A migraine is considered more severe than a headache with symptoms such as nausea, light and sound sensitivity and dizziness. However, in TCM we treat an organ system regardless of what it is called in Western medicine. In Chinese medicine we must first find out where the headache is occurring. Different areas of the head represent different organ systems. There are at least 4 channels that traverse the head with other channels that are related due to their internal pathways. There are also different patterns that need to be differentiated.
For instance, one person may have a blood deficiency type headache with dull achiness, fatigue and dizziness, pale tongue and thready pulse. Patients may also have a Western diagnosis of iron or B12 deficiency, but not always. At the other end of the spectrum is a liver qi stagnation type headache which often occurs at the top of the head or as a one sided headache due to stress. Patients will usually have stabbing pain at the top or sides of the head with eye irritation or pain and feels better with pressure. Headaches that occur before or during the menstrual cycle are also signs of blood & qi stagnation due to dysfunction of the Liver energy.
Your acupuncturist will speak to you about dietary considerations and allergies that may be triggering headaches. Dehydration can also trigger headaches. Please contact me today if you know someone who suffers from migraines or headaches.