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

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).

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 following Acupuncture Treatment Protocols May Be Used With Headache


There are no tongren treatment protocols associated at this time.


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The following herbal formulas from our store are potentially useful for headache:

Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan
Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan
Gan Mao Ling
Long Dan Xie Gan Wan
Pian Tou Tong Wan
Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan
Tibetan Aru Balm

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.)



There are (19) Chinese herbs currently associated with headache. Generally speaking you will not choose herbs this way, but this serves as a clinical reminder of some of the empirical herbs for headache. For the most part treatment would be decided by the presenting TCM patterns and with formulas such as those listed in the next section.

TCM Herbal Formulas That May Be Useful For Headache

TCM FormulaClinical Functions
Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan

Coming Soon...

Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan

Coming Soon...

Gan Mao Ling

Coming Soon...

Long Dan Xie Gan Wan

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.

Pian Tou Tong Wan

Coming Soon...

Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan

Coming Soon...

Xie Xin Wan

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.

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Wan

Coming Soon...

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