I have to confess that I watch the occasional Bachelor or Bachelorette season — it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I don’t catch every season, but I started watching the latest Bachelorette this May. Right away I saw that one of the suitors did a peculiar headbang with a loud scream of “whaaboom.” Frankly, it hurt to watch.
During my graduate training as a speech path, we learn about coup and contrecoup brain injuries. It’s been awhile since grad school (I graduated in 2006), but what I recall is just how damaging it is when your skull hits an object (for example, a windshield during a car crash) and the brain sloshes from front-to-back, hitting itself against the skull – and then back again.
When I saw that guy do “the whaboom,” all I could think was the repeated shearing of his brain cells. I know that he is not hitting his head against an object, but his brain is still moving rapidly back-and-forth inside his skull. This can’t be good for a person’s long term brain health.
His head movement is similar to headbanging so I did a little internet research about headbanging and found that there are health implications of prolonged headbanging:
For example, the rock band Slayer’s lead singer Tom Araya had to have surgery on the vertebrae in his neck (fusing C5, C6, and C7 together) after the damage of chronic headbanging.
I’m not giving professional advice about headbanging because I can’t diagnose brain and neck abnormalities as a speech path; however, considering how important brain health is to overall well being, I believe people should not headbang every day.
It’s probably best to skip the “whaboom.” Rachel, the Bachelorette, dismissed him so I’m guessing she didn’t care for it either.