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.