Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. Acupuncture and TCM can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
TCM does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual in order to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables including:
- Location of the headache: Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
- Time of day or season: When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)? Are they worse in the summer or winter months?
- Alleviating and contributing factors: Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain? Do you have sensitivity to sound?
- Accompanying symptoms: Do you have a loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting? Do you have neck tension or muscles stiffness?
- Nature of the pain: Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?
Your answers to these questions will help your Registered Acupuncturist create a treatment plan specific to your needs. The more customized the treatment plan is the greater your success. The basis for an effective treatment always starts with a thorough assessment on the Initial Visit. This allows the Acupuncturist to determine your body’s “constitution” and select appropriate acupuncture points that will yield the best results. Acupuncture stimulates specific points all over one’s body to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The purpose of treatment is to promote your body’s own self-healing mechanisms and completely eliminate your headaches and migraines or at the very least reduce the frequency and intensity.
The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary form person to person. Typical treatments last from 20 to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times per week. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first few sessions, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.