Published on 07-17-2022
Hello, I was wondering what your experience was with what acupuncture points are used to treat migraines?
Also, are herbals used for migraines too, if so which ones?
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comment by "ChadD" (acupuncturist)
on Jul 2022
So similar answer to one of your other questions - the idea of "migraine" in pure TCM terms is functionally invalid. You rarely, if ever, try to design a treatment to a western condition - rather you find their diagnosis in TCM terms and you treat that. The concept of the western condition comes into play diagnostically when you understand what we know in the west as some of the factors within that condition.
For a simple example, take back pain. You treat it primarily in TCM terms - blood deficiency, phlegm damp, whatever - but you also know in basic terms that the disc needs to stop collapsing around itself so your local treatment is tailored to that knowledge from the western side of what is happening (ie compression of the nerve).
Migraines are more complicated as they can be neurological, vascular, or have aspects of both, they can be harder to pin down (in cases) where the pain is exactly, and the etiology from a western medical perspective is still poorly understood. They can be from structural issues, dietary issues, cardiovascular issues, neurological issues, etc. - even from a western perspective, then, the term "migraine" isn't all that valid either. So, you treat what you see and tailore according to the presentation of the patient.
All that said, if you click through the presentation on our migraine treatment section, using the buttons at the top for related blog posts, formulas, etc. and the text presentation generally you will find some ideas. Common formulas would be in that sections tcm formulas for migraines page, the blog posts related to migraines section have relevant articles (often discussions of related research studies), etc.
Where these forums, from a practicing acupuncturists perspective, can be useful is asking questions such as - I've diagnosed this patient in TCM terms as "x" and I've done "y" this many times, but only this and that have changed and these other things remain. Then we can discuss whether the diagnosis was valid to begin with, what, if any, other points/formulas, etc. could be tried, etc. Basically discussing it in TCM terms, not in diagnostically vague western condition/symptom terms. But we all have to start somewhere, so we welcome all the questions even if they are partially unanswerable...