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Signs & Syndromes

There are nearly 28 million people in the United States aged 12 and older – nearly 13 percent of the population – suffering from headaches that fit the medical definition of migraine established by the IHS. This means one in every four U.S. households has a migraine sufferer. More than half of these sufferers have never received a physician diagnosis and most are not receiving the most appropriate treatment, despite new and effective therapies designed specifically to treat the pain and symptoms of migraine. 

  • Cluster Headache - A throbbing pain around one red, watery eye, with nasal congestion on that side of your face, you have a .
  • Tension Headache - A dull, steady pain that feel like a band tightening around your head, .
  • Migraine - A steady pain behind your face that gets worse if you bend forward and is accompanied by congestion, you have a sinus headache. Throbbing, and it begins on one side and cause nausea.
Common Causes

  • Cluster Headache - May arise from pressure on the nerves around the eyes. Swollen sinus tissue may press against portions of these nerves, causing these electrical pathways to short-circuit and emit pain signals. 
  • Tension Headache - Is thought to be linked to disorders in certain muscles in the head and the neck. Pain can be localized around any of these muscles or can spread to affect a broad portion of the scalp. 
  • Sinus Headache - With a sinus headache, congestion within the sinus cavities leads to swelling that puts pressure on surrounding tissue and nerves, causing pain to radiate across the face.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has an effective, philosophically based framework for headache etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, acupuncture has been used to treat headaches for thousands of years. The greatest advantage of acupuncture over western medicine is that it does virtually no harm. Unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches are much less invasive.

Acupuncture for Headache

Acupuncture is not only effective for migraine headaches, but also works very well with tension headaches, cluster headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches that might be due to sinus problems, high blood pressure or sleeping disorders. The greatest advantage of acupuncture over Western medicine is that it does virtually no harm. Some medications can have serious side effects and can (in some instances) actually lead to patients experiencing a "rebound" headache. Unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches are much less invasive with acupuncture than with surgery.

Acupuncture for Headache Prevention

Emotional stress is a well-known trigger for headache. People living in a fast-paced city like the Bay Area tend to have imbalanced autonomic nervous systems. The parasympathetic (relaxed state) branch is inhibited, and the sympathetic branch (stressed state) is activated. This type of imbalance may be tied to other health conditions such as heart disease, insomnia, hypertension and premenstrual syndrome.

Acupressure for Headache

The acupuncture technique used at Health Tune-up helps to prevent migraines by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and decreasing muscle tension.

Increased muscle tension in the neck and upper back is common in people with migraines; therefore reducing this tension is an integral part of preventing headache. By finding and treating the most reactive of the 24 major diagnostic points, we can affect an instantaneous increase in blood flow to sore and tense muscles. Acupressure may also be necessary in order to further.