Acupuncture and Headaches
I love treating clients with headaches because acupuncture can significantly reduce the intensity, duration and frequency of the pain. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that many different types of headaches and addresses the root cause of the pain. I will ask all kinds of questions for figure out the etiology (cause of headaches) and the specific type of headache you have. Then we will create a unique treatment plan to eliminate or greatly reduce your headaches!
Let’s look at some of the most common types of headaches:
Tension Headaches – usually accompany with tenderness or sensitivity around your neck, forehead, scalp and shoulder muscles. Often triggered by stress.
Cluster Headaches – characterized by severe burning or piercing pain. Often with pain around or behind the eye, these headaches usually arrive in a series pattern. Most common in the spring and fall.
Migraines – an intense pulsing from deep within your head. Pain can last for days, with increased sensitivity to light and sound with possible nausea or vomiting. Some people experience visual disturbances.
Allergy or Sinus Headaches – resulting from an allergic reaction – pain focused in the sinus areas of the face.
Hormonal Headaches – linked with hormonal fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy or on birth control pills.
Caffeine Headaches – over use of caffeine product can affect blood flow to the brain. Likewise, when trying to eliminate caffeine, the body’s chemistry is changing and can lead to headaches.
Exertion Headaches – after periods of intense physical activity (cross fit, running, sexual intercourse). Usually resolve quickly.
Hypertension Headaches – High blood pressure headache is often pulsing on both sides of the head. You may experience changes in vision, numbness or tingling, shortness of breath or chest pain. This requires immediate, emergency interventions.
Post traumatic headaches – these develop following any head injury and can last for months. You should be in consultation with your doctor or concussion specialist to help manage the pain.
Equally important is where in the head the headache is felt. If it develops solely around the vertex of the head, it may be caused by stress and heightened emotional states. If it runs along the sides or is one sided, it may indicate stagnation in a channel which runs along the head (there are seven in total). Headaches which are dull and achy can be caused by deficiency of energy and nutrients, while those that are fixed and boring can be caused by ‘blood stagnation’, or improper energetic flow, and those which feel like a vice may be caused by ‘qi stagnation’ a less stubborn form of improper energetic flow.
Acupuncture is a very effective tool in managing most types of headache and migraine pain. Treatments for headaches and migraines May include Gua Sha, cupping, acupuncture and dietary therapy and lifestyle advice.