Headache clinic expanding north

A home-grown Southland business is set to expand into the biggest market in the country.

Helen Tufui has been running The Headache Clinic out of her home in Myross Bush for the past two and a half years, and will be launching a new branch in Auckland on March 1 2017.  Tufui said the expansion is a response to the growing demand, which has not been restricted to just Southland.  “I get heaps of people coming from the North Island.  Every week at least one or two people fly in from somewhere for treatment.”

Fifteen per cent of New Zealand’s population suffer from some form of migraine headache, a number that rises to 18 percent for females.

Tufui specialises in headaches and migraines, and is one of only a few in the country trained as a practitioner of the Watson Headache Approach.

While there were more than 300 specified types of headaches and migraines, the cause of most could be traced to an over-stimulated brain stem, she said.  When the brain stem is out of proper alignment because of factors such as injury or posture, it can become overly sensitive and trigger migraines.  By re-aligning the muscles and joints in the neck, the brain stem can effectively be “desensitised” – leading to a reduction or removal of headache systems.  “Ninety-four per cent of people who come have significant improvement or a resolution of the problem.”

Tufui said while headache centres using similar techniques were more common in Australia and parts of Europe, equivalent facilities were rare in New Zealand.

Two Auckland physiotherapists will look after the new clinic, after completing their specialist training in Sydney.

For the next few months, Tufui will travel between Invercargill and Auckland to get the new clinic running.  Although the new premises have not yet been confirmed, the site is likely to be on the North Shore.

Dunedin and Christchurch are the next two cities on the list, with Dunedin expected to be open by the end of 2017.

By Tim Newman, taken from the Southland Times 9 February 2017.