and others who have been unable to work due to persistent symptoms after a concussion. Providing relief or remedying your symptoms simply changes your life. ”