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There are dozens of different types of headaches. But most are caused primarily by excess pressure in the tiny capillaries that feed the brain. And this pressure is caused by impurities in the blood-stream, which not only block the tiny capillaries, but also deprive the brain of oxygen and glucose. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can effectively reduce these kinds of headaches. The following anecdote illustrates just how well it works.

Cephalgic Headache

A man who suffered splitting headaches for no apparent reason once came to see me. He displayed symptoms of emotional stress and dizziness, and experienced chronic migraine headaches over an extended period of time.

Hospitals were not giving him a clear diagnosis of what was causing him such great pain and he found relief only in taking anodynes, but their effects lasted only a short time.

After careful analysis, I advised him to take some herbs known by doctors of oriental medicine to effectively act on the bloodstream – like Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Dang Gui – 当归), Cnidii Rhizoma (She Chuang Zi – 蛇床子), Herba Menthae (Bo He – 薄荷) and Job’s tears (Yi Yi Ren – 薏苡仁) – while undergoing acupuncture and following a meditation program based on music therapy.

To his surprise, only two months after starting this treatment, over 90 percent of his headaches had disappeared or had been greatly reduced.

According to TCM theory, headaches are mainly caused by a combination of anemia (reduced amount of red blood corpuscles or total hemoglobin in blood) and ischemia (a lack of blood supply to organs and tissues) or fever or phlegm.

Anemia and ischemia, which disturb proper circulation of the blood to the brain, stem from a dysfunction of the system that produces blood. Those suffering from headaches caused by this combination of disorders most likely experience dizziness, fatigue and a feeling of helplessness that originates from the dysfunction of the blood system. If not dealt with properly, this obstruction of the blood could lead to heart disease or even heart attack.

In general, middle-aged women are more likely to suffer from headaches caused by anemia and ischemia. For this reason, steady production of blood is considered more important for women than men

Another main cause of headaches can be traced to a high level of fever in the body. People who have a lot of Yang, or expansive, warm energy in the body, are more likely to suffer this kind of headache, where the fever puts pressure on the inner brain.

People suffering from this type of headache usually also experience conditions that signal reduced circulation like dry lips, constipation, and skin problems like pimples. They also tend to drink a lot of water to keep the body cool.

People faced with these symptoms are recommended to have herbs like peppermint, which are well known by TCM practitioners to decrease fever as well as refresh the mind. Make a tea with 10 grams of peppermint and drink some three or four times a day. Jasmine, one of the Chinese teas, is also good for this condition.

The accumulation of phlegm, a toxic substance known in TCM call Tan, in the abdomen, is another main culprit of headaches. Tan is a kind of cholesterol known to be responsible for the development of many diseases. People with high levels of Tan will experience terrible headaches, severe migraines and indigestion, in addition to a variety of aches and pains in the neck, legs and shoulders.

People suffering from this condition are recommended to take Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Dang Gui) and Cnidii Rhizoma (She Chuang Zi) root herbs very effective in intensifying the body’s blood production and purification systems. Drinking a tea made with 10 grams of Radix Angelicae Sinensis as often as possible, especially when stressed and fatigued, will help recoup energy and strength.

Job’s tears (Yi Yi Ren) are also considered very effective in removing Tan because it plays a remarkable role in cleansing the inner body system. Make some tea with 10 grams of Job’s tears and drink it often until your headaches pass.


TCM Alternatives for Chronic Headaches
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