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Dao Clinic - Woman holding her head because of headache


In Western medicine, headaches are classified into various types based on their causes and symptoms. Migraine is a specific type of headache characterized by moderate to severe pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, or environmental factors.

Chinese medicine views headaches and migraines as symptoms of underlying imbalances in the body's energy, or "Qi," and the balance of Yin and Yang.

Chinese medicine classifies headaches into different types based on the affected meridians and underlying imbalances:

  1. Liver-Yang Rising Headache: This type of headache is often triggered by emotional stress or anger and is characterized by throbbing pain, dizziness, and irritability. It is associated with an imbalance in liver Qi.

  2. Blood Stasis Headache: This headache occurs due to the stagnation of blood circulation, resulting in sharp, fixed pain, often accompanied by a purple tongue. Trauma or chronic conditions can contribute to blood stasis.

  3. Qi Stagnation Headache: Caused by emotional stress or physical strain, this headache features a dull, tight pain that moves around and is often associated with liver Qi stagnation.

  4. Damp-Phlegm Headache: This headache is characterized by a heavy, oppressive sensation, often worsening in damp or humid weather. It is related to an imbalance in the spleen and stomach, leading to damp-phlegm accumulation.

  5. Deficiency Headache: This type of headache is associated with an underlying deficiency, such as blood or Qi deficiency. It features a dull, empty pain that worsens with physical exertion or fatigue.


Chinese medicine practitioners use various techniques to address headaches and migraines:

  1. Acupuncture: Stimulating specific points along the meridians helps regulate and balance the flow of Qi, alleviating pain and addressing the root cause of headaches.

  2. Herbal remedies: Customized Chinese herbal formulas can address the underlying imbalances by nourishing deficiencies, clearing excess, and promoting the flow of Qi and blood.

  3. Dietary therapy: A balanced diet tailored to individual needs can help support organ function and address the imbalances contributing to headaches. Avoiding trigger foods, eating regularly, and choosing foods that nourish the liver and spleen can be beneficial.

  4. Stress management: Practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, can help reduce stress and alleviate headaches related to emotional stress or liver Qi stagnation.

By addressing the root causes and promoting overall health and well-being, Chinese medicine can provide valuable support for individuals with headaches and migraines. It's essential to consult with a qualified practitioner to develop a personalized treatment plan that suits individual needs and conditions.

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