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Understanding Migraines & Headaches from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective

Headaches are a common physical ailment that most of us have experienced at some point in our lives.

Headaches can be helped with acupuncture, chinese medicine herbs in liverpool and hinchinbrook nsw. Alternative and complementary treaatment with traditonal chinese medicine

Medical Diagnoses and Treatments for Migraines & Headaches

1. Tension Headaches: These are the most common type of headaches, often described as dull pain or pressure around the head or neck. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can provide relief. Managing stress and practicing relaxation techniques may also help alleviate symptoms.

Headache Types, how chinese medicine can help relieve pain associates with headaches with complementary, alternative therapy such as traditional chinese medicine in Liverpool  NSW and Hinchinbrook NSW

2. Migraine Headaches: Migraines are usually characterized by severe, throbbing pain on one side of the head, accompanied by additional symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light, and sound. Medications called triptans can help alleviate migraines, and preventive medications may be prescribed for individuals with chronic migraines. Lifestyle changes, including maintaining a regular sleep schedule, managing stress, and avoiding trigger factors (such as certain foods or environmental stimuli), can also help prevent migraines.

3. Cluster Headaches: These headaches are intensely painful and occur in cycles or clusters, typically lasting weeks or months. In some cases, oxygen therapy or prescribed triptans can provide relief, while certain preventive medications can reduce the frequency and intensity of cluster headaches.

Chinese Medicine Perspective on Migraines & Headaches

Traditional Chinese medicine offers a unique perspectiveon headaches and migraines considering both the physical and energetic imbalances in the body. By diagnosing based on patterns and symptoms, TCM practitioners can tailor treatments to address the underlying causes of migraines and headaches. In recent years, there has been increasing research supporting the efficacy of TCM in treating these conditions, making it a viable option for individuals seeking alternative therapies. Chinese medicine approaches the diagnosis and treatment of headaches with a wholistic perspective, . Here are some key concepts and treatments:

  • Qi and Blood Flow: According to Chinese medicine, headaches are often caused by an imbalance of qi (vital energy) and blood flow in the body. Acupuncture and herbal remedies are commonly used to restore the harmonious flow of qi and blood, reducing headache symptoms.

  • Channel Imbalances: Chinese medicine associates specific channels/meridians (energy pathways) with different types of headaches. Practitioners aim to rebalance

these meridians through acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal remedies.

  • Chinese Herbal Medicine: A wide range of herbal formulas may be prescribed to address various types of headaches. Commonly used herbs include Chuan Xiong (Ligusticum wallichii), Bai Zhi (Angelica dahurica), and Gao Ben (Ligusticum chuanxiong), among others.

  • Lifestyle Adjustments: In addition to herbal remedies, Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet to prevent and manage headaches. This may involve reducing stress, getting regular exercise, and eating a balanced diet.

Recent Research Supporting Efficacy

In recent years, there has been growing interest in exploring the effectiveness of TCM in treating headaches and migraines. Several research studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of this alternative approach.

For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that acupuncture was effective in reducing migraine frequency and severity, as well as improving quality of life. Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine was superior to placebo in reducing headache frequency and severity.

Common Patterns and Signs and Symptoms

TCM recognizes various patterns and symptoms associated with headaches and migraines. These patterns help TCM practitioners identify the underlying causes and guide treatment accordingly. Here are some common patterns and symptoms:

• External Wind Invasion: This pattern is characterized by sudden onset headaches, often accompanied by symptoms such as sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.

• Internal Wind Invasion: This pattern manifests as headaches accompanied by symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.

• Blood Stagnation: This pattern is characterized by headaches accompanied by symptoms such as a pulsating sensation, stiffness in the neck, and redness in the face.

• Qi Deficiency: This pattern is characterized by headaches accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and dizziness.

Feel free to make contact for more information, comment below, or make an appointment.

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  2. American Migraine Foundation. (2018). "Triggers, Treatments, and Symptoms".




  6. Zhang, J., Wang, Y., Ma, M., & Yang, R. (2017). A systematic review of acupuncture for migraine prevention. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 37(10), 1287-1294. doi:10.1007/s11655-017-4472-0

  7. Zhou, L., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Fan, C., & Deng, M. (2017). A clinical trial of acupuncture and herbal medicine for chronic migraine: A comparison with metoprolol. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 23(11), 1129-1136. doi:10.1089/acm.2017.0259

  8. Wang, J., Chen, J., Li, Y., Wang, Y., & Deng, M. (2018). A prospective comparative study of Tui Na therapy combined with acupuncture versus acupuncture alone for chronic migraine. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018, 1-8. doi:10.1155/2018/4605070


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