Acupuncture for headaches and migraine headaches

Yin Yang energy, sufficient Chi(Qi) and blood supply. If the bodily organs have any problems, these can lead to a poor energy supply to the head, and so headaches will arise.

Types of Pain in the head

Headache pain generally indicates a blockage of energy flowing. The type of this pain illustrates what causes the Chi (qi) blockage.

  • A full and throbbing headache pain indicates that an excess of energy is flowing to the head.
  • A dull pain or constant ache indicates that there is an energy deficiency in the head.

Then acupuncture therapy would manipulate the Chi(qi) to respectively either ease the excess energy in the meridian lines or to increase the energy chi flowing through the acupuncture channels relating to the head.

When working on a headache with acupuncture, the individual diagnosis based on TCM principles is vital.

Headaches, Chi blockage in the channels

There are four main common headaches which are related to the body organs:

  • Headaches from the bladder channel or meridian line
  • Headaches from the stomach channel or meridian line
  • Headaches from the gall bladder channel or meridian line
  • Headaches from the liver channel or meridian line

The location of a headache indicates the unbalanced channel too as a TCM diagnosis:

  • Pain in forehead: In Chinese Medicine, headaches in the forehead indicate a disorder in the energy flow of the Stomach channel. This type of headache may be related to a digestive disorder, or to overeating or food insufficiency.
  • Pain behind the Eyes: Pain behind the eyes is often related to migraine. This type of headache indicates a disorder in the Liver meridian line.
  • Pain in side(s) of Head: Headache on the temples means a disharmony in the Gall Bladder channel. This type of headache can occur on both sides of the head, or on one side only. It is believed that a headache on the left side is more likely from a lack of energy in the channel, and one on the right side from an excess of energy.
  • Pain at the back of the Head: An acute headache at the back of the head, around the occipital bone is more likely an early stage of the common cold. Chronic headache in this area signifies a lack of energy flow in the Kidney and/or Bladder channels.

Patterns of Headaches

Acupuncture is used for headache sufferers based on each individual case. Headaches occur with patterns, although they are in different locations and at different times, triggered by a variety of underlying causes. Here we summarised a list of the most commonly-encountered headache patterns.

  • Wind Cold Pattern headaches
  • Wind Heat Pattern headaches
  • Wind Dampness Pattern headaches
  • Liver Yang Pattern headaches
  • Kidney Deficiency Pattern headaches
  • Blood Deficiency Pattern headaches
  • Blood Stagnation Pattern headaches
  • Phlegm Retention Pattern headaches