Most of us have had either a migraine or headache at some point, but if you are someone that suffers regularly from the dreaded head beast, then it’s time to get over it.


Headaches and migraines are usually classified as either primary or secondary. Primary headaches are generally caused by stress, tension, over exertion or hormonal imbalances, where as secondary are usually as a result of another condition, such as sinus infection, trauma, dental disease or tumour. Secondary headaches are of course a serious concern and if they are also followed by fever, severe dizziness, fainting, vomiting without nausea or are a follow on from a trauma then emergency protocols may be necessary.

If that headache always hits you at the end of the working week, or you suffer from the same migraine every month at the same time, then you don’t have to put up with it any longer, my team at The Pagoda Tree & I are here to help.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) migraines and headaches are classified into a further number of patterns and most respond excellently to Acupuncture.  In fact, one of our most favourite ailments to treat are migraines and headaches because they generally respond so very well to treatment.


Generally headaches are caused by an inflammation of the pain receptors around the arteries in and around our brain. Our brain needs a consistent and steady flow of blood, and migraines and headaches are just a simple signal to our body that it is having to work extra hard to stimulate that flow. The reason why that occurs is generally due to a tension build up in our neck and upper shoulders, which constricts the blood vessels to the head. This in turn restricts blood flow to the brain, however instead of our bodies response being to release the tension in our neck and upper shoulders, the bodies response is vasodilation (opening expanding) of the arteries in and around our brain. This causes localised pain and often a throbbing sensation in the affected area, as these blood vessels widen and push on pain receptors. Many people who suffer from these types of headaches or migraines can feel even worse immediately after massages or even incorrect acupuncture, as this relieves the tension in the neck and shoulders and causes further circulation of blood to the head.


So how does Acupuncture help? A qualified Acupuncturist should ask a wide range of questions as to pertain to the exact type of headache or migraine you may suffer from. Then with the correct selection of Acupuncture points, give a lasting treatment for headaches and migraines. Mostly the points for headaches and migraines will be located on the feet and hands. This causes greater circulation to the extremities, hence less flow to the throbbing arteries in the head. In TCM we see this as a movement of aggravated Qi (vital energy) and heat away from channels around the head and diverting and releasing that Qi. If your treatment is not during a time of headache or migraine, Acupuncture can work locally to improve the suppleness of the neck and shoulder muscles, as well as help to relieve tension and stress. Acupuncture is a cheap, effective and lasting solution, without the side effects of pain medications. Treatment of reoccurring headaches or migraines will generally consist of 4-6 treatments, at which point you may also be suggested supplements, herbs or other ways to treat an attack while not in the clinic.


My 3 favourite tips are….


  1. Take a hot shower or bath in epson salts to open up the circulation to the rest of your body and bring that aggravated Qi away from your head. Also consider foot bathes.
  2. Ask your practitioner for a Magnesium supplement, as magnesium helps to relieve muscle tension, but can also assist in hormonal imbalances.
  3. Meditate regularly, as this is the most simple way to reduce stress and improve mental and physical health.



Caleb is one of our talented practitioners here at The Pagoda Tree.  For more information, to arrange an appointment or find out more please call us on 03 96867454 or email  We’re here to help!