Our Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, Tom Kiroplis, offers an effective and proven combination of Herbs and Acupuncture for migraine sufferers.
We have seen clients who have experienced migraines for several years, and within a period of only 6 to 12 treatments, they have been able to completely eliminate their migraines or reduce their frequency and intensity by 70 to 100 percent.
The Use of Acupuncture for Migraine Headaches
Treatment For Migraines
Depending on the type of migraine headache, different acupuncture points are used. Below are some examples of different types of headaches with their corresponding appropriate treatment strategy:
Invasion of Wind Cold
Signs and Symptoms - Symptoms include: fever, an aversion to wind and cold, headache worsening with windy and cold conditions, absence of thirst, stuffy nose with white nasal discharge, headache with stiffness at the occiput and a contracting sensation, body aches, a thin white tongue coating and a superficial, tight pulse.
Principle of Treatment
Dispel wind, eliminate cold and relieve the headache.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy)
Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San Ligusticum and Green Tea Regulating Powder
Case History - The following case is an example of how a headache is investigated and treated in Traditional Chinese Medicine. A 23 year old female came to our clinic complaining of an occipital headache. She reported that her headaches started after catching a cold two days previously. She also presented with a stiff neck, a stuffy nose and had an aversion to cold. Her tongue had a white coating, and her pulse was superficial and tight.
Diagnosis - Headache due to invasion of Wind-Cold. Principle of Treatment - Eliminate cold, warm the channels and relieve the headache.
Herbal Treatment - The patient was given the patent medicine Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan and was advised to take it for one week.
Outcome - After one week, the patient reported that her headache was completely gone, along with all of her other symptoms.
Invasion of Wind Heat
Signs and Symptoms - Symptoms include: a painfully distending sensation in the head, fever, aversion to heat, thirst, constipation, a red face, red eyes, nasal obstruction, a sore throat, a red tongue body with a yellow coating, and a superficial and rapid pulse.
Principle of Treatment - Dispel wind, clear heat and relieve the headache.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Sang Ju Yin (Mulberry Leaf and Chrysanthemum Decoction) Huang Lian Shang Qing Pian (Coptis Upper Clearing Tablets)
Acupuncture Treatment LI 4 Hegu, LI11 Quchi, TW 5 Waiguan, ST 8 Touwei, Extra Taiyang. LU 7 if there is a stuffy nose present GV 14 if there is a fever present
Invasion of Wind Dampness
Signs and Symptoms Symptoms include: a feeling of heaviness in the head and the whole body (the head feels like it is wrapped in a piece of cloth), a general aversion to damp weather, a sense of fullness in the chest, a poor appetite, a white and greasy tongue coating and a slippery and superficial pulse.
Principle of Treatment Eliminate wind and dampness and relieve the headache.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Pian
Acupuncture Treatment LU-7 Lieque, LI-4 Hegu, GB-20 Fengchi, ST-40 Fenglong, Ah Shi points on head and neck. If there is a feeling of heaviness in the body , add Sp-9 and Sp-3 to activate the spleen and help eliminate dampness. If there is a feeling of fullness in the chest, add P-6 and CV-17 to relieve the “fullness in the chest” feeling.
Stagnation of Liver QI>
Signs and Symptoms Symptoms include a headache that worsens with stress or emotional issues, depressed mood, sighing, distension and pain in the hypochondriac region, irregular menstruation, a thin and white tongue coating and a wiry pulse.
Principle of Treatment Course (relax) the liver and rectify the Qi.
Herbal Treatment Prescription ( Patent Remedy) Xiao Yao Wan Free and Relaxed Pill Shu Gan Wan Soothe the Liver Pill
Acupuncture Treatment LI-4 Hegu, LR-3 Taichong, PC-6 Neiguan, GB-20 Fengchi, GV-20 Baihui. Depending on the symptoms, a number of extra points along the Stomach and Gall Bladder meridian on the head and neck are used.
Flaring up of Liver File
Signs and Symptoms Sharp and distending pain in the head, patient angers easily, irritability, bitter taste in the mouth, poor sleep, lack of appetite, yellow urine, constipation, a red tongue and a rapid and wiry pulse.
Principle of Treatment Reduce Liver-Fire, Calm the mind and relieve the headache.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Long Dan Xie Gan Wan
Acupuncture Treatment GB-20 Fengchi, GB-21 Jianjing, GB-14, Extra Taiyang, GB-43 Xiaxi, LR-2 Xingjian, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, TW-5 Waiguan. Add GB-21 for neck pain and stiffness. Add Extra Sishencong if there is irritability. Add CV-12 if there is a poor appetite.
Hyperactivity of Liver Yang>
Signs and Symptoms Symptoms include a headache which is severe and frequent, pain with dizziness, anxiety, anger and insomnia, hypochondriac pain, red face and eyes and a bitter taste in the mouth, red tongue with a yellow coating and a wiry strong pulse
Principle of Treatment Relax the Liver, subdue Liver-Yang and relieve the headache.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan Gastrodia and Uncaria Pill
Acupuncture Treatment GB-20 Fengchi, Extra Taiyang, GV-20 Baihui, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, LV-3 Tai Chong, KI-3 Tai Xi, LI-4 Hegu, GB-43 Xiaxi Add P-6 for irritability. Add LR-14 for hypochondriac pain. Add H-7 for insomnia.
Flaring up of Stomach Fire
Signs and Symptoms Headache located in the forehead, painful swollen or bleeding gums, acid reflux, headache worsens with exposure to heat. Patient also may have thirst, mouth sores, nausea, yellow urine, a red tongue with a dry yellow coating, rapid and strong pulse.
Principle of Treatment Clear Stomach-Fire, move Qi and alleviate the headache.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Yu Nu Jian (Jade Women Decoction) Qing Wei San ( Clear the Stomach Powder)
Acupuncture Treatment LI-4 Hegu, ST-44 Neiting, BL-21 Weishu, ST-36 Zusanli, LI-11 Quchi, GB-20 Fengchi, ST-8 Touwei, GV-20 Baihui. Add Gb-14 and Extra Yuyao for a severe headache in the forehead. Add P-6 if there is nausea and vomiting.
Case Study - A 36 year old man came to our clinic complaining of a headache which lasted more than 6 months. Other complaints included irritability, swollen gums, bad breath, epigastric pain, yellow urine and a fast, strong pulse. He also mentioned that his headache was usually located on the forehead and that it was aggravated with exposure to heat. Diagnosis Headache due to Flaring-Up of Stomach Fire. Principle of Treatment Clear Stomach-Fire and alleviate the pain. Acupuncture Treatment LI-4 Hegu, LI-11 Qu Chi, ST-36 Zusanli, GB-20 Fengchi, ST-8 Touwei, LV-3 Tai Chong, GV-20 Baihui. Outcome All points were reduced except for ST-36. The patient came bi-weekly for one month. At that point, the patient reported a complete recovery of his headaches.
ACCUMULATION OF DAMP PHLEGM
Signs and Symptoms Headache accompanied with a feeling of heaviness in the head, tinnitus, fatigue, fullness in the chest and epigastrium, nausea and vomiting, white and greasy tongue coating and a slippery or soggy pulse.
Principle of Treatment Resolve phlegm, eliminate Dampness, strengthen the Spleen and relieve the headache.
Herbal Treatment (Patent Remedy) Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Pian (Decocfion of Pinellia, Atractylodes and Gastrodia Pill) Xiang Sha Liu Jun WN (Six Gentleman Pill with Aucklandia and Amomum)
Acupuncture Treatment GB-20 Fengchi, ST-8 Touwei, ST-36 Zusanli, SP-9 Yinlingquan, ST-40 Fenglong, GV-20 Baihui, LI-4 Hegu Add P-6 and SP-4, to regulate functions of the spleen and stomach to aid with nausea and vomiting. Add GB-8 for dizziness. Add GB-14 and BL-2 if there is a headache over the forehead.
Case Study A 60 year old lady came to our clinic for treatment of her headaches. She said that she has been experiencing headaches for the past three years and that nothing seemed to help so she decided to try acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. When she arrived at the clinic, the patient was experiencing a severe headache. She reported that she was suffering from head and neck pain and that there was a heavy feeling in the head. The accompanying symptoms included fatigue, nausea, chest fullness, loose stool, yellow greasy tongue coating and a slippery and wiry pulse. Diagnosis Headache due to long standing Phlegm-Dampness Principle of Treatment Resolve Phlegm and eliminate Dampness and relieve Headache. Acupuncture Treatment Gv-20 Fengchi, St -8 Touwei, LI-4 Hegu, St-36 Zusanli, SP-9 Yinlingquan, St-40 Fenglong. Outcome All points were reduced except for ST-36 which was reinforced. The pain in the neck was eliminated after three treatments . The headaches also lessened in intensity and frequency. The patient attended a total of ten acupuncture treatments and was given the patent remedy Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan to take. After a one month follow up, the patient reported that she had experienced no further headaches.
Deficiency Of Qi
Signs and Symptoms A headache with a feeling of lightness, headache worsening after physical activity. Patient would also present with fatigue, an aversion to cold, pallor, poor appetite, pale tongue with toothmarks and a submerged and forceless pulse.
Principle of Treatment Fortify the Spleen and Stomach, Reinforce the Qi and alleviate Headache.
Herbal Treatment (Patent Medicine) Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Tonify the Centre to Invigorate Qi Pills)
Acupuncture Treatment GV-20 Baihui, BL-20 Pishu, BL-21 Weishu, CV-6 Qihai, ST-36 Zusanli, SP-6 Sanyinjiao. These points are all reinforced.
Deficiency Of Blood
Signs and Symptoms Headache that worsens with activity, improves with rest, dizziness, palpitations,possible dry skin, poor memory and/or poor concentration, insomnia, pale complexion, headache that may get worse after the period, pale tongue and thin and weak pulse.
Principle of Treatment Nourish the Blood and Alleviate Headache.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Gui Pi Wan (Restore the Spleen Pill)
Acupuncture Treatment BL-20 Pishu, Bl-21 Weishu, GV-20 Baihui, ST-36 Zusanli, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, Bl-18 Ganshu, BL-17 Geshu, BL-23 Shenshu. All the points are needled with a reinforcing method. Add CV-12 Zhongwan for poor appetite. Add HT-7 Shenmen to improve the sleep.
STAGNATION OF BLOOD
Signs and Symptoms A chronic headache with pain in a fixed location, sharp and stabbing pain, headache aggravated before or during menstruation, menstruation with clots, a history of a head injury, a purple tongue body,petechia on the tongue and a thin or thin and choppy pulse.
Principle of Treatment Move Qi and blood, eliminate blood stasis and relieve the headache
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Tong Qiao Huo Xue Tang ( Open Orifices, Invigorate Blood Decoction Pills)
Acupuncture Treatment GB-20 Fengchi, LI-4 Hegu, LR-3 Taichong, SP-6 Sanyinjiao, BL-17 Grshu, SP-10 Xuehai, AhShi points. Add SP-8 for painful menstruation. Add H-7 and Extra Anmian for Insomnia.
Deficiency Of Kidney Essence
Signs and Symptoms Overall weakness is a general sign of this pattern. Patient also experiences headache with an empty or hollow sensation. Additional symptoms include dizziness, low back pain, weakness in the knees, tinnitus, fatigue, poor hearing, poor memory, seminal emissions, a red tongue and a thready and weak pulse, especially at the kidney position (one of several areas of the pulse).
Principle of Treatment Tonify the Kidney and Nourish the Kidney-Essence.
Herbal Treatment Prescription (Patent Remedy) Ge Jie Da Bu Wan (Gecko Great Tonifying Pill)
Acupuncture Treatment BL-23 Shenshu, BL-18 Ganshu, K-3 Taixi, BL-11 Dashu, ST-36 Zusanli. All points are reinforced. Add GV-20 for poor memory and poor concentration. Add GB-20 for dizziness. Add CV-4 and CV-6 with moxa for generic weakness and cold.
Case Study A 67 year old female attended our clinic for headaches that she was experiencing the past 5 years. She was involved in a motor vehicle accident at about the same time her headaches started. She was diagnosed as having degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine and whiplash. She complained of headaches with a hollow sensation, general fatigue and weakness with low back pain. She also experienced poor memory, dizziness, some night sweats and tinnitus. Her tongue was red with no coating and her pulse was deep, thin and rapid. Diagnosis Deficiency of Kidney-Yin Principle Of Treatment Tonify the Kidney, Nourish the Yin and alleviate the headache. Acupuncture Treatment GB-20 Fengchi, GV-20 Baihui, BL-11 Dashu, ST-36 Zusanli, BL-23 Shenshu, LR-3 Taixhong, SP-6 Sanyinjiao. Outcome The patient attended a total of ten treatments and she indicated that she was feeling much better. She was encouraged to attend another ten treatments to consolidate the effect, which she did. After twenty acupuncture treatments the patient reported no headaches and improved energy.