Acupuncture and Energy Medicine can offer amazing relief for headaches. Here you will gain insight from a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Energy Medicine perspective on how you can free yourself from the pain of headaches. There are hundreds of root causes for headaches and they are by far the most common medical complaint. According to The National Headache Foundation, more than 45 million Americans are effected each year. That means one in every six people are experiencing a headache of some type and half of the adult population worldwide have had at least one headache within the past year. If you suffer from headaches, you can see you are not alone so read on to find out what you can do for headache relief.
Energy Medicine for Headaches and the 4 W’s
Unlike the famous “Take two aspirins and call me in the morning,” not all headaches are the same so it is important to identify and focus on the root cause. In Western Medicine, there are five main classifications for headaches: Tension Headaches, Cluster Headaches, Sinus Headaches, Rebound Headaches, and Migraines. In Traditional Chinese Medicine we view it more as the root (cause of the headache) and the branch (the pain itself) as we gather information from the associated meridian channel and organ. The headache itself is a message from the body revealing there is an imbalance in the organ system. And by using Energy Testing or Applied Kinesiology with TCM Diagnosis one can uncover the root more quickly. However, as you read on you will see that there are many things that a person can do on their own to help the healing process.
To get to the root of the matter, it’s important to begin using the 4 W’s or WHO, WHAT, WHEN and WHERE.
Sometimes the headache is a WHO. Our stress maybe connected to a relationship with a family member, friend or a boss. Our first response may be to blame the other person, but it’s important to become aware of how we may be contributing to the difficult relationship. Is there something we can change in our response that would make the relationship more harmonious? We want to ask ourselves: “Is this negative pattern something that I have experienced before?” If so, we want to look at healing that energetic pattern so that we don’t continue to attract the same situation/person in our life. It is also possible that at least for a period of time, we need to distance ourselves from the person and see if that creates a shift.
We want to determine WHAT is causing the headache. Headaches can stem from a variety of causes including: accidents, physical or emotional trauma, overwork, stress, sleep problems, negative emotions, shock, excessive sexual activity, diet, too many childbirths and injury to the neck or spine. Exposure to pollen, perfumes, candles, detergents, cleaning supplies and other toxic chemicals can be factors as well. Also, consuming alcohol and/or certain foods as well as medications need to be considered. Eye strain, too much work on the computer and exposure to EMF’s (electro-magnetic frequencies) are becoming more prevalent as technology continues to play a larger role in our lives. Another common cause for headaches is dehydration. It is important to drink half your body weight in ounces per day of good, quality filtered water. In addition, you will want to increase your water consumption when exercising, spending time outdoors, and during the intense heat of the summer. A great oriental remedy for heat stroke or exhaustion during the summertime, is to eat lots of cold watermelon.
WHEN does the headache occur? Knowing what time of day the headache hits can be really helpful as our Circadian Rhythm is dependent on the flow of energy through our meridians during a 24-hour period. Every two hours is either a high time (strongest) for a meridian or its lowest energy flow (weakest). You can consult the Meridian Flow Wheel to gain further information and determine which meridians are being impacted.
Also, being in tune to WHEN it’s happening in relation to stress can give some further clues. Does it begin on Monday morning as you drive through rush hour to reach a job you no longer enjoy? Does it dissipate on the drive home or Friday evenings? The frequency is also important as it might be related to a menstrual cycle or shifts in barometric pressure when a storm rolls in.
Identify WHERE on the head the pain occurs. Is it on the front, back, side or top of the head? Where there is pain, there is a congested energy and you can be sure that Qi (energy) and blood are not properly flowing through that area.
For example, Migraines are often one-sided headaches. Pain that is on one or both sides is associated with the gallbladder meridian as it physically zigzags through the area. Emotionally it is related to tension, stress, anger, frustration and even rage. Overwork, difficulty making decisions, excessive time on the computer are all contributing factors.
A headache with pain in the front or one that feels like a tight band wrapped around the head is generally related to stomach. As a result, you might notice it more in the morning between 7 – 9am when Stomach Qi is strongest. It could get worse by eating on the run or skipping breakfast. The stomach is also associated with excessively worrying so it’s important to look at any “worry patterns.” Perhaps you are worried about a loved one or a project you need to finish.
If the pain is along the base of the skull at the occipital ridge, then we would look to the Urinary Bladder meridian that governs the nervous system for relief.
Sinus Headaches are generally related to Lung, Large Intestine and Spleen meridians. Holding acupressure points over the sinus areas can offer great relief in keeping your immune system strong and fortified. Since most of these pain patterns are about over energy, once you identify the headache location and it’s associated meridian then you can hold the Acupressure Sedating Points for pain relief.
The severity and type of pain are also good to track. For example, if the headache pain moves from one area to another, then you know Liver is involved since it rides on “The Wind” a trait of the Wood Element. A Vertex Headache at the top of the head can also be an imbalance in the Liver meridian. This type is generally related to stress, anxiety, anger, or a toxic liver brought on by an overly demanding schedule and busy lifestyle. Pain in the whole head is often associated with Kidney Essence deficiency.
To understand how to prevent or reduce the intensity of the pain, it is helpful to know what relieves the headache and what makes it worse: applying cold or heat, pressure heavy or light, sleep, activity or rest, light or dark, noise or quiet, eating or fasting, sitting or standing. Is it worse when working on the computer and relieved when taking a vacation or meditating? How about when you are spending time in nature, eating warm nourishing foods, laughing with family and friends?
Steps to Take
Maybe by now you have an understanding of why two aspirins is rarely enough. Not all headaches are created equally, nor should they all be treated as such. Headaches are as unique as the individual. Here are some steps to get you headed in the right direction for headache relief:
1) You will want to start by asking yourself: “What is my headache trying to tell me?” By using the 4 W’s above you can start collecting important and valuable information.
2) Everyday try the Energy Medicine for Headache Quick Tips found in the above video and see if that provides you with relief. My clients with headaches have found some real relief from these tips.
3) Increase your hydration to be sure you are drinking half your body weight in ounces of quality, filtered water. This will help other areas of your heath as well.
4) Foods are often a big culprit so start looking at your diet and be sure you are eating mostly whole foods, free of preservatives, organic if possible and get rid of the processed foods and sugars. If you drink soda, stop as soon as possible as soda is loaded with toxins and will wreak havoc on your body.
5) If your headaches are chronic in nature, seek professional help especially if you experience any of the following: head injury, nausea and/or vomiting, blurred vision, seizures or muscle weakness.
6) Many people are sleep deprived and while not everyone requires the same amount of sleep, if you are feeling fatigue during the day, it’s very likely you are not getting a restful sleep. Lack of sleep can cause headaches. For more on Energy Medicine and sleep click here.
7) Stress and emotions always play a role in illness of any kind. While there are a number of stress relief techniques people can do on their own, (meditation, yoga, energy medicine exercises, exercise of any kind, spending time in nature, taking a bath, calling a friend, or writing in your journal), people often have energetic patterns of stress that have created an illness such as chronic headaches. When they find themselves in either a constant stress pattern and/or there is an emotional pattern that has become difficult to release, I use my Advanced Clearing and Manifesting Energies protocol. This protocol helps to release emotional issues and provides shifts even with the most deeply embedded energetic patterns.
If you would like to learn more about Energy Medicine for brain health and wellness, then our Energy Mastery for Brain Health Online Video Series may be for you.