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.
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:
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
Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for headache that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.
The following Tam Healing/Tong Ren Therapy Protocols May Be Used With Headache
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.
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Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)
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.
This formula should not be used to treat dizziness or vertigo due to liver yang rising patterns.
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.