Headaches can be debilitating, and those that suffer from them often suffer silently. Whilst modern medicine has come along way, more and more people are turning to alternative therapies that come without the harsh side effects of many prescribed medications. Acupuncture is one of these alternatives, working to control pain and prevent it from reoccurring. Please read on for more information.
A headache is when someone feels pain or discomfort in the head and/or face. It is a symptom of many different conditions, and physiologically may be caused by a disruption to pain-sensitivity structures in the head.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that employs the use of needles on the skin to restore the body from symptoms of illness, injury and disease.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is founded on the principle that energy channels (meridians) run all over the body, nourishing tissues with energy. When blocked, this energy is obstructed and prevented from nourishing the tissues, which may result in poor states of physical, emotional and mental health.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) base their practices on the principles of yin and yang energy, which in a healthy individual are equally balanced.
Acupuncture works to relieve the frequency and severity of headache symptoms by:
A professional acupuncturist will work through your diagnosis with you to develop a suitable treatment plan according to your headache symptoms. The practitioner will first determine where energy is blocked according to the exact location and type of headache being experienced. Only then will they address and needle the appropriate acupuncture points accordingly (in order to restore energy flow). Most acupuncturists will focus on points on the head and neck, but due to dilation in the already enlarged blood capillaries, this may cause the headache to worsen at which point the Acupuncturist will focus instead on acupuncture points on the hands, arms, legs and feet.
A professional acupuncturist will treat different points around the body dependant on the type of headache being experienced. Some may include:
These headaches are often dull and may indicate a deficiency in liver qi (energy) and blood reaching the brain.
These headaches are most often associated with blocked liver energy, and may be throbbing and sharp in character.
These headaches are thought to indicate either stomach deficiencies, phlegm congestion of the head or from exposure to too much wind.
Usually coupled with stiffness in the back and neck, this type of headache is thought to be caused by the manifestation of stagnant kidney energy.
Acute whole-head headaches are sharp and severe in character and are thought to be due to the invasion of external wind. Chronic whole-head headaches are thought to be due to a deficiency in kidney energy and may be accompanied by a feeling of emptiness in the head.
The number of acupuncture treatments required to treat a headache will differ between individuals. For chronic headache conditions however, treatments up to several months may be recommended.
If you are interested in finding out more on how acupuncture can help with addictions, please speak to a trained acupuncturist.
Find out about other effective natural headache treatments.