Cluster Headaches are said to affect around 0.1% of the population and are characterised by very intense pain, usually on just one side of the head. The discomfort is so extreme that even the most experienced physicians might struggle to comprehend degree of suffering of the patient – unless, that is, they were also experiencing something very similar. And fortunately, a reliable method for rapidly inducing very intense headaches is readily available – simply by eating very cold ice-cream a bit too quickly. Or, more precisely -
“… [it's] most readily induced by rapidly drinking an ice cold beverage of slush – water/small pieces of ice – consistency immediately after a few bites of a warm, dry cracker.”
The innovative technique is fully described by Eric Altschuler, M.D., Ph.D. (who is currently Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New Jersey Medical School and Associate Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School) in his article for the journal Medical Hypotheses, 66, 685. Using ice cream headache to help physicians experience the pain of and empathize with cluster headache patients.
“I think that all physicians and physicians-in-training would benefit and should be made to experience the exquisite pain of ice cream headache to help them understand, empathize and appreciate the urgency for sufficient prophylaxis and treatment of the pain of their cluster headache patients.”
QUESTION: Might there be other ailments and diseases which could be better understood by artificially inducing analogous symptoms in the physician? If so, what would be the generic term for this technique? (bearing in mind that the word Homeopathy, meaning ‘similar feeling, suffering, emotion, disorder, disease’ is already taken)
COMING SOON: Dr. Altschuler on … famous character’s ailments