Treating Headaches with Acupuncture

Written by Fred Walton


Headache: can present in various forms,

  • pain behind the eyes,
  • pain on top of the head,
  • nuchal line pain as in at the back of the skull,
  • neck and shoulder pain radiating to the back of the head,
  • in the ear area and TMJ joint area,
  • face pain which can affect the teeth both upper and lower.

Dehydration headaches: generally occur at the back of the neck where the muscles of the neck attach to the skull.


Hormonal headaches seem to form at the top of the scalp between the top of the ears.

There are several forms of Sinus headaches;which can affect the areas as follows,

  • behind the eyes,
  • the front of the face and teeth,
  • the neck and shoulder area and above and behind the eyes,
  • often this headache is misdiagnosed as Migraine.

Regardless of the position of the headache Chinese Medicine looks at the syndrome of headache as stagnation, energy not flowing and generally responds extremely well to acupuncture treatment.
The philosophy says, that where energy can’t go blood cant flow and where blood cant flow you have pain (stagnation) but the rule that follows that is where energy goes blood must follow releasing the pain. This is a simplistic view of a somewhat more complex problem. But again the function of acupuncture is to free energy thus reducing pain.
There are several things to be aware of where chronic headaches are concerned.
Heed Weather Alerts
If you experience weather-associated migraines, you’ve been feeling tension lately due to the drop in barometric pressure, which is linked to increasing the fluid (and pressure) protecting and surrounding your brain inside of your skull.
Get Regular Exercise
Regular physical activity is linked to reducing the quantity and severity of migraines. It also keeps your weight down, and obesity is another migraine culprit.
Shun Processed Foods
Put down that bag of chips or box of cookies! Chances are it contains MSG, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or nitrates—all of which trigger migraines.
Say No to Alcohol in excess
Wine, especially red wine, contains sulfites, and chemical preservatives that can spur a headache. If you really need a glass, seek out an organic white wine with predominantly natural chemicals—and don’t overdo it!
Never Skip Meals
If you skip meals, chances are your blood sugar levels are unbalanced, which often result in a head-splitting migraine. Instead, focus on regular, balanced meals of lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh carbohydrates, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Researchers have found that compared with standard medical care, acupuncture offers substantial benefits in preventing headaches and improving the quality of life for people who suffer from frequent headaches, especially migraines.


Acupuncture is commonly used to treat other types of chronic pain, but researchers say this is the first large-scale study to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture under real-life conditions. They say the results indicate that health insurance coverage of acupuncture services should be expanded to include the treatment of chronic headaches andmigraine.

A study published in the March 15 2004 issue of the British Medical Journal, British researchers found that acupuncture improves the quality of life for people with chronic headaches at a small additional cost. They say the findings show that acupuncture is a relatively cost-effective headache therapy compared with other treatments.

 
Other complementary Therapies that assist in reducing Headaches
Massage
This therapy hasn't been studied in depth, but early research is promising. One study showed that massage therapy lowered the number of headaches people got, though it didn't help with pain once a migraine got started.
Massage is also often used to ease stress, a common migraine trigger.
Supplements
Research suggests that taking riboflavin (vitamin B2) might help you get migraines less often, though it doesn't seem to relieve pain during a headache. Coenzyme Q-10 may also lead to fewer migraines in adults and children, though it usually needs to be taken for several months to see a benefit.
Before you take a supplement, it's important to talk with your doctor to be sure it won't react badly with other medicines.
Relaxation Techniques
Because migraines are often triggered by stress, relaxation training may help. Some methods that often have good results include deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, in which you tense and relax the muscles in different parts of your body.
With practice, relaxation training can help counter your body's response to stress and may prevent migraines.
Exercise
Regular cardio exercise -- workouts that get your heart pumping -- may make migraines less severe or happen less often.
A Swedish study compared exercise with relaxation and a drug that prevents migraines. The cardio routine -- 40 minutes, three times a week -- worked as well as relaxation or medicine in reducing the level of pain and the frequency of migraines.
Diet Changes
Some people find that certain foods trigger their migraines. Common ones include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, canned foods, cured or processed meats, aged cheeses, cultured dairy, MSG, and aspartame.
Keep a food diary to help you remember what you ate before a migraine came on. Then cut out these foods one at a time to see if it helps with your headaches.
Herbal Remedies
Feverfew may ease pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light during a migraine, as well as help you have fewer headaches, but the research is mixed.
Some studies show that an extract of the herb butterbur may help prevent migraines. But the herb itself is toxic, so only use a commercially prepared product.
Pressure
Many people find that applying gentle pressure to the head, face, and neck during a migraine can help ease the pain. Techniques to try:
• Press the brow line and under the eyes.
• Rub the temples and jaw in a circular motion.
• Massage the base of the skull with a tennis ball.
A variety of head wraps and bands claim to ease migraine pain. They're inexpensive and might be worth a try.
Sleep
Studies show that poor sleep and migraines often go hand in hand, so changing some of your bedtime habits may help. Things to try:
• Don't read, watch TV, or listen to music in bed.
• Don't eat within 4 hours or drink within 2 hours of bedtime.
Good Habits Fight Migraines
Your lifestyle can have a big impact on how often you get your headaches. These tips can help:
• Don't skip meals.
• Stay hydrated.

If you are experiencing headaches of any type, or simply reacting to barometric pressure change, or have sinusitis our clinic specialises in a combined acupuncture/massage teartments or in the case of chronic headacheseries of three initial combination acupuncture massage treatments. 

YOU CAN BOOK ON LINE at https://access2health.com.au or simply telephone the clinic on 07 38783766 to make an appointment at your convenience.