An article published in Mercer County Women.
Headaches affect more than 90% of Americans. The National Headache Foundation reports 45 million Americans suffer from headaches. According to the American Migraine Foundation 36 million Americans suffer from migraine type headaches. In a review, in The Cochrane Library, evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture for tension and migraine headaches, participant’s response to acupuncture appeared to be large and clinically relevant. Patients who received acupuncture reported a decreased frequency of headaches.
Chinese Medicine perspective on Headaches
Traditional Chinese Medicine views health as a garden. Every aspect of our external and internal environment plays a role in optimal health of the body. Therefore, headaches can be caused by several factors; external, internal, your individual constitution, emotions, diet, accidents, and overwork. In fact, it is more common for a combination of several factors to be at play. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, two external factors that are responsible for headaches are wind and damp. Wind is considered to cause acute headaches that cause neck and shoulder stiffness. Dampness will cause headaches that cause dizziness and the inability to concentrate. Then there are internal factors that contribute to headaches; inadequate rest, muscular constrictions, and hormonal imbalances related to the menstrual cycle. Also, several emotions when experienced in excess can contribute to headaches; anger, worry, frustration, fear, anxiety, and sudden shock. It is also important to remember the role of nutrition and diet in your overall health. Eating hot energy foods, excessive salty foods, eating irregularly, and eating too quickly can all contribute to headaches.
It is important to understand Traditional Chinese Medicine collects a full picture of your health through an initial intake and discussion. The focus of treating the condition is not on a singular symptom but on the whole person. Taking time to examine the many facets that make up an individuals health, helps to uncover the contributing factors that lead to imbalance. Overall health becomes less about fixing parts like a machine and more like a garden in need of care and proper cultivation.
What is acupuncture all about?
Acupuncture is the use of hair-thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body. Acupuncture channels can be compared to an electrical grid. Acupuncture points that rest on the grid have a high conductivity charge then other areas of the body. When the needles are inserted at those points a host of changes occur; the limbic system is altered-which is responsible for feelings experienced related to pleasure, neurotransmitters and endorphins are released the body’s natural pain killer, needle insertion also penetrates connective tissue and breaks up adhesions in the fascia-decreasing chronic pain in tight/tender musculature.
According the National Institutes of Health, a 1997 report, found that acupuncture was widely practiced by acupuncturists, physicians, and dentists. Many sought acupuncture for pain relief and various health conditions. In a 2007 National Health Survey, it was reported that an estimated by 3.1 million U.S. Adults and 150,000 children had used acupuncture the previous year. Each year more Americans are utilizing acupuncture for various health concerns. Find out how acupuncture can help your specific needs.