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What causes Headaches?

Staring for long periods at a computer screen, long working hours, study and over concentration are also major contributory factors, however, Stress cannot be ruled out as a factor in headaches and migraines.

In TCM terms the liver governs planning and smooth flow, it also governs the muscles and tendons and opens into the eyes. The liver is also disturbed by wind. In China, headaches are referred to as head wind. When you think of the effect of wind we think of drying out, stiffening and pain that moves without much pattern. The liver is most susceptible to emotional imbalance and while stress weakens the adrenals it also has a strong effect on the liver in Chinese Medicine terms.

The kidneys govern the marrow, in TCM terms the brain is described as a sea of marrow and can be seen as resembling a flowering of the kidney energy through the spinal chord. Dizziness and light headedness can be an indication of a weakness of kidney energy and a sign that it is not nourishing the brain.

(Please note that this is pattern of disharmony in TCM terms and doesn’t imply that there is a brain dysfunction from a western medical perspective)

Sharp pain is a sign of excess e.g. a build up of tension. Dull ache is usually a sign of deficiency i.e. not enough energy and nutrients getting to the local area. This may be accompanies by symptoms of dizziness and light headedness.

How do we treat it:

The combination of acupuncture and massage is often very effective in the treatment of headaches and migraines. Trigger point massage is effective in releasing tension in the local muscles and acupuncture helps to move energy more effectively. Initially we work on drawing the local stagnation, even in the case of ache borne of deficiency there is usually some form of tension in the local muscles that needs to be relieved.

Acupuncture is very effective for moving energy – away if there is a stagnation and to if there is a deficiency.

We subsequently treat the underlying cause by strengthening the associated organ e.g. liver or kidneys through acupuncture, lifestyle and dietary changes and we may also recommend additional prepared herbal formulas to augment the treatment.

How many treatments does it take:

The number of treatments required varies from patient to patient, however, in most cases the patient should notice some improvement in symptoms from the very first visit.