Most people at some point in their life will suffer from a headache. The pain could be as mild as slight tension or an annoying throb, to as severe as feeling like your brain is being stabbed over and over again with a knife. For some people the headache may last just a few minutes, and for others, it could lasts weeks or even months.
A headache is defined as pain or discomfort in the head, neck, or scalp. Western medicine recognizes 2 main types of headaches, primary and secondary. Primary headaches are headaches independent of other diseases. Primary headaches include migraine, cluster, and tension headaches. Secondary headaches are headaches that are caused by another disease or are symptoms of another pathology. Secondary headaches can be caused by an infection, substance induced, trauma, facial or cranial, emotional disturbance, or vascular changes.
In my clinic we use natural methods like acupuncture, herbal remedies, supplements, massage, and dietary therapies to relieve headaches. Headaches are usually a symptom of an underlying condition. Most people will treat their headache with over the counter or prescription medication given to them by their doctors. The pain may temporally subside but will often return hours or even days later. Many patients have told me that their migraine medication that used to provide relief has stopped working for them. This is because the pattern of disease that is causing the headache has not been addressed.
In Chinese Medicine we treat the underlying condition, not just the symptom which will provide longer lasting, and often permanent relief from the pain. Patients who originally came in to see me for a headache will often report feeling less anxious, more relaxed, and being able to sleep better after the acupuncture treatment. This is because the same pattern that has been causing you that annoying headache, could be causing your anxiety and insomnia too.
Here are a few helpful things that you can do at home to help alleviate your headache:
- Eat a diet based on whole foods. Your food should be in its natural from without additives.
- Eliminate processed foods. Foods like breads, sugar, canned, packages, or food in jars will most likely have additives and can trigger a headaches.
- Drink more water. Water will help flush out toxins from your system.
- Meditate. Just find time to do it. It will help relieve stress and tension. Start with at least 5 minutes a day.
- Sleep. Get it. The importance of sleep is underrated in our society. The average person needs 7 hours of sleep a night. If you are not getting that then its time to see your acupuncturist.