How To Manage Seasonal Headaches And Migraines With Acupuncture
Do you suffer from headaches?
We have a few remedies to help you!
For some, headaches and migraines can be a common occurrence and can significantly impact one's quality of life. While some people reach for quick fixes such as ibuprofen to help relieve headache pain, there are also natural remedies to manage symptoms in the long term. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese healing practice, has gained popularity as an alternative therapy for alleviating headaches and migraines.
Understanding Headaches and Migraines
A headache is mild to severe pain or discomfort felt in the head or face area. In comparison, migraines are accompanied by additional symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances.
There are a variety of triggers that can cause the onset of a headache such as stress, fatigue, muscle tension, and dehydration, and even weather. Western medicine recognizes the five most common types of headache as: Tension, cluster, rebound, sinus, and migraine.
Tension headaches occur when muscles become tight or contracted. This type of headache is felt in the temples, forehead, and in the back of the head. Rae, our Acupuncturist, recommends using one hand to apply pressure between your thumb and the second finger of the other hand to help alleviate this type of headache.
This type of headache occurs suddenly and pain is often experienced on one side of the head. You may experience watering of the eyes and nose with this type of headache.
Sinus headaches typically occur when there is a blockage within the sinuses or when there is an increase in pressure and the sinuses do not have adequate time to reach equilibrium. This type of headache can typically be felt in the forehead area, around the eyes, and behind the cheekbones.
Rebound headaches are caused by medication. If you notice that headaches are worsening on drugs such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and prescription medication, this is a sign that you may be experiencing a rebound headache. This type of headache occurs most often from prolonged use of the medication.
Migraines are often more debilitating and can last around 4-72 hours. Nausea/vomiting, throbbing head pain, auras, and light sensitivity are all common symptoms that correspond with a migraine.
What time of the year can seasonal headaches be experienced?
Weather is one of the most common triggers, especially during the springtime when the temperature is fluctuating. These types of headaches are often referred to as “seasonal headaches/migraines” because the changing temperatures cause a shift in barometric pressure that then increases the pressure within the sinuses. An abrupt change in the pressure equilibrium experienced within the head can cause the pain felt during a headache or migraine.
Albertas weather can shift drastically, making it hard to predict the onset of a headache or migraine. During the spring months, fluctuations in temperature can bring on strong winds that can cause headaches. In the winter months, Calgary experiences Chinook winds which are a common culprit of seasonal headaches due to barometric pressure changes. To help predict a headache, it’s important to always check the weather!
Allergies are another common reason that you may experience a headache during springtime.
Allergens such as pollen and grass can cause the body’s immune system to react. This type of headache is often felt in the sinus region, behind the cheekbones, and on the forehead.
How Can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting a very thin needle into pressure points to help restore the flow of positive energy in the body.
It helps to:
Reduce tightness in the neck by placing the needles along trigger points
Stimulate the release of endorphins which reduces pain
Promote healthy blood circulation
Decrease pressure in the head
Reduce stress levels and aids in relaxation by regulating hormone levels
Improve immune function
Additionally, acupuncture is:
An Individualized Treatment Approach: Acupuncture treatments are highly personalized, taking into account each person's unique symptoms, triggers, overall health condition, and type of headache being experienced, By addressing the underlying imbalances specific to each individual, acupuncture aims to provide targeted relief.
A Long-Term Management and Prevention Treatment: Regular acupuncture sessions can help prevent the recurrence of headaches and migraines. By addressing the root causes and imbalances in the body, acupuncture promotes overall well-being and reduces the likelihood of future episodes.
If you’ve experienced headaches or migraines, contact us today and get the relief you deserve. We have the tools to help you with your pain!