Headache is a common symptom for which clients from Balmain and the Inner West seek acupuncture treatment for. It is common that the muscles and arteries of the scalp are one of the most common causative factors. It is common to combine both acupuncture and Chinese medicine for best results.
How does Chinese medicine and acupuncture see headaches?
Chinese medical theory sees headaches as being caused by either External (viruses, bacteria, changes in weather and pressure) or Internal causes (Stress, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, fatigue, chronic disease, inflammation).
The external categories can be categorised as wind cold, wind humidity, wind heat. The body’s immune system and or superficial or peripheral circulation must be under strain in order for environmental factors of cold, heat or humidity to cause stress on the body and thus result in headaches. Lets examine the categories and their associated symptom patterns in more detail…
Wind- Cold: Headache which starts or is aggravated by exposure to wind or cold, often referring to the neck and finding relief with the application of heat. In the case of viral mediated attack, the headache is often accompanied by runny nose, thin white tongue coating and pulse which is floating.
Wind-Heat: Such headaches are often accompanied by a distending feeling, often aggravated by warmth, a flushed face and thirst. In the case of a viral or bacterial headache of such nature, fever and sore throat may also be present. The tongue coat is often thin and yellow, and the pulse may be floating and slightly rapid.
Wind-Humidity: When the weather is overly humid or the weather overcast and barometric pressure high, these headaches can come on and feel as if the head were tightly bound with heavy feeling in the body. These types of headaches may also present with a a bout of gastroenteritis which may be more common in the humid months or environment. The tongue coat may appear greasy and the pulse soft.
What are the Internal causes? As previously discussed, the internal causes can come from many directions. Some of these may be stress, anxiety, irritability and unstable moods, hormonal changes, fatigue, chronic diseases, inflammation. From a Chinese medicine perspective, more specifically , these can be more simply categorized. The following represent some examples…
Exuberant Liver Yang: Often relating to overuse of the eyes, irritability and mood fluctuations, these types of headaches are often pronounced at the temporal regions, aggravated by anger and often accompanied by dizziness, insomnia, bitter or unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Qi deficiency: The developent of such headaches is often preceded by fatigue/exhaustion or after recovery from disease or in the course of chronic disease. The headaches are often of a dull nature and aggravated by further fatigue. Accompanying symptoms may include lack of strength, lack of appetite, shortness of breath etc.
Blood deficiency: These types of headaches are a common companion to conditions involving blood loss and or anaemia. After heavy periods or insufficient nourishment. Common symptoms occuring simultaneously include dizziness, insomnia, blurred vision and numb feeling in the limbs.
Kidney weakness: Kidney weakness in Chinese medicine is more synonymous with declining or imbalanced hormones and ageing as opposed to poor functioning of the filtration system of the kidney system itself, although it can also include the kidney organ itself. Headaches in this category are often accompanied with a feeling of emptiness in the head, aching in the back, tinnitus, weakness in the legs.
Phlegm Damp: Such headaches often occur in those that carry excess weight or those with constant or profuse mucus. The headaches are often accompanied with a foggy feeling in the head, chest stuffiness, nausea and sometimes even vomitting.
Blood stasis: Such headaches often occur in prolonged cases or in more serious causes of headache. Such headaches often presetn as a persistent pricking or stabbing pain in a fixed location. The body in general can show signs of poor circulation in general such as purple lips and or spots on the tongue that are purple.
For any headache, if you are unsure about severity, see your G.P to eliminate more serious conditions.
headache look like
and chinese medicine
Treatment involves taking a case history and looking at the clients tongue and taking their pulse to ascertain the cause or causes and thus choose the appropriate treatment. Thus depending on the cause, the treatment is individually tailored rather than a one sized fits all Panadol approach.
Generally speaking, some points on the arms or legs and some on the back the neck are common places for acupuncture treatment. in the case of herbs, specific herbal combinations are given to strengthen the effects of treatment where necessary that address the underlying aforementioned causes.
If you’re looking for natural solutions to headaches with results that last, consider Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain.
Call 02 9188 1560 to make an appointment or go to our home page to make an inquiry