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What your headache is telling you 

 November 26, 2020

By  Juli Kramer, PhD


Chinese medicine (TCM) takes the guesswork out of what your headache is telling you. Whether you have a headache or a migraine, TCM helps you understand what your headache is telling you and how to stop or prevent the pain.

Some of the most vivid memories from my childhood involve debilitating migraines. I recall lying on my bed, crying in a darkened room.

When I had a migraine, lights flashed before my eyes. The agony was so bad that I could not help but cry, only to suffer more when the crying made the throbbing worse. The migraines were inevitable; I knew the crippling pain could seize me anytime, anywhere. 

A glimmer of hope to stop my headaches

A faint glimmer of hope to stop the suffering occurred when I was 11-years-old at overnight camp. One hot afternoon, too hot to do any activity that required much movement, our counselor gathered us under a shady tree and led us through a guided meditation.

Starting with our toes and working up to our heads, we relaxed our bodies and focused only on our counselor's calming voice. A few days later at dinner, I crumpled over in pain in the crowded dining hall, a migraine taking control of my vision and other senses.

My counselor told me to go back to the tent and take myself through the meditation I had learned the other day. As I meditated, I caught a glimmer of the pain as a light. Once I finished relaxing my body, I breathed deeply, drawing all of this pain-filled light from different corners of my body and blasting them out of the top of my head.

Within 10 minutes the pain ceased, completely. I was in shock! I rested for a while, waiting for the migraine to return. It did not.

Learn what your headache is telling you and how a shady tree can help you calm and unblock your qi

While able to use this tool whenever I had migraines in the future, the problem remained that I still had the headaches. Some life stages brought more migraines than others. A definite uptick occurred after I had my children.

However, once I found Chinese medicine in my forties, the state of my health changed dramatically forever. One amazing benefit is that I no longer get migraines, and only very infrequently do I suffer from a headache. When I do, I know why and what to do. 

I now know why the meditation and visualization worked. It unblocked qi stagnation in my body that generated the headache. As I burst the light from a Du meridian point at the top of my head, the blockages cleared.

Now I want to share this life altering information to help you!

Radiant Shenti membership classes help strengthen and move your qi energy

What your headache is telling you - types of headaches

Over millennia and hundreds of thousands of documented case studies, TCM doctors in China and other parts of Asia identified what different locations of your headache tell you about your overall health.

According to Chinese medicine, headaches have two sources:

  1. Local strain and tension in the muscles
  2. Blocked qi along specific organ meridians.

In addition to determining the source of each type of headache, TCM doctors identified specific acupressure points you can massage to stop the throbbing and suffering.

Read on to learn what your headache is telling you and how to stop and prevent the pain using local massage and acupressure point massage. 

All acupressure point images are used with permission from smarterhealing.com. It's a great resource. Check it out!


HEADACHE ON YOUR TEMPLES - SHAO YANG HEADACHE 

Shao yang headaches signal that external factors are starting to affect your internal systems. The problems are not too deep yet and are relatively easy to treat. The two main organ systems involved are the Gallbladder and Stomach. If you have headaches on the temples, you should be mindful to nourish the Gallbladder and Stomach.

What your headache is telling you headache on your temples

HOW TO TREAT A SHAO YANG HEADACHE 

Local: Massage the temples with the fleshy section of the palm below the thumb. Massage for 2-3 minutes.

Distal: Massage the related organ meridian points as indicated for 2-3 minutes. Repeat as needed until pain subsides. 

Points to massage:

  • Triple Energizer/San Jiao 3 and 5
  • Gallbladder 34 and 40
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points San Jiao 3 and 5
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points gallbladder 34 and 40

HEADACHE ON THE TOP AND SIDES OF YOUR HEAD - JUE YIN HEADACHE 

Jue Yin headaches indicate that there is a deep imbalance in the body, and that your immune system is weakened as a result. Address these headaches immediately. If you have a TCM healthcare provider, let them know about these symptoms.

 Jue yin headaches indicate weakness and lack of sufficient body fluids.
What your headache is telling you headache on the top of your head

HOW TO TREAT A JUE YIN HEADACHE

Local: Massage the pain points on the top and sides of your head with the fleshy section of the palm below the thumb. Massage for 2-3 minutes.

Distal: Massage the related organ meridian points as indicated for 2-3 minutes. Repeat as needed until pain subsides. 

Points to massage:

  • Pericardium points 6 and 8
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points pericardium points 6 and 8

FREE PRINTABLE GUIDE

Receive a free printable guide to what your headaches are telling you and how to treat them. The guide describes all of the different headaches and provides pictures and instructions for how to massage essential acupressure points.

How to stop a headache free printable guide

HEADACHE ON YOUR FACE - YANG MING HEADACHE 

Yang ming headaches most often result when external wind and cold transform into internal heat and affect the meridians of the Stomach and intestines. Yang ming headaches also indicate immune system weakness.

What your headache is telling you headache on your face

HOW TO TREAT A YANG MING HEADACHE

Local: Massage the different areas as follows for 2-3 minutes.

  • Forehead with the fleshy section of the palm below the thumb
  • Eyes gently with the pad of the opposite thumb sweeping from inside to outside.
  • Cheeks with the pad of the opposite thumb sweeping up and to the outside.

Distal: Massage the related organ meridian points as indicated for 2-3 minutes. Choose one of the combinations below to massage. Switch to the other combination the next time you massage.

  • REN/CV-12 with ST 36 & 44
  • LI-4 with SJ-2
  • Add HT-8 to each time you massage for Yang Ming headaches
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points Ren conception vessel point 12
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points stomach 36 and 44
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points large intestine 4
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points san jiao triple energizer 2
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure point Heart 4

HEADACHE ON THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD - TAI YANG HEADACHE 

Tai yang headaches are triggered by external factors affecting the body at the surface. These could include allergens, eye and/or muscle strain, heat, cold, wind, etc.

What your headache is telling you headache on the back of your head

HOW TO TREAT A TAI YANG HEADACHE

Local: Massage the pain points on the top and sides of your head with the fleshy section of the palm below the thumb. Massage for 2-3 minutes.

Distal: Massage the related organ meridian points as indicated for 2-3 minutes. Repeat as needed until pain subsides. 

Points to massage:

  • Liver 3 and 4
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points liver 3 and 4

MUSCLE STRAIN HEADACHES OF THE NECK, SHOULDERS, AND BACK

These aches are triggered by external causes, included alignment when sitting or sleeping, eye strain, and dehydration.

Opening up the Small Intestine and Bladder channels helps keep the muscles more supple and resistant to strain.

What your headache is telling you headache of neck back shoulders
What your headache is telling you headache of neck back shoulders

HOW TO TREAT A MUSCLE STRAIN HEADACHE

Local: Massage the pain points on the top and sides of your head with the fleshy section of the palm below the thumb. Massage for 2-3 minutes.

Distal: Massage the related organ meridian points as indicated for 2-3 minutes. Repeat as needed until pain subsides. 

Points to massage:

  • Small Intestine 3 and 4
  • Urinary Bladder 40 and 62
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points small intestine 3 and 4
Stop headache pain on your temples by massaging acupressure points urinary bladder 40 and 62

NOW YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR HEADACHE IS TELLING YOU

You now know what your headache is telling you about health and immunity weaknesses. More importantly, you have information and tools to help you stop and prevent migraine and headache pain.

Chinese medicine (TCM) has lots of other ancient and effective advice about how to treat headaches, as well as other health conditions. Make sure to subscribe below to receive your FREE guide to What your headache is telling you. You will also receive subscriber discounts on Radiant Shenti classes and products and great information on how Chinese medicine can help you live a happy and healthy life.

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I would like to thank you for... the course. It's very much what I need to accomplish my health goals. So much is explained and I truly need the movement exercises to loosen up my body.


L.L.

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From doing qigong, my energy is flowing in a new way and I am finally able to let go of what I no longer need and release the thoughts that were the source of my neck and head pain. I am grateful for the peace I feel knowing I have overcome a lifetime of anxiety and anger for assuming responsibility for the pain of others.


E.L.

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I always feel that I have to push myself, work up a big sweat when that is really not anywhere in my comfort level. I’ve always done a slow and steady form of exercise and thank you for confirming that that was a good thing to do!


P.E.

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