Treating Migraines: Chinese Medicine Approach

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“My headaches are gone…”

“I began acupuncture out of desperation to relieve my headaches. Immediately after seeing Steven Sonmore and receiving treatments my headaches were gone. This has been wonderful because I now can function normally again. I was also pleased with the other benefits of acupuncture, such as the relaxation and sense of well-being.” Christina Boehm Carlson, patient

Migraines are the second leading cause of disability worldwide. Among women, they rank #1. It is certainly a disabling disease. For those who suffer, (at least 12% of the global population) they know all too well the harrowing marathon of pain and discomfort that migraines bring. They can spend as long as 5.3% of his/her lifetime going through an attack.

The symptoms can begin 1-2 days before the actual migraine, with signs of its impending arrival including neck stiffness, thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, and constipation. Some victims experience “aura” at the onset of the migraine, which involves visual disturbances such as floaters and bright sparks, auditory hallucinations, difficulty speaking and/or swallowing as well as weakness and numbness. The actual attack can last up to 3 days and can bring with it nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sensitivity to light and sound. Most migraine sufferers will retreat to a dark quiet room to weather the storm.

Biomedical explanations for what causes this suffering is limited. It has been described as a complex combination of neurologic, hormonal, vascular, and metabolic malfunctions. Genetics may play a role, as many mothers and daughters share the affliction. It is thought that female hormone fluctuations contribute to the higher incidence in women, with one observation being that a drop in estrogen (associated with the menstrual cycle and menopause) can cause blood vessels to constrict.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at both internal and external factors when sorting through causes and types of migraines. There may be external factors like wind, cold, heat, and damp environmental conditions that trigger changes in your body affecting qi (vital life energy) and blood flow. Internal factors are more lifestyle issues that throw off your body’s natural yin/ yang balance. What we eat, how we sleep, the stress we are exposed to and how we cope with it all play into that balance.

Yang energy flows upward in the body and the yang channels intersect in the head, so blockages and deficiencies can cause pain, confusion and dizziness. These blockages and deficiencies often, at their root, involve yin organs of the body including the liver, spleen and kidney.

At our clinic we address the underlying pattern that is contributing to the chronic nature of the disease. The special style of acupuncture we use here is very effective at alleviating symptoms or shortening an actual attack. We can work with moving the local stagnation of the affected channel, which often involve yang channels that converge in the head.

Acupuncture treatments at our Edina clinic are customized for each person.

Don’t wait for a migraine to rear its painful head! Get in for regular acupuncture treatments to help reset the organ and channel balance needed for your body to function migraine free! Call 952-831-8080 or go to our contact page now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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