21 October 2020

Review: Splitting - The Inside Story on Headaches by Amanda Ellison

Splitting - The Inside Story on Headaches by Amanda Ellison book cover
* Copy courtesy of Bloomsbury *

Did you know that stripes and horizontal lines like those in venetian blinds can trigger migraines? Me neither, it's fascinating isn't it?

I started listening to the audiobook of Splitting - The Inside Story on Headaches by Amanda Ellison and I wasn't expecting it to be funny, but found myself chuckling quite often. 

Here's an example from Chapter 2 - Brain Freeze:
"This pain lasts as long as it takes to regulate your blood flow. Usually by 10 (or maybe more) seconds after you have introduced the offending cold intruder to your buccal cavity (otherwise known as your mouth; 'shut your buccal cavity' stops any argument, period. You're welcome!) you will feel normal again." Page 20
And another from Chapter 3 - Sinus, Sensation and Snot:
"If you get to watch the television while you are sitting in the dentist's chair, I can predict two things. The first is that you are not with my dentist, and the second is that you will need less numbing agent because your brain doesn't feel pain as much because your attention is diverted." Page 48
However, once the author started to get down into the nitty gritty of her subject, I had to pick up the paperback and apply myself.

Amanda Ellison goes into quite some detail here about what is happening in the body during a headache and a migraine, and how they're different. She also goes into the various types of headaches and migraines, theories which have been proposed in the past and the current medical science in this field.

However, I'm not ashamed to admit that much of the science and biology was a little over my head. Try as I might, I was unable to achieve more than a general understanding of what she was explaining.

I'd say Splitting by Amanda Ellison is for readers familiar with medicine, biology or science or who have a serious interest in the body and human health. I was interested in the subject matter but outgunned here by the science; through no fault of the author I might add.

My key takeaways from reading Splitting are that headaches and migraines are far more complex than I had imagined. Sure, there are de-hydration headaches as well as stress or anxiety induced headaches and migraines. Other times they can be the result of hormones or genetics and can even come down to whether or not you have an hyperactive visual cortex.

Amanda Ellison has been incredibly thorough and Splitting - The Inside Story on Headaches is a deep dive into the subject of headaches and migraines. I believe it would be of most interest to sufferers for whom these events are debilitating. Some chapters may not be applicable, but it could give the reader seeking relief a new avenue to consider in consultation with their Doctor.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

Would you like to comment?

  1. As a migraine sufferer, it might be worthwhile checking it out. Thanks for this review.

    1. Thanks Theresa, I think it's always worth checking these things out just in case there's a chance it might help. Good luck.


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