The day starts out well with a cup of tea and a quiet sit-down in your favourite chair for 25 minutes of bliss before the day kicks in. Then its all systems go!
The kids are awake and need nappy changes and breakfast before a shower and clothes change then making their lunches and making sure they are all ready for day-care and school , all while trying to get your partner ready and putting out "fires" along the way. It wouldn't be a Tuesday without hearing something like, "honey, have you seen my car keys?".
Then you're you've got 2 minutes to do 20 things to get the kids ready for the day and in the car. Finally everyone is in the car and you're off! Somewhere in amongst all the noise and fighting you realise you forget to have your breakfast and drink water but you reassure yourself there will be time for that later.
As the day rolls on, things happen and before you know it you have a sharp, pounding starting at the base of your skull. There it is. That familiar old foe, your nemesis; a raging pressure inside your head, it feels like a giant squashing your head on a table or has an ice pick and they are just driving it into your temples and scraping around behind your eyes; a headache!!
This is just one of many thousands of scenarios that are so common today with our busy schedules that it has become normal. That we suffer from headaches, and If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.
Lifelong prevalence of headache is 96%, with a female predominance. The global active prevalence of tension-type headache is approximately 40% and migraine 10%. Migraine occurs most commonly between the ages of 25 and 55 years and is 3 times more common in females (google.com).
Most people will opt for a pharmaceutical chemical medicine for temporary relief from the pain.
This is all well and good, until the day they stop working! There is such a thing in our bodies where we build up tolerances to pharmaceutical chemical medicines and they no longer have the desired effect.
Not to mention this is not looking at treating the underlying causes of the problem.
This is the key difference between Chinese Medicines' holistic approach and Western Medicines' chemical approach. Chinese medicine looks at the person as an individual entity and delves deep in to how the person fits in their environment and what they put in and get out of their body. There is usually a pattern to symptoms a person experiences and forming this picture of person will help to discover what the cause of their headache is. Whether that is from lack of water and food, or if it is a postural issue at work or the way you sit in your car on the way to work.
So what is pain? Well from the perspective of Chinese Medicine, pain is a symptom of something being stuck and not flowing smoothly in the body and that is a way for the soft tissues of the body to signal to the brain that something is not right.
There are many ways that a headache can come about, but one example is a Stagnation of Energy in an acupuncture channel that crosses over the head. The blockage can often be somewhere lower on the body so distal acupuncture or massage is often performed in order to move the Energy in the head to relieve pain.
There are several ways to differentiate headaches and it is important to go through a couple of minutes of questioning the patient on the nature and location of the pain and whether anything helps or hinders the pain.
A treatment can then be performed, often massaging through the muscles of the neck and shoulders to release tension then performing distal acupuncture around the hands and lower legs, then letting the patient relax for up to 30 minutes then checking in to see what changes ahead occurred and then the treatment is manipulated according to the findings until a satisfactory reduction in pain is arrived at.
As every person and their headache is different and the chronicity will vary, so to will the treatment schedule. This is not a fast bandaids approach to medicine, it takes time to change the body and often between 4-8 treatments will be recommended to get on top of the underlying cause of the headaches and then only maintenance as required.
Headaches are so common but you need not suffer in silence, come in and we can go through your case and look at reducing the impact that your headaches have on your daily life.