Headaches are one of the most common health complaints experienced today.  Although there are many different causes of headaches, tension headaches are the most common.  This pain will effect certain areas or the whole head causing pain that can correspond to many characteristics, lasting minutes to months.

Many people take over the counter pain medication to treat headaches,  this is not a good idea if you have a chronic condition as it can create rebound headaches.  People who are taking medication 2 or more times per week at the maximum dosage are at risk of experiencing more and more headaches as their body builds up a tolerance to the medication.  There are also many side effects from pain medication.  The more frequently these medications are taken the more likley a side effect will happen.  Liver damage from acetaminophen may occur after taking this drug over a long period of time.  

Treating Headaches:

The first step in the treatment of this type of discomfort or pain is to find out why !  finding out what triggers a headache is an invaluable piece of information.  Smells, emotions, stress, food, energy, allergies, sun exposure, dehydration, muscle tension, PMS,  ....  can all cause headaches. 

Just as there are many things which can cause or aggravate a headache, there are many things which can help alleviate a headache.  Relaxation can help reduce or take away the headache even if it isn't caused by stress.  Having a nap, drinking water, massage or green tea (caffinated). 



Different Types of Headaches and their treatment:


External Causes of Headache: 

Wind Cold

headache in the back of the head with a stiff neck and shoulders which comes and goes with exposure or change of weather.  There is also an aversion to cold, shivering, cough, runny nose, body aches, ...

Herbal Medicine Formula: Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San (take with green tea)


Jue Yin Headache

Headache at the top of the head with pain behind the eye, generally comes and goes quickly and can be effected by exposure to wind.  

Herbal Medicine Formula: Wu Zhu Yu Tang


Wind Heat

Distended headache with an aversion to cold which comes and goes depending on weather or exposure to heat and wind.  There will also be a cough, nasal discharge which is yellow and thick, fever, slight sweating, itchy sore throat, thirst for cold drinks and slight constipation.

Herbal Medicine Formula: Xiong Zhi Shi Gao Tang severe constipation + Da Huang

Or Headache with flu signs - Yin Qiao San


Toxic Wind Damp

Pounding headache with swollen head which comes and goes with damp humid weather or rain.  There will also be fullness of the chest, poor appetite and a generall sense of heaviness throughout the body.  

Herbal Medicine Formula:Qing Zhen Tang + Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin  or 

Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang

Internal Causes for Headache:

Liver Yang rising

Throbbing and or stabbing headache with a feeling of heat on the face. There will be red eyes, ringing in the ears, irritability, thirst for cold water, ..

Herbal Medicine Formula:

Tian Ma Gou Tang Yin 


Turbid Phlegm

Throbbing heavy headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, chest fullness, and headaches are aggravated by greasy foods, dairy products or fatty foods.  

Herbal Medicine Formula: Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang

Blood Stasis

Chronic stabbing pain in the head in one specific area. It is common to occur after head trauma or a fall or accident involving the head. This can be a long term, chronic headache stemming from an injury possibly years before.

Herbal Medicine Formula: Tong Qiao Huo Xue Tang or Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang


Qi Deficiency

Chronic mild headache which is made worse by activity or tiredness.  This person gets fatigued easily and must get proper sleep and eat proper meals.  They will also have a weakend immune system, sweat easily, have a pale complexion and have possible bloating with loose stools.  

Herbal Medicine Formula: Shun Qi He Zhong Tang  Or   Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang


Blood Deficiency

This type of headache is dull in nature and will be aggravated by fatigue and poor diet.  There will also be symptoms of dizziness and floaters infront of the eyes, a pale complexion, palpitations, dry skin and weak nails. This is common after a long labour, large amount of blood loss or a chronic disease. 

Herbal Medicine Formula: Jia Wei Si Wu Tang   or  Ren Shen Yang Ying Tang


Liver Blood and Kidney Yin Deficiency

Dizziness and blurred vision, dull achey headache which is worse at night or during sleep.  There will be dry skin, dry eyes, night sweats, weak back, sore knees and hot palms and feet.

Herbal Medicine Formula:   Liu Wei Di Huang Wan - Modified


Kidney Yang Deficiency

Headache which feels empty and dull.  There is also a sense of dizziness, tinnitus, cold hands and feet with weak cold lower back and knees.  There will be frequent clear urination, getting up at night to urinate, low sex drive and sense of cold.  

Herbal Medicine Formula: Da Bu Yuan Jian  or You Gui Wan


Alternative Treatment Methods for Headache Relief

Auricular Acupuncture- occiput, frontal, brain, shenmen

bleed vein on the back of the ear in cases of Liver Fire or yang Rising

7 Star Acupuncture - ache, Bladder meridian, taiyang, yintang, Gallbladder on head

Syndicate content