We've all been there.
You're enjoying a delicious, frozen treat.
Your excitement gets the best of you.
Like a dog, chasing a garbage truck, you lose sight of reality, and blindly run down your desires with reckless abandon for your own well-being.
Then, you start to feel like Michael Flatley, the Lord of the Dance, is promptly dancing atop your cranium. It hurts to move. It hurts to open your eyes. It hurts to think. Yet, you know in a matter of about 30 to 90 seconds, it will (hopefully) go away. It's a classic case of an overstimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia nerves. A brain-freeze. The "ice cream headache."
It's the one harrowing drawback of summer snacking (aside from eventual obesity). Bound not by age, gender, or vanilla/chocolate preference, it truly is a scorn upon anyone who's ever opened up a pint in the name of gorging. The brain freeze affects millions every year.
But it doesn't have to be that way. There are methods to stop the dreaded brain freeze dead in its tracks. A few, actually.
Take heed. And never suffer the brain freeze this summer, or ever again.
What is a brain freeze, actually?
"A brain freeze is what happens when cold food touches a bundle of nerves in the back of the palate," Stephanie Vertrees, medical doctor, headache specialist, neurologist and clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine told Science Daily in 2017. "The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) is a group of nerves that are sensitive to cold food, and when they're stimulated, they relay information that stimulates a part of the brain to have a headache."
That specific ganglion, Vertrees goes onto explain, is also one of the small bundles of nerves responsible for painful migraines and cluster headaches. Simply put: the thing is a little sensitive bastard.
Basically, when extremely cold food (the actual degree will vary from person-to-person) hits the back of your palate, it shocks the sphenopalatine ganglion nerves into thinking you have a painful headache, till it cools off.
It might be a "fake" headache, but there's real pain there. Anyone who has eaten an Otterpop in 12 seconds can confirm.