First thing you're probably asking is 'What is Chiari?' That was a question that I had about 6 months ago, when I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type 1. To put it simple, Chiari Malformation Type 1 is a congenital condition where the lower portion of your brain (aka. cerebellar tonsils) hang below the skull opening into the spinal canal. As a result, it can cause severe headaches, difficulty swallowing, visual disturbances & coordination problems.