Headache is a common symptom. Almost everybody will have had one at some point in his or her lives. There are numerous types of common headaches such as tension-type headaches, migraine headaches, cluster headaches and hormone headaches. These headaches are characterised by their symptoms and behaviour. Acupuncture is often used in the treatment of tension headaches.
Acupuncturists characterise headaches due to their symptoms and behaviour, but with the Meridian system in mind. This provides another dimension to look at and understand the nature of headaches in more detail. For example a sharp throbbing headache found at the temples and behind the eye (as seen in migraine) indicates an excess of energy in the liver meridian pathway. As the liver eridian passes through the stomach a nauseous feeling is often common in this type of headache. Acupuncture points are used to pacify this meridian and in doing so the symptoms are alleviated. The acupuncturist would continue to provide dietary and lifestyle advice to maintain a healthy liver Meridian.
An acupuncture study “Acupuncture for chronic headache in primary care: large, pragmatic, randomised trial” published in the British Medical Journal (click here) found that acupuncture leads to ‘persisting relevant benefits for primary-care patients with chronic headache, particularly with migraine.’ The study also revealed that acupuncture had long lasting effects, where severity of headaches were reduced nine months after acupuncture treatment had been stopped.