Headaches and Migraines

What are Headaches and Migraines?

Millions of individuals suffer from chronic headaches, the most common types being tension headaches, migraines, and sinus headaches. Headaches are associated with mild to severe head pain, often in conjunction with systems such as nausea, pressure, and muscle tension causing discomfort.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, headaches may be caused by a wide range of factors, including sleep, digestion, and regulation of emotion and stress. These various factors cause patterns of disharmony, and it is only when these patterns are identified and addressed that underlying health issues become resolved and the resulting complications, such as headaches, are alleviated.

Treatment

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been shown in numerous clinical studies as an effective treatment option for chronic headaches and migraines.

According to Chinese medicine acupuncture relieves pain by moving blockages of energy and blood causing a disharmony, which is perceived as pain. In contrast, conventional medicines reasoning for acupuncture’s success in pain relief is due to stimulation of nerves, muscles, and connective tissue by the insertion of the needles into specific points on the body. Research has shown that stimulating these points results in the increase of the body’s own pain killing chemicals such as endorphins, enkephalin, and endomorphin.

The practitioners at Whole Family Health want to help you become pain free so that you can enjoy doing all the things you used to do. Acupuncture treatments vary from person to person and we will tailor them to fit your specific needs and goals. Therefore, your practitioner may use a combination of acupuncture and additional techniques to aid in your recovery.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

In conjunction with acupuncture or as treatment on its own, Chinese herbal remedies are useful in treating chronic headaches and migraines gently and naturally. Chinese herbal formulas are specially tailored for each individual case to create customized treatments for individuals. Between 5 and 20 herbs are chosen for their unique properties and combined to produce a treatment designed for your specific needs. Combining herbs helps balance the body and allows us to treat the entire body.

At Whole Family Health, we have extensive knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine. Our high-quality herbs have been properly tested and are safe for consumption. Talk to us about how Chinese herbal medicine can help you

Nutrition and Diet
Having a well balanced diet full of many nutrients can help with chronic pain symptoms because many foods contain pain-relieving nutrients. It is best to include foods that boost feel good serotonin levels, increase analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

When you eat foods high in tryptophan this increases the serotonin production in your brain helping you to feel less pain.

Foods that contain tryptophan include:

  • Whole grain rice and breads
  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • Mango
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chickpeas
  • Red meat
  • Turkey
  • Tuna

Foods that contain vitamin B6 have analgesic attributions by reducing the perception of pain by inhibiting pain signals from entering the brain.

Foods high in vitamin B6 include:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Watermelon
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Beef

Foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties reduce redness, swelling, pain, and decreased motor function that is important in the recovery process.

These foods include:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Tuna

Also, it is important to moderate the intake of animal protein in our diets. Animal protein from meats and dairy contain a fatty acid called arachidonic acid and this produces a prostaglandin PGE2. When there is an excess amount of PGE2 in the body it causes pain and inflammation to increase making chronic pain conditions worse.