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Effective Acupuncture Points for Migraine Relief: A Comprehensive Guide Based on Traditional Chinese


migraine acupuncture Chinese medicine relief

Migraines, characterized by intense pulsating head pain on one side, often prompt individuals to explore alternative medicine due to side effects and withdrawal symptoms associated with conventional treatments. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, migraines result from factors like pathogenic Wind invasion, Blood Stasis, and Qi stagnation in meridians, along with Internal Wind and Fire due to excess Liver Yang. Acupuncture, with its unique benefits in pain management, is frequently employed to address migraines. This article outlines commonly used acupuncture points targeting various types of migraines.


Four headache types in Chinese medicine

Research by Yang Ye from Xing’an Jieshou Orthopedic Hospital in Guangxi, China, highlights commonly used acupuncture points for migraines in middle-aged and older individuals, including Sizhukong (TH 23), Fengchi (GB 20), Hegu (LI 4), Taiyuan (LU 9), Zusanli (ST 36), Hanyan (GB 4), Toulinqi (GB 15), and Shuaigu (GB 8).


Shaoyang Headache

In TCM, pain on either side of the head is termed Shaoyang headache, aligned with the pathways of Shaoyang Hand Triple Jiao and Shaoyang Foot Gallbladder channels. Acupuncture points Fengchi, Hanyan, Toulinqi, and Shuaigu, situated on Foot Shaoyang Gallbladder channels, are commonly used for migraine treatment. Additional points like Zulinqi (GB 41) and Waiguan (TE5) on Gallbladder and Triple Jiao channels, respectively, are employed.


Yangming Headache

Forehead pain is classified as Yangming headache. Acupuncture points Taiyang (EX-HN 5), Cuanzhu (BL 2), Neiting (ST 44), and Touwei (ST 8) are utilized for this type. Neiting and Touwei are located on Foot Yangming Stomach channels.


Jueyin Headache

Head pain on the crown is termed Jueyin headache, treated using points Zhiyin (BL 67), Sishencong (EX-HN 1), and Taiyang.


Taiyang Headache

Pain at the back of the head is labeled Taiyang headache, addressed through points Tianzhu (BL 10), Zhiyin, Yuzhen (BL 9), and Kunlun (BL 60) on Foot Taiyang Bladder channels.


Additional acupuncture points for migraines

TCM treatment is based on syndrome differentiation, considering whether there's a deficiency or excess of pathogenic factors.


Migraine caused by Deficiency of Qi and Blood

For migraines rooted in Qi and Blood deficiency, additional points Baihui (GV 20) and Zusanli are employed. Individuals with Qi and Blood deficiency experience dizziness, fatigue, pale face, and a weak pulse.


Migraine caused by Excess of Liver and Gallbladder Yang

If excess Liver and Gallbladder Yang cause migraines, point Taichong (LR 3) is added. Symptoms include throbbing headaches, restlessness, irritability, dizziness, bitter taste, red face, and a taut pulse.


Migraine caused by Deficiency of Liver and Kidney Yin

For migraines due to deficiency of Liver and Kidney Yin, point Taixi (KI 3) is added. Symptoms include dizziness, ear noises, painful lower back and knees, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and a red tongue.


Migraine caused by Phlegm and Dampness Stagnation

Migraines stemming from Phlegm and Dampness Stagnation are treated with points Baihui, Fenglong (ST 40), and Yinlingquan (SP 9). Symptoms include drowsiness, heaviness, loss of appetite, stomach fullness, nausea, and vomiting resembling phlegm, with a tongue coated in white, moist, and dense material.



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