Despite the number of people who complain of migraines and tension headaches day in and day out, the Western world’s understanding of them is very limited. We respond to migraines and headaches by taking aspirin without really questioning why they happen in the first place.
The next time it happens, we just take another aspirin. Clearly, aspirins aren’t a long-term solution to the age-old problem of migraines and tension headaches; Is there a solution that works?
Chinese Medicine’s take on migraines and headaches
Traditional Chinese Medicine cracked the case thousands of years back. The Chinese have a very different perspective of migraines and headaches. While most think that these are caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the head itself, TCM suggests that they are a result of other internal factors such as fatigue, stress, digestive problems and possibly hormonal imbalance.
According to the Chinese, the body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones. As these stress hormones are released into the bloodstream, it triggers a chain of physical reactions – shorter breaths, faster heartbeats and muscle tension. All these are healthy reactions that allow the body to protect itself in times of danger.
The problem arises when the response begins to happen unnecessarily; then it begins to take a toll on mental health, resulting in migraines and headaches.
Traditional Chinese Medicine used to treat migraine and tension
Acupuncture: Acupuncture seeks to reverse the physiological changes caused by stress by stimulating the flow of positive energy, ‘Qi’. It provides a relaxing effect that lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, and promotes tissue regeneration, making it an efficient way to manage depression and anxiety. Unlike Western medicine, acupuncture doesn’t have any side-effects nor does it cause dependence.
Chinese Herbs: Herbs are used in Chinese medicine to replenish the body’s energy reserves and reset hormone levels.
Dietary Therapy: Dietary therapy works with acupuncture and Chinese herbs for long-term relief against migraines and tensions.
Chinese Massage: Like any other massage, Chinese massage also focuses on the alleviating the built-up tension in muscles and reducing inflammation.