The Treatment of Headaches and Migraines with Medical Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture are complete systems of healing that have been practiced for over 5000 years. The focus of this type of medicine is to determine and treat the root cause of an individual’s illness. It views every aspect of a persons’ body, mind, spirit, and emotions as part of the unique whole being. This is best described by Ted Kaptchuck in his book The Web that Has No Weaver “The Chinese method is based on the idea that no single part can be understood except in its relation to the whole. A symptom, therefore, is not traced back to a cause, but is looked at as part of a totality. If a person has a complaint or symptom, Chinese medicine wants to know how the symptom fits into the patient’s entire being and behavior”.”

In western medicine a patient may be diagnosed with migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, post-traumatic headaches, or headaches due to an illness. Though there are different types of headache they are often treated very similarly. Treatments often include a combination of medications, stress reduction, hydration, nutrients and/or herbs. These are all great therapies and can be used adjunctively with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. The way Chinese Medicine differs is the diagnosis and treatments are individualized. For every type of headache there could be multiple underlying reasons an individual may be susceptible to headaches. For example, six individuals presenting to a western clinic could all have a diagnosis of tension headaches and given similar treatment plans. Those same six patients presenting to a Chinese Medicine practitioner would have six different diagnosis and six different treatment plans. Differences in underlying causes may be specific channel/meridian blockages and/or imbalances in organs or between yin and yang.

Acupuncture regulates, unblocks and redirects the flow of energy by stimulating certain points promoting the movement of energy through specific channels and/ or meridians. Keeping the meridians clear is imperative for the body’s self-regulating action to occur. Through the movement of energy and blood from one area to another and nourishing yin and yang the body is able to create a balance allowing for better function and healing.

Chinese herbal medicine is based on the same concepts of acupuncture yin, yang, qi, and blood.  Acupuncture moves these substances throughout the body creating balance within the channels/meridians and organs. Herbal Medicine can invigorate and move substances throughout the body as well as build and nourish these vital substances creating synergy throughout our organs and channels.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine have been used to successfully treat many common acute and chronic health disorders as well as maintaining optimal health and wellbeing.  Most common disorders treated include head ache, migraines, pain/muscular complaints, gynecological issues including fertility, irregular menses and menopausal symptoms, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, fatigue, anxiety and depression.

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