Are you plagued by chronic headaches? More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, and 20 million of them are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.
The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, and it can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes, have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. They can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine do not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, a variety of techniques — including acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises–aim to restore balance in the body and treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables. In diagnosing your individual issues, you may be asked a series of questions, including:
Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?
Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation of Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced.
Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary. Some headaches, migraines, and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.
Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines? Call today to find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!
Acupressure Relief for Headaches
Headaches present differently for each person, with varying degrees of pain, tension, and/or tenderness. So, a lot will depend on the location of the pain, as far as which points will require acupressure. To begin, the first step is to sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed, and loosen any tension or tight muscles in the body. Performing acupressure while relaxed ensures optimal results.
Large Intestine 4 is such a powerful acupuncture point for headaches that it is often referred to as “the headache point.” It is located on the padded area of your hand, between the thumb and index finger and between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.
If your headache is on one or both sides of your head, which can include the temples, then apply pressure at a point called Head Corner, which is found about a centimeter into the hairline, above the outer corner of the eyebrow. Using a firm touch from your middle finger, press and hold for 10 seconds. Next, without lifting your fingers, make little clockwise circular motions for 10 seconds. Repeat this procedure in a counter-clockwise motion. This may be repeated for up to 3 minutes.
For relieving pain and tension in the back of the head and neck, the area including and surrounding Gall Bladder 20, GB20, is an excellent choice. You will find your left and right GB20 point about 2 inches outward from your spine, at the base of your skull. The medical term for this part of the cranium is the occipital bone. Cradle the back of your head in both hands and use your thumbs to firmly rub back and forth right below your occipital bones. Create some heat with a vigorous rub, then use your thumb pads to press into the area. This can be done for 2 or 3 minutes.
Contact us today to learn which areas of your body can safely receive acupressure!
In This Issue
Alleviate Your Migraine and Headache Pain
Acupressure Relief for Headaches
Headache sufferers can reduce the intensity and frequency of their headaches or migraine episodes by following these healthy habits:
Eat regular meals and avoid foods and drinks that are known to trigger your headache attacks.
Practice good sleep habits. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule, including weekends and vacations. If you have insomnia or have difficulties getting a restful sleep, ask how acupuncture can help.
Implement stress reduction techniques into your daily life. If you are having difficulties managing your stress, acupuncture provides a number of tools to help keep it in check.
Be a Partner in Your Care
Stay informed so you can be a participant in your treatment and an advocate for improving your own headache treatment.
Keep a journal of when your headaches occur, along with any triggers, and share the information with your health care provider.
Stay apprised of the latest treatment options and headache relief news.
See Your Health Care Provider
Make an appointment with your health care provider to specifically discuss your headaches.