Chinese Herbal and Acupuncture Treatment Protocols for Headache - Formulas, Protocols, TCM Diagnoses

Headache - Basics

There are four major categories of headache--vascular, tension, inflammatory and traction. The most common of these are tension headaches, which result from tightened facial and neck muscles and can be brought on by stress or anxiety. The most common form of vascular headache is a migraine, which is characterized by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and intense pain on one or both sides of the head. Tension and inflammatory headaches are generally linked to other conditions, such as stroke or sinus infection.
Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for headache.

Headache - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of headache generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of headache:

Headache - Acupuncture Protocols

The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.

The following Acupuncture Treatment Protocols May Be Used With Headache

Headache - Formulas From Our Store

The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating headache. For a complete list from our store with more details see our headache formula section.

Headache - Questions

Need treatment options for headache and not finding the information you need?

Using our forums our staff and our community may offer guidance with regards to the treatment of headache.

Headache - Related Acupuncture Points

The following (18) acupuncture points may be useful for headache. A subset of these could potentially be useful with acupressure stimulation and/or tongren therapy methods as well.

Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)

Headache - Related Chinese Herbs

The following (19) chinese herbs may be useful for headache. In most cases, however, treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine is done with herbal formulas based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting herbs by function alone. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.

The following (8) Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Headache

Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan

Long Dan Xie Gan Wan

  • Gentiana Purge Liver Formula
  • Hypochondriac pain, bitter taste in the mouth, irritability, easily angered, headache, dizziness, red, and possibly sore, eyes, diminished hearing and/or swollen sensation in ears/head.  May have urinary symptoms such as painful, hot urination perhaps with swollen genitalia.  Women may have leukorrhea with a strong odor.

    The Pulse will be wiry, rapid and forceful and the Tongue will be red with a yellow tongue coating.

  • Clear Heat
  • Clear Heat From The Organs

Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan

Xie Xin Wan

  • Drain the Epigastrium Formula
  • Signs of damp-heat with interior clumping which may settle into the abdominal region and/or rise upward to the head.  Fever, irritability, red eyes, constipation, dark urine, flushed face - middle warmer issues - jaundice, dysentery, tongue/mouth ulcers.

    Pulse will be be wiry and rapid and the Tongue will be red, swollen with a yellow greasy tongue coating.

  • Clear Heat
  • Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity

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