Updated: Sep 14, 2022
Whether you have experienced minor headaches or severe migraines, headaches can take valuable time out of your day and leave you searching for relief.
Headaches are incredibly common ailments that are normally treated with over-the-counter pain medications. Although these do promise quick results, common pain medications fail to address the root cause of the headache and leave you vulnerable to more in the future. There are so many triggers that can bring on unwanted headaches, it might feel pointless to try and decipher what you are feeling, so let's break it down. First, let's look at the different types of headaches you could be experiencing.
What are you feeling?
When you start to feel a headache come on start to pay attention to what you were doing beforehand. Are you feeling emotional? Hyper-focused on a screen? Exercising? On your menstrual cycle?
How does the pain feel?
After identifying your situation try to focus on the pain. Is it dull and throbbing? Sharp and stabbing? Tightening like a band? Is it more of an ache?
Where is the pain?
Now pay close attention to the location of your headache. Is it sitting right behind one or both of your eyes? At your temples? On the top of your head? On the sides of your head? At the base of your skull?
Although it is not necessary to do these self-evaluations before coming in for acupuncture the extra information can help your acupuncturist to get to the root of the problem much faster.
So how does Acupuncture help?
Acupuncture offers a safe and effective approach to relieving pain. Stimulating certain acupuncture points causes the release of a multitude of nervous system chemicals in the brain, spinal cord, and muscles that help to restore the body's natural ability to heal. This can alleviate headaches/migraines as well as release tensions that might be contributing factors to the headaches in the first place.
Other things that you can do at home to help prevent headaches include:
perform light to moderate exercise
eat foods specific to your TCM food therapy plan
have good sleep hygiene
Is there a home remedy?
When you have an active headache keep the feet warm by wearing thick socks or using a heating pad. The warmer the better! When you come in for acupuncture with an active headache or migraine we start by needling points on the feet and then some in the hands. We will also put a heat lamp on your feet to pull blood flow away from the head.
A common acupuncture point known for its ability to reduce headaches is LI 4 "He Gu". This point is located in the webbing between your thumb and first finger. Pinch the webbing and find an area that is tender. Press on both sides of the tender area and hold until you feel the headache subsiding or for 1-15 minutes if there is no change.
If you want a helping hand in defeating your headaches, we would love to help you!
Yours in health and wellness,