An Acupuncturist’s Perspective on Migraine Prevention and Treatment
Do you often experience throbbing head pain that lasts hours to days? Have you consulted your doctor and tried different migraine treatments only to find no relief? You’re not alone. It’s estimated more than one-tenth of North Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Unfortunately, the migraine and its causes are still not fully understood by Western medicine, leaving many people dissatisfied with current treatment options.
Many migraine sufferers are turning to acupuncture for help. Unlike Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) understands why migraines happen and how to relieve them. Acupuncture has proven to be so successful that even the World Health Organization has added it to its list of effective treatments for migraines.
The Acupuncturist’s Perspective on Migraines
Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as Zhong Yi, is able to provide a solution for migraines because it works in a very different paradigm. It believes a vital energy called “qi” flows through the body. This energy is responsible for maintaining your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Migraines and other ailments are caused when energy moves improperly.
An acupuncturist can help restore proper energy flow by pinpointing possible patterns of energy disturbances and then inserting acupuncture needles into the corresponding meridians. This safe, natural procedure usually lasts between 20 to 40 minutes and produces almost zero side effects. The needles do not cause pain and are even thinner than a human hair. Many people find acupuncture relaxing and often fall asleep during treatment.
Pricking therapy is a great emergency aid if you can’t see an acupuncturist right away but know how to use a diabetic lancet. It can alleviate migraine attacks by interrupting your body’s energy and beginning a process of mutual regulation. It won’t solve your migraine problem, but it can provide temporally relief so you can seek professional help accordingly.
You can find resources on YouTube for a rough idea of how pricking therapy is done. You can prick the ear apex or ExUE11 Shi Xuan or incorporate both of them to target migraine pain. Please contact me if you need clarification on the pricking procedure or point locations.
How to Prevent Migraines with Zhong Qi
The key to preventing migraines lies in your Zhong Qi or “middle energy”. A strong Zhong Qi is powerful enough to reverse the imbalances that lead to diseases, while a weak Zhong Qi lacks the healing power necessary to combat chronic illnesses. You can improve your Zhong Qi by taking care of your digestive system. Overeating should be avoided as this exhausts your digestive system. It’s also advised to avoid cold foods like ice cream and medicine and herbs that have a cold nature.
Flavours can affect energy movement too. If you overindulge in one flavour (sweet, salty, bitter, sour), it can create a strong vector of energy which can either treat your body’s imbalance or throw it off balance. To keep your Zhong Qi functioning at its peak, it’s best to follow a balanced diet that consists of a variety of food types and flavours.
Lastly, emotions like stress, anger, or frustration can be harmful toward your Zhong Qi. Similar to overindulging in flavours, each of these mental states can alter energy momentum. Prolonged exposure to these emotions will exhaust your Zhong Qi and cause imbalance.
Curing Migraines with Acupuncture
I’m sure you’re wondering “can a migraine ever be completely cured?” As an acupuncturist, I believe it can. By balancing energy mechanics and protecting your Zhong Qi, it’s possible to achieve a healthy life that’s free of chronic migraine pain and other illnesses. Unlike biomedicine, TCM gives us enough information and tools (acupuncture) to tackle the problem.
If you’re suffering from migraines and not happy with your current treatment solution, I encourage you to try the tips I’ve outlined and come in for a FREE Discovery Visit. This no-obligation Discovery Visit is a great opportunity for you to ask questions, discuss your health concerns, and review potential treatment options. You can also leave a comment below if you need any clarification on the concepts or procedures I’ve written about.
About Gary Chan
Gary Chan is an award-winning Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncturist. He’s been practicing TCM all over Metro Vancouver for over a decade. When he’s not practicing holistic medicine, Gary enjoys learning, writing, and teaching. He is also passionate about spirituality, mystic art, mathematics, and cats.