What is migraine?

Migraine headaches are characterized by throbbing, frequent severe pain, usually on one side of the head. It may also be accompanied by dizziness, nausea and vomiting. It may last from a few hours to several days. However the headache caused by external wind is not classified as migraine.

Causes of migraine

Migraines affect about one in ten of the population and about 70% of all migraine sufferers are women. It is believed that changing hormone levels during menstruation, ovulation and menopause may trigger the pain.

The migraine is thought to be caused by a spasm which occurs in the blood vessels of the brain. The concentration and expansion of the blood vessel result in throbbing pain.

Certain types of food may also trigger migraine such as overripe cheese, citrus fruits, chocolate, red wine, coffee, red meat etc. The pill can also provoke migraine in susceptible women.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are different types of migraine. Its primary pathogenesis changes are mainly due to the following four types:

 Rising of Liver Yang

stress, emotional problems, Liver Qi stagnation, or Kidney Yin deficiency, causing the Liver Yang to rise which disturbs the head. Symptoms include: Migraine, blurring of the vision which is made worse when stressed; also the sufferer may experience hot flushes, thirst, red tongue and a taut pulse. This type is often seen in high blood pressure sufferers.

 Blood Deficiency

 Blood deficiency caused by failure of the blood to nourish the head correctly. Symptoms appear as Headache, dizziness, palpitations, often worse in the afternoon, tiredness, pale complexion, associated with a heavy period, or in women who have had many children. Also pale tongue and thready pulse.

 Blood Stasis type

 Blood stagnation causing pain in the head. Symptoms include Migraine pain in a fixed place or a needle-like pricking pain. This may occur if the patient has a history of external injury. Also associated with a purple tongue, thread and hesitant pulse. This may occur to the patients who have a history of external injury.

Remedy for migraine by TCM

TCM can treat migraine by using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. The herbal medicine prescribed by our practitioners can calm the liver yang, normalize the Yin-blood, disperse blood stasis and dredge collateral. It is ideal way to root out the causes of migraine.
In addition, acupuncture is also an effective treatment for migraine. Most cases are relieved shortly after acupuncture. The selection of the acupuncture point will depend on the different types of migraine.


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