Friday, October 12, 2012

Headache and Semantics

I've been sick the past week, more or less. Not sure what. Headaches, congestion, dry cough, random fevers. Seem to be coming out of it somewhat. Vitamin C seems to help as usual. Last night had pretty vivid dreams, but don't remember any. Just finished a Preston & Child novel, Gideon's Sword and have been watching season two of "24" on dvd. No doubt that contributed to the dreams.
Woke with a thundering headache, migraine level. Got up about 8. Drank lots water, ate a banana and took some migraine mix pills. Fed animals, washed dishes. Head somewhat better. Was in bathroom reading the Kindle, a set of writing interviews on Scottish mystery writers.
I began to reflect on printed language structure and how it might contribute to health, specifically headache relief.
Like this:
I have a lot of headaches from mild to severe. Fewer bad ones since I dropped peanuts from my diet. (I really miss peanut butter.) Often, as weird as it seems, I am still able to read without worsening the headache. Especially on the Kindle or on the computer. Perhaps the print contrast or font size also helps. All other sources of stimulation will hurt to varying degrees. Light, sound, music, even involved thought. There is one exception to the music, Gregorian chants can be soothing and not intrusive. Almost any other type of music is just too much.
Anyway, as I looked at the Kindle and reflected on being able to read when everything else hurt, I was struck with an idea.
Remember, above I said that the headaches even seem to inhibit involved thought. So, having an idea and pursuing it was a chore.
Anyway, I carefully thought about the written word.
I've seen articles about classical music. The music in general, and certain composers especially, like Bach, Mozart, et al. actually has the ability to structure the mind when listened to. There were studies about mothers playing the music for their unborn children to make the smarter, and so on. It mostly had to do with the mathematical structure of the music. It actually encourages the mind to re-form logical pathways.
I suspect the whole concept may have fallen out of favor in recent times, but it always made sense to me.
This brings us to semantics.
Long ago I read a science fiction novel called "The Players of Null-A". by A.E. van Vogt. A primary part of his "Null-A" series was based on the science of General Semantics. It fascinated me, and still does. I often return to the idea.
My own definitions may not jibe much with the official ones. To me, semantics is concerned with language and how it transmits ideas based on sentence structure and content together. The structure is equally as important as the content.
Another line, General Semantics is more involved. In my own simplified thoughts on it, it has to do with thought processes of the human mind and how that process is changed for better or worse as language gets into the process.
The implication on the one hand is that our thinking on a subject may be accurate but the thought processes involved with phrasing into words considerably muddies it or changes it outright.
I know I've had THAT experience!
So, rather than delve further into THAT can of worms, my basic thought here was: Granted, there are basic thought processes, and language, either verbal or written, has an impact. Is there, say, a way to structure something resembling a two or three page essay that would engage the mind experiencing a headache or other discomfort and structurally remove the pain? Perhaps a poem?
Perhaps there already is and I haven't seen it.

Qi Gong for the brain? Part of the idea of Qi Gong is that it clears pathways thru the body for Qi to flow and heal.
And yes, it can help headaches. So can accupuncture, and drugs, and herbs and other things.

I'm only thinking about this one approach. The idea of using words to clear those pathways in the brain.Perhaps as an inveterate reader I'd like to justify my habit.

"No, I'm not goofing off, I'm taking my medicine!"

Any ideas?

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