There are many different causes of head pain. In Oriental Medicine, there are 6 regular meridians or electrical pathways that go to the head as well as the central light column. Often, blockages in one or more of these channels can cause the pain. Causes of the blockages can be due to too much wind, cold, dampness, lack of blood flow, too much blood flow, and pathogens such as viruses or bacteria, damage to the meridian or a meridian that supports flow to the body’s electrical system or a combination of any of these blockages. Toxins from drugs, drinking, metals or chemicals can cause head pain along with other symptoms. Headaches are classified as rooted from a deficiency, an excess or both deficiency and excess. For example, excess stress can cause blood flow to be restricted to the head thus causing the pain, known as a tension type headache.
- Vascular type headaches: Migraine or Cluster headaches (often triggered from shifts in hormones, barometric pressure or from some foods)
- Muscular contraction type head pain: Tightness on the scalp, neck, shoulders and upper back. The main trigger for this is usually poor management of stress or feeling highly emotional or from improper posture.
- Inflammatory headaches: Pain from increased pressure in the head from sinus congestion, brain growths or trauma such as from a concussion.
Acupuncture, herbal remedies and energy work greatly help with clearing the root cause of the headache as well as relieving the pain. The patient has a big part in their healing like controlling intense emotions, managing their stress responses or avoiding as many of the headache triggers as possible. Patients may need to rest more, adjust their posture, watch less TV or play less video games, while taking herbs or watching what they eat and drink. Understanding the causes of the headache is the best way to treat it. In essence, headaches could be caused from various systems not functioning at their optimum. An intake evaluation is the first essential step for devising a health recovery or pain management plan.