Headaches II

Western Medical Perspective

Headache occurs in various diseases in modern medicine. Internal organ functional problems such as menstrual irregularities and hypertension; after-effects of surgery; neurological disorders (including intracranial diseases); psychosis; diseases of the sense organs (ear, nose, throat problems); drug reactions; and stress are but a few causes. There are migraine, vascular and functional headaches.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective

The head is where all the yang meridians (pathways of body energy) of hand and feet meet. Attack of endogenous (internal) or exogenous (external) factors may cause headache due to derangement of Qi and Blood in the head and a sluggishness of circulation of Qi in the meridians that traverse the head.

There are Six Types of Headaches

1. Vertex (Top of Head)
2. Back (Occipital)
3. Frontal
4. Side (Temporal)
5. Deep Inside
6. Generalized

Headaches Come in Two Styles

Excess (Shi): Violent boring pain may be accompanied by dizziness, irritability, bitter taste in mouth, nausea, suffocating feeling in chest, rib pain, sticky tongue coating and wiry pulse.

Deficiency ( Xu): Onset is mostly due to stain and stress. The pain is insidious. It may be agitating or mild and responds to warmth and pressure. The accompanying symptoms and signs are usually lassitude, palpitation, insomnia, pale tongue and weak pulse.


Causes and How to Treat Them

Each headache type has both food remedies and acupoint listed. Acupoints used in this treatment can be found at the end of this report. (Check acupuncture charts for locations of all acupoints.)

1. Vertex (Top of Head)
This type is caused by strong upward moving Qi and strong yin foods often combined with yang foods.

Avoid extreme yin and yang food (e.g. meat and sugar) and eat whole grains and vegetables.

Acupoints: GV 20, BL 60, LV 2


2. Back (Occipital)
This pain can be caused by taking strong yang foods, or particularly it arises after stopping the habitual intake of strong yin foods (coffee, etc.). The nature of the pain is more dull, squeezing or viselike, and non-throbbing. The pain has a tendency to worsen in cold surroundings.

Internal: apple juice; orange juice; Ame-Kuzu; mix 6 grams of the white part of scallion with 3 grams of ginger, and boil this in 1 cup of water; Ume concentrate.
External: apply heat.

Acupoints: GV 15, BL 10, BL 60


3. Frontal
This headache can be caused by using sugar, fruit juice, birth control pills, aspirin, honey, chocolate, wine, etc. These are all extreme yin products. The pain has a different nature from a backside headache: it can be typically throbbing, or sharp, stabbing, or explosive. It worsens in warm surroundings.

Internal: Sho-Ban, Ume-Sho-Ban, Sesame salt, Kuzu tea, Yannoh coffee.
External: Cold applications: tofu plaster, chlorophyll plaster (especially cabbage), rub in apple juice or radish juice at the painful area, or rub in sesame oil or sesame oil mixed with ginger-ginger oil.

Acupoints: GB 14, Yintang, LI 4


4. Side (Temporal)
This is caused by the over consumption of oily and greasy foods, or other foods casing a disorder in the liver-gallbladder function. The pain is usually dull, sometimes sharp.

Grate 2 tablespoons of daikon, add a cup of hot water, simmer this and add a little tamari soy sauce.
Prepare kuzu with barley malt - Ame Kuzu and add a little ginger.
Miso soup with scallions or onions.

Acupoints: Taiyang, GB 20, TH 5


5. Deep Inside
This is caused by the over consumption of animal food, especially salted meat, eggs, caviar and salted fish. It usually is a condensed, pressure-type pain located in the depth of the brain.

Take cooked apples.
Or heated apple juice.
Or hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar or 1 teaspoon of barley malt or rice honey.


6. Generalized Headaches
Sometimes headaches don't fit neatly into any classification. From the above information you should be able to discern if the symptom is contractive or expansive. If it feels contractive apply expanding foods (apple juice, etc.) if it is expansive, apply contracting foods (miso soup, etc.).

Acupoints: GV 15, Yintang, LI 4, TH 5