Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints in America. In western medicine, most people get headache relief from taking over-the-counter medications. Some more chronic cases may require a prescription. Others may just suffer with the pain of the headache until it eventually fades.
The problem with putting medicine into our bodies is it’s completely unnecessary. Year after year people spend their hard-earned money on pharmaceuticals, only to find that it’s a temporary fix to a reoccurring problem. The side effects of such medications can be bothersome as well, sometimes even more so than the headache itself.
Fortunately acupuncture is a great option for treating headaches. Acupuncture is the art of placing needles in the body to open up channels of blocked life-force energy, called qi. When qi is blocked, it can cause different symptoms or conditions to occur, in this case, headaches. By allowing qi to flow freely as it’s supposed to, acupuncture can effectively eradicate the cause of the headaches, or at the very least reduce head pain to a more tolerable level. It is a much healthier option for treatment that works with your body instead of against it. Acupuncture can also eliminate or decrease the need for over-the-counter medication and pharmaceuticals.
Just to be clear, we are not against Western medicine. Some more chronic cases may require prescription medication, and in those cases, they should be taken. By all means, see your doctors and get your checkups. We just want people to know there are other alternative options for health care.
In Chinese medicine one of the most important parts of care is identifying the cause. Headache patterns can be mysterious and spontaneous. They can be due to food allergies, stress, hormone imbalances, emotional issues, dehydration, trauma, genetic factors, heavy-metal poisoning or intestinal imbalance. An acupuncturist will try to identify a pattern of disharmony that is based on all the patient’s symptoms, along with a pulse diagnosis. This helps identify the cause, where the qi is blocked and which route to take to treat each individual patient.
I had a patient who had migraines for years. She works in the retail business. She works a lot of hours and was under a lot of stress. She had tried many different treatments for headaches and migraines and came in desperately trying to find a way to get rid of them. The only thing that worked for her in the past was heavy-duty medications, which only worked slightly. When she came in for her first appointment her style of headache was correctly identified and treated. As it turns out, her headaches were caused by stress. Stress caused the energy in her body to become blocked and was reacting in her head, creating pain. After about 10-12 treatments her headaches had disappeared altogether. She stopped coming in for regular treatments.
Six months later she came back to our clinic. Her headaches were back again. As it turns out, her lifestyle did not change; the same stress was still present. Her qi had once again become blocked, and her headaches had returned. After 6-7 treatments, we eliminated her headaches for the second time.
One thing to remember with the treatment of headaches is that there is something causing the qi to become blocked which is causing headaches. Acupuncture brings the body back to balance and will give you relief, but it is up to you to make changes to your life that will avoid qi blockage in the future and will eliminate the headaches more permanently.
The lifestyle change needed to help eliminate your headaches is determined by what type of headache you are experiencing and will be discussed during treatment. These changes could include minimizing stress, meditation, yoga, change of diet, exercise and/or environmental changes. Acupuncture will help, but long-term health is really up to you.
It is unnecessary for people to suffer from headaches and migraines; our bodies weren’t meant to be in such pain. Acupuncture is incredibly effective and a safe option for people with chronic headaches of all kinds. It will free your qi and bring balance back to your body, mind and soul.