top of page
Image by Mink Mingle


Headache (migraine), in Chinese medicine comes under the category of one sided headache and is characterized by recurrent attacks of headache, with or without warning signs or visual and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Treatment for Headaches
Chinese medicine has a very consistent  framework for headache etiology, physiology, diagnosis and treatment strategy. Acupuncture has been applied to headaches from the earliest beginnings of Chinese Medicine.
According to Chinese Medicine theory acupuncture can be prescribed to treat migraine headaches as well as tension headaches, cluster headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches that might be due to sinus problems, high blood pressure or sleeping disorders.
Some synthetic drugs can have serious side effects and can (in some instances) actually lead to patients experiencing a rebound headache. The greatest advantage of acupuncture over Western medicine is that it does virtually no harm.

Chinese medicine aims not only to relieve the pain but also to deal with the root problem. Therefore, headaches are treated differently depending on their causes:

  1. Wind: Wind invasion can disturb the harmony of Qi (the body’s essential energy) and Blood causing headaches (e.g., as experienced during common cold)

  2. Excessive Liver Yang energy (i.e. hot energy): headaches are accompanied by dizziness, bitter taste in mouth, anxiety and short temperedness (e.g. in high blood pressure)

  3. Deficiency of Blood and Qi: slow onset of headaches accompanied by heaviness of head and eyes, tiredness or exhaustion and pale complexion

  4. Blood stagnation: headaches can be sharp and often have fixed locations; patients often complain of loss of memory and concentration, palpitations; some may have a history of head injury.

According to Chinese Medicine theory, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Chinese massage can be prescribed to treat migraines and headaches.

By Ken Luo, Acupuncturist and TCM practitioner

bottom of page