Acupuncture for Headaches and Migraines
What are headaches and migraines?
Headaches are one of the most common ailments. They are a non-specific symptom, meaning that they have many possible causes. They can be a symptom of a number of different conditions of the head and neck, and acupuncture for migraines may be able to help address these underlying ailments.
The debilitating pain from chronic headaches can be life altering, causing sufferers to miss work, lose sleep, and experience a diminished quality of life. Acupuncture for migraine symptoms may be able to help to restore life balance. There are many different types of headaches, and the causes range from harmless to life-threatening.
Primary headaches are those that aren’t due to another underlying health problem. The most common types of headache are the primary headaches, such as:
• Tension headache: the most common type of headaches. Most adults will have experienced a tension headache. These headaches affect both sides of the head and cause a constant feeling of pressure or a tight band around the head.
• Migraine: about 15 per cent of adults have migraines. Women are affected 2-3 times more often than men, and hormones are thought to play a role. People describe migraines as a pounding or throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Nausea and sensitivity to light and noise often accompany the headache. Migraine attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours, can be completely disabling, and can prevent people from carrying out their usual activities for up to three days. Even when they don’t have symptoms, people affected may live in fear of the next attack.
• Cluster headache: excruciating attacks of pain in one side of the head, often felt behind the eye. They’re rare and are called cluster headaches because they happen in clusters for a month or two at a time around the same time of year.
A headache is secondary when it is caused by some other condition:
- General medical conditions such as severe hypertension
- Conditions that affect the brain and its coverings such as sinusitis, meningitis and head trauma
- Anything that takes up space inside the head including tumour, subdural hematoma and hydrocephalus
- Other blood vessel problems, like subarachnoid hemorrhage which can result from rupture of an aneurysm can lead to severe headache
How TCM may help
Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to treat headaches holistically, bringing balance to the body and emotions with minimal side effects and lowering the chances of relapse – acupuncture for migraines can often be very beneficial.
In Chinese medicine, it is explained that headaches are caused either by external factors or internal damage. Headache caused by external factors can be divided into three types: wind-cold, wind-heat, and wind-damp. Headaches caused by internal damage can be divided into the following four types: deficiency of both Qi (vital energy) and blood, deficiency of the liver and kidney, turbid phlegm stoppage, as well as blood stasis. Migraines are mostly caused by wind-fire of the liver.
In combatting headaches, TCM will adopt different treatments based on different causes and clinical manifestations. The methods include Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture for migraine conditions, dietary therapy and therapeutic massage. They are usually tailored to be specific to the individual patient’s condition and diagnostic categories.
How we can help
Dr. Jim Xing of our clinic has accumulated a wealth of experience in the treatment of headaches and migraines. He aims to identify the underlying cause of your headache and migraine during his diagnosis. Alleviating the pain is usually component of the initial treatment and depending on the individual and their symptoms, Dr. Xing may recommend ongoing treatments to help maintain or control the symptoms. He may find that the cause of your migraines is a deficiency in the body or other factors such as Qi stagnation, and this will be addressed in the ongoing treatments.
Book your appointment today
We are dedicated to helping you achieve the health and wellness that you desire. If you are interested, feel free to call us at our Frankston clinic on 9785 6688, or our Murrumbeena clinic on 9041 8879 to book an appointment today.