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  • Writer's pictureDr. Yako Merogi

Chinese Medical View in Headache and at treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Chinese Medical View in Headache

Chinese medicine has a consistent framework for headache etiology, physiology, diagnosis and treatment strategy. Acupuncture has been applied to headaches from the earliest beginnings of Chinese Medicine.

According to Chinese Medicine theory, acupuncture can be prescribed to treat migraine headaches as well as 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.

Headache (migraine), in Chinese medicine, comes under the category of a one-sided headache and is characterized by recurrent attacks of headache, with or without warning signs or visual and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Chinese medicine aims not only to relieve the pain but also to deal with the root problem. Therefore, headaches are treated differently depending on their causes:

  1. Wind: Wind invasion can disturb the harmony of Qi (the body’s essential energy) and Blood causing headaches (e.g., as experienced during the common cold)

  2. Excessive Liver Yang energy (i.e. hot energy): headaches are accompanied by dizziness, bitter taste in the mouth, anxiety and short temperedness (e.g. in high blood pressure)

  3. Deficiency of Blood and Qi: slow onset of headaches accompanied by the heaviness of the head and eyes, tiredness or exhaustion and pale complexion

  4. Blood stagnation: headaches can be sharp and often have fixed locations; patients often complain of loss of memory and concentration and palpitations; some may have a history of head injury.

According to Chinese Medicine theory, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Chinese massage can be prescribed to treat migraines and headaches.

All the causes can be present in migraine and understandably treatment can be very different for each patient. People vary in their response to treatment, e.g. some respond better to acupuncture while others are better to herbs.

Chinese Medical View at treating rheumatoid arthritis.

In Chinese medicine, arthritis is caused by a blockage in the Meridians, a network of channels and pathways where Qi (the body’s essential energy) and Blood flow.

Arthritis, therefore, is referred to as a Blockage Syndrome. The aim of Chinese medical treatment for arthritis is to unblock the system whether the blockage affects the bones, blood vessels, tendons, or muscles.

Central to Chinese medicine is the theory that the body’s essential energy (Qi) flows through and along the channels (Meridians). These meridians are like rivers that irrigate the body and nourish its tissues. Any obstruction along one of the meridians is like a dam that blocks the vital energy flow, creating pain and disease.

Chinese Medicine is also used according to CM theory to regulate the immune system in order to address the auto-immune aspects of this condition.

According to Chinese Medicine theory arthritis affecting more than one joint is treated mainly with herbs to address the blockage imbalance in the whole body, while acupuncture is used to relieve the pain. To treat single-joint arthritis, particularly if the cause is injury, acupuncture is often used singularly. Herbal washes, ointments, plasters and oils are also used if necessary.

Acupuncture for pain relief is becoming increasingly popular. According to Chinese Medicine theory, acupuncture is applied to specific points along the meridians to help unblock the blocked energy channels. There are more than 2,000 such points on the body, according to CM theory. Sometimes heat, pressure, friction, suction, or electrical impulses are used in Chinese Medicine along with or instead of the usual needles, but the goal is always the same: to stimulate these points.

The number of sessions needed varies. For a complex, long-standing problem such as arthritis, one or two weekly treatments for several months is not uncommon.”

Blockage can be caused by Wind, Cold, Damp, Wind-Heat and Damp Heat. The most common cause is a combination of Wind and Cold, which is why arthritis is more common in damp and wet climates and tends to aggravate in the Winter.

For personal advice on diet and lifestyle, please ask the doctor during your consultation. Please be reminded that we offer free online health advice.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with ZHI JIAN LUO (Ken), please call our office 905.265.0006 or book online

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