Migraines are a specific type of headache that lasts 4-72 hours, is throbbing in nature and moderate to severe in intensity, is one-sided, and is worse with exertion. Migraines may also be associated with nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. In order to be diagnosed as suffering from migraines, one only needs to experience 3-4 of these symptoms. Currently, it is estimated that 24 million Americans have migraines. They occur more in women than men and mostly between 10-40 years of age. More than 50% of migaineurs have a family history of this disorder. According to Western medicine, the cause of migraines is unknown. The possible triggers may include cycling estrogen, insomnia, changes in barometric pressure, and hunger.
The combination of therapies may consist of acupunture, chinese herbal medicine, or both. Acupuncture may be used either preventively or remedially during an acute attack. Often, acupuncture can abort or decrease migraine pain within minutes after inserting the needles. Chineses herbal medicine may be administered in the form of desiccated, powdered extracts or bulk herbs brewed and drunk as a “tea” several times per day.