If you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Over 50 million of us experience headaches at some point in our lives. Whether you experience minor head pain or severe migraines, headaches can take valuable time out of your day and reduce your quality of life, leaving you searching for relief.
One common way people seek relief is by using medications. This may work temporarily and can helpful to reduce pain fast. Unfortunately, common headache medications do not address the root cause of your complaints, which means they will likely come back. And when used over long periods of time they can cause unwanted side effects.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offer a safe and effective approach to relieving headache pain, without harmful side effects. The comprehensive diagnostic protocol used for thousands of years in Chinese Medicine allows your acupuncturist understand and address the root cause(s) of your headaches.
There are various kinds of headaches. The most common that we see in our clinic are tension, migraine, sinus, and hormonal. Migraines are one the most common types of headaches. They often begin as a dull ache and then develop into a constant, throbbing pain usually felt at the temples, the front or the back of one side of the head. The pain can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound.
Causes of Headaches
There are many factors in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory that may play a key role in the root cause(s) of a headache. These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social activities and exercise, improper diet, physical trauma and hormones. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location, type of pain and triggers. Be prepared to answer many questions in a detailed way about how you experience your headaches.
A Natural Path to Relief
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. Our practitioners will take a health history and perform a physical exam to determine how and why your body’s vital energy, or Qi, is out of balance and identify what type of headache you are experiencing. To determine the most effective care, we will focus on the root cause(s) of the problem.
During treatment, in order to restore the body’s balance and energy flow, fine sterile needles will be inserted at specific points, called acupuncture points, on different areas the body. These points may or may not be located in the area of your pain. Based on your unique symptoms, your acupuncturist will choose to concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs and on specific acupuncture meridians. Afterward, a variety of self-care techniques may be prescribed to further expedite your healing process. These may include diet changes or use of a food diary to determine dietary triggers, changes in your workplace ergonomics or posture, stress management techniques, as well as referrals to other helpful modalities.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix. Changes may occur quickly or over a longer period of time, depending on how long you have had your headaches, how severe they are, and your overall health status. A typical course of treatments is 6-10 visits. Some people need multiple courses of treatments. However, we often hope to see a change between the 3-5th visit. Whether it is one visit to address an acute problem or several visits to address a chronic problem, it is important to follow the care recommendations made by your acupuncturist to maximize your healing potential.
Below are a few ways that you can participate in your own healing, by making simple lifestyle changes that may help alleviate, or even prevent, headaches.
Track those triggers. Try to keep track of when your headaches start. Migraine sufferers may find it especially helpful to keep a journal of symptoms. Certain types of foods and hormonal changes can be possible causes.
Stress Relief. Stress can contribute to many types of health concerns, including headaches. Your acupuncturist will talk to you about healthy ways to handle stress.
Exercise. Physical activity is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, and it is a great antidote to stress.
Healthy Habits. Do your best to eat healthy, organic foods, stay hydrated and get enough sleep every day.
Acupuncture is extremely effective in reducing the frequency and severity of many types of pain, including headaches and migraines, naturally. By working with your acupuncturist and adopting simple lifestyle changes, you will be one your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.
Shelby listens and helps you understand what your body needs and creates a whole body treatment plan specific to your issues. I had constant tension headaches and after a few months of seeing her, they are gone! I always feel better when I leave her office and I recommend her to anyone looking for an alternative to doctors and medications.
I have been treated for headaches for over four years but have not been able to overcome the every three-day ordeal. Shelby VanCleve has been able to control not only my headaches but other pains in my neck, arms and legs. She has been a blessing to me because she restored the quality of life I had hoped for in my retirement.
Shelby has been a life saver to me on a number of occasions!! I suffer from MAJOR headaches and I can see her and she can find exactly where it’s hurting and take care of that!!!! She is so in tune to what my body is going though!!!! She is understanding and takes such good care of me! I look forward to seeing her every six weeks! Thanks Shelby! You’ve helped me with my headaches!! I am no longer being held back!