Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Treatment Tuesday: Acupuncture and Headaches

Headache is a very common symptom we see at The Birch Center. Sometimes people come in with headaches as a main symptom, and other times it comes up during the intake that they suffer from headaches to varying degrees.

In Chinese medicine, we look at headaches from a different angle that Western view. Instead of taking medicine for a generic headache, we look at the source of the headache, and treat the source. For example, we often think in terms of "Eight Principles." We ask: is the headache caused by external or internal sources? (External referring to something like a cold, flu, or infection...something is seen as "invading" the body, and internal stems from weakness or stagnation of an organ system.) We also ask if the symptom is one of deficiency or excess? This greatly effects how we treat both with needles and herbal medicine. An external invasion often causes "excess", as does internal stagnant energy. We ask "hot or cold?" and "yin or yang" as the final eight principles.

At The Birch Center, we offer acupuncture and herbal medicine (both Chinese and Western herbs), as well as moxibustion and massage techniques when appropriate to the condition. We also can look at your diet in terms of an energetic point of view, to see if the foods you are eating could be contributing to the imbalance of energy you are experiencing. Finally, we can offer meditation, breathing and other techniques to help reduce stress.

Acupuncture and TCM provide an effective, natural treatment for many different types of pain, including headache pain. Hopefully we can help get your body's balance restored, and specifically recommend some simple changes which will keep you healthy, in balance, and pain-free.

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