More people complain about headaches than any other type of ailment, and all too often they resort to prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that have a number of unwanted side effects. However, Chinese acupuncture not only helps to alleviate the symptoms of headaches, it also treats the underlying causes providing long-lasting relief for headaches and migraines.

Categories of Headaches

There are two categories of headaches:

  • Primary Headaches: a clinical condition rather than a symptom of another disorder, primary headaches include migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches.
  • Secondary Headaches: these are secondary conditions caused by other medical conditions, including brain and head injuries, dental problems, allergies and sinus issues.

Acupuncture is mainly used to treat primary headaches, of which migraines and tension headaches are the most common.

Diagnosing Headaches

Traditional Chinese medicine doesn’t recognise headaches or migraines as being one particular disorder. Instead, practitioners look at the specific symptoms an individual has before deciding on a treatment path. When you visit an acupuncturist for headache treatment, you’ll be asked a number of questions, such as where the headache is located, when your headaches usually occur, the nature of the pain e.g. dull and throbbing or sharp and stabbing, and whether anything seems to alleviate your symptoms, such as sitting or laying in a dark room, or using a cold compress.

Treating Headaches with Chinese Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves placing fine needles into specific parts of your body, followed by gentle stimulation of the needles. Acupuncture points for headaches are not restricted to your head; in fact the head and neck are often avoided to prevent dilating blood vessels in the head, which could make the pain worse. Instead needles are inserted along arms, legs, shoulders, and sometimes even your big toe.

Because emotional stress is a trigger for headaches and migraines, acupuncture can also be used to reduce muscle tension in the head and neck, which can help with headache prevention.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

For more information on how Chinese acupuncture can treat, cure and prevent headaches, contact Shulan today.