Would you like to know more about the treatment of migraine headaches with acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine? Migraine can have many different manifestations, including digestive symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, as well as neurologic symptoms such as vertigo, lightheadedness, double vision, sensitivity to light and sound, weakness, loss of balance, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
Migraine can also occur without a headache, so diagnosis needs to be made primarily by having a good history and by an attentive physican who is knowlegable about the many facets of migraine.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture and moxabustion can be very helpful in addressing the causes of migraine, even though an exact Chinese diagnosis will likely not include the word "migraine"; the type of diagnosis which is made in Chinese practice speaks more to the imbalance which is underlying the symptoms.
Whether by Western or Chinese diagnosis, most patients actually have a mixed headache disorder, in which tension headache, sinus headache, and vascular headaches such as migraine may occur in different times and under different circumstances.
Over the past 50 years, increasing numbers of Western patients and physicians have been utilizing acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines to treat all sorts of acute and chronic pains in the head, face, neck and shoulder. It is not unusual to have back pain accompanying headache, or other painful symptoms in areas other than the head, so investigation beyond the headache should always be considered.
Patients who are inadequately treated by Western pharmaceuticals should consider trying Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Although Oriental medicine often requires more effort on the part of the patient, there are many fewer risks and side effects from acupuncture and herbal medicines than there are from pharmaceutical treatments. And, when the treatment corrects other symptoms not usually addressed by migraine medications, patients are generally satisfied that their health has been improved.
The increasing costs of drugs, ongoing revelations about the risks of drugs, and the subsequent costs of treating side effects and complications have created more interest in investigating the use of traditional Oriental medicines to treat migraine headache. Modern studies are confirming the value of acupuncture and moxabustion, as well as herbal medications for migraine as well as many other frustrating conditions.
Multi system disorders such as migraine headache may require individualized treatment protocols, and patients may find that their diet and emotional state may need to be addressed in addition to treatment with acupuncture and moxabustion. Unlike modern standardized medicine, the same approach is not always appropriate for those of different ages or sex, or who note that the triggers for their headaches are different.
Certain foods may be associated with headaches, and patients may find that headaches occur at particular times during the menstrual cycle, or in response to seasonal changes. Emotional issues too may be an important component in the evaluation of migraine, and Chinese medicine is uniquely applicable to complex problems of this sort.
Dr. L.B. Grotte, M.D., was the first physician in Ohio to be board certified in both acupuncture and Chinese herbology. He has studied Oriental medicine since 1972 and has practiced Chinese medicine in Cleveland for more than 27 years. Our small practice specializes in creating individualized treatment plans combining Western and Oriental methods. Call us at 440-461-7488 to make an appointment or visit our website for more information.