The Acupuncture Treatment of Migraine Headaches
Chief Complaint: Migraine headaches
Medical History: The patient had a history of migraine headaches from the age of ten. The frequency of occurrence had steadily been increasing for several years.
Questioning exam: The pt complained of three to four migraine headaches a week. She reported that although she often got them in the morning, it was not always the case. The pt also described the pain as pounding and on the side of the head, although the migraines were not always on the same side. She stated that she had a very stressful job as a secretary, which affected her mood. She almost always suffered from migraines on Mondays. The pt ran warm and was often thirsty. In addition, she suffered from chronic low back ache.
Pulse exam: This pt got treated once a week for three months. Her pulse was usually thin and taut, although at times one side was slippery. It averaged 68bpm with deep chi pulses.
Tongue exam: Pale, dusky tongue body, thin yellow coat, dry.
OM Diagnosis: Liver qi congestion creating heat. Liver and kidney yin deficiency with yang rising.
Treatment Principle: Smooth liver qi, nourish liver and kidney yin, settle yang.
Point Prescription: UB17, UB18, UB23, kidney3, Spleen6, Liver3, LI4, GB20, DU20. After treatment with needles, amber salve and cups were applied to the upper back and were pulled down to the lower back, then removed. This was repeated for a total of 10 times to pull the pt’s yang back down.
Herbal Formula: This pt declined herbs.
Lifestyle Prescription: Upon discussion, it was revealed that the pt was a trained bodyworker, but was not working in her field due to money. I always stressed the importance of her reducing her stress and changing fields, as her exacerbated condition seemed directly related to her job.
Results: This patient was always better with treatment. Her migraines went from three times a week to once a month. Still, she had to be monitored closely and treated regularly.
Synopsis: In order for a full recovery, this pt would need treatment for a prolonged period of time, as her condition is chronic. She also could have benefited from Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan. Still, I would highly recommend using cups to pull the yang back down. It may only be treating the branch, but it gets results and relief for the patient.