Headache TCM Treatments


Headache TCM Treatments

 Authors: Shang-May Chen, M.S., L.Ac.


Headache (H/A) is a very common clinical symptom. Up to 76% of people will experience H/A at least once in their lifetime. Headache can be primary disorders according to western medical diagnosis (ex.migraine, cluster, or tension H/A) as well as secondary associated with head trauma, tumor, fever, hypertension, sinusitis, toothache, eye disorders, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ), cer vical injuries, menses or other diseases. For more accurate diagnosis, not only we have to ask patients about the frequency, duration, location, quality of the pain, and severity of the headache, but also factors make symptoms better or worse, and other necessary western medical checkups, like CBC, CSF exam, ocular test, X-rays, MRI, and CT scan. One of common conventional western medical treatments of H/A is prescribing analgesics pain relievers to patients, like NSAIDs.

Traditional Chinese Medicine gives different perspectives on headache based on the detailed background medical information from patients and with unique ways of TCM differentiations. With Eight Principles, Zhag Fu theories in TCM, headache can be caused from internal or external origins at different time. We need to apply different acupuncture and herbal treatments for different situation. Here we have some common TCM pathologies and treatments of headache based on the clinical experiences. Suggestions of treatment in this article can be modified by professional TCM practitioners based on patients' symptoms.

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* Articles Originally Published in SUN TEN Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2006

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