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Tag: headaches

Headaches and Acupuncture

by Clark and Ann Zimmerman, L.Ac.


Headaches are one of the more common patterns we treat in our clinic. Most people have experienced a headache at some time in their life. They are usually a mild to moderate annoyance that is treated using aspirin or NSAID’s such as ibuprofen. For the occasional headache, this can be a quick and easy solution, but often times this serves only to treat the symptom and not the root cause of the pain. Truly effective headache remedies focus on addressing the root cause of the problem. If the root is treated properly, then the headache usually goes away or is greatly reduced in intensity.

Western medicine says that headaches are usually caused by one of several things including dehydration, stress, allergies, mineral deficiencies, or misalignment of bones. Each of these triggers can often be addressed with simple home treatments: Drinking more water to combat dehydration, relaxing or stretching to combat stress, experimenting with diet to discover possible food allergies, supplementing with a calcium/magnesium supplement to address possible mineral deficiency, or getting a chiropractic/osteopathic adjustment to properly align the bones. If these are not enough, a person might choose an NSAID, aspirin, or one of many pharmaceutical drugs that address headaches.

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Migraine Headaches

by Clark and Ann Zimmerman, L.Ac.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have enjoyed a long and successful history of treating a wide variety of headache patterns. Migraine headaches currently affect around 5 million Americans. The cause of migraines eludes many of its sufferers. Certain foods have been identified as triggers. Stress, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances have also been found to play a role. Many people with migraines feel hopeless, as they have tried conventional medications such as imitrex without good effect.

In Chinese medicine, migraines have a few different causes. The number one pattern underlying migraines is liver qi stagnation. This means that the functional energy of the liver becomes stuck and hyperactive. This is usually due to pent up anger or a chronic inability to express one’s emotions. Liver related headaches tend to run along the temples, as the gall bladder meridian, which is closely connected with the liver, travels through this area.

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