Whenever people get headache, they tend to get painkillers that contain acetaminophen. This is not good because people later tend to rely heavily on painkillers. Painkillers temporarily alleviate headache, but not treat the ‘root’ of headache.   

Oriental medicine diagnosis

Oriental medicine does not consider headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, herbs, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables : “Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or on the top of your head? When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)? Do you find that a cold compress or a dark room can alleviate some of the pain? Would you describe the pain as dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?”

How acupuncture works

The basic foundation for oriental medicine is that there is a life energy called qi flowing through the body. This qi flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to oriental medicine theory, illness arises when the cynical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of skin, which has the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture points to treat headaches are located all over the body. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles will be placed along the legs, arms, shoulders, and sometimes even a big toe. Occasionally, there is a brief sensation of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, but once the needles are in place, most people relax and even fall asleep for during treatment. The length, number and frequency of treatment will vary. Typical treatments last from between 15 and 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments. The style of acupuncture that your acupuncturist has been trained in will play a roll in length of treatment, number of points used and frequency of visits.