More than 10 million people in the UK get headaches every year, making them one of the most common health complaints. Headaches have many different causes but can generally be split into two types:
- Primary headaches – those not due to an underlying health problem such as: migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches.
- Secondary headaches – caused by a condition which activates the pain-sensitive nerves in the head. There are no common features of secondary headaches and a long list of causes including: too much alcohol, a cold or flu, allergy, sinusitis, head injury, concussion, high blood pressure, the side effects of taking particular medications, too many painkillers. etc.
Symptoms of Primary Headaches
- Migraine: usually felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head, it can be accompanied by nausea, fever, aching and sensitivity to light. Migraines can occur up to several times a week
- Tension Headache: the most common type of headache. Mild to moderately painful, it is felt as a dull ache on both sides of the head, lasting up to several hours and occurring one or more times a week.
- Cluster Headache: excruciatingly painful, they can cause an intense pain around one eye and last between 15 minutes and 3 hours. They are rare but those who do suffer can get one to three cluster headaches every day for several weeks or months before the attacks subside.
Curing Migraines and Headaches Naturally with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers powerful treatment for the prevention and treatment of headaches, including migraines. Diagnosis is based on the overall health of the patient as well as the nature of the headache. Although TCM recognizes many different types of headache, the root cause is always depletion of Qi, the vital energy which flows around the body and regulates health by maintaining harmony, balance and order.
Acupuncture has a long tradition of treating migraine and other headaches and its efficacy in this regard is well documented. Clinical trials show a significant decrease in the number of headaches and their duration after acupuncture treatment. Most patients get some degree of relief after a single treatment. Multiple treatments are generally required to clear the underlying body imbalance – normally two a week for 4-6 weeks is recommended.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is also an extremely effective treatment for migraine and other headaches. It is used in conjunction with acupuncture. Its power lies in its ability to balance the body. It reduces pain, the duration and frequency of the headaches and is very effective in preventing the onset of headaches. The duration of Chinese herbal treatment depends on the patient’s response, but generally one to two months treatment is required to clear the symptoms and restore balance to the body.
TCM places great importance on diet and lifestyle when addressing the causes of migraine and other headaches and your GinSen Practitioner will advise you appropriately. Factors to be considered include reducing stress, exercising regularly and eating healthily. Foods which trigger the onset of headaches should be avoided. Depending on the individual, these can include: dairy products, chocolate, spices, wheat, greasy foods, alcohol, coffee and sugar.