Neck Tension, Headaches, Migraines, Ugh!
What is a headache anyway? The thing that makes Chinese medicine unique and tailored to each individual is that we always treat the pattern, not the symptom. In other words, instead of taking an Advil to suppress the symptom of headache, Chinese medicine seeks to treat the root pattern to stop the symptom from occurring in the first place. Although pain in the head may be the common symptom, there are nine different patterns in the body that could cause this! Some patterns come from excess, some from deficiency, and some from hot or cold, dampness or dryness.
In terms of neck tension and headaches, Liver Qi Stagnation is usually a main culprit. The Liver represents the organ network system in the body that is in charge of envisioning goals and making plans to reach them. The Liver can be a bit of a headstrong ox that tucks it's head down and plods forward, no matter what is in the way! When that ox comes up against something that blocks its path, frustration mounts as it metaphorically keeps ramming its head against a wall, hellbent on moving forward. Liver Qi Stagnation occurs when the free flow of Qi that the Liver loves so much cannot move. This can cause tension, irritability, headaches, PMS.
In many cases, migraines, on the other hand, are triggered by deficiencies of our valuable resources such as Qi, Blood, and Fluids), which can often be traced to too much stimulation in the form of overworking, stress, exercise, alcohol etc., in a way that becomes depleting. The Gallbladder is the Liver's partner who is in charge of implementing all the plans that the Liver dreams up. It is the Gallbladder that makes the decisions about which way to go and what to do next. While the Liver is pulling the strings behind the scenes, the Gallbladder is the one out in the world that twists and turns back and forth in the world to find the best path forward. For this reason, the Gallbladder channel runs from our eyes to our head, neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. When the Gallbladder gets tangled up trying to move in too many directions at once the Qi can get stuck in the beginning of the channel- and with 20 acupuncture points right on the head this does not feel good!
These are just some examples of why heads ache. Abbé Tea Company's Relieve Tea is designed to boost circulation and ease the mind, body, and spirit to soothe pain at all levels, and is great for general support of the movement of Qi to support your Liver and Gallbladder. Relieve Tea contains pink peppercorn and cinnamon for moving blood and fluids, plus turmeric & skullcap for reducing inflammation and pain.
For accurate diagnosis please see your acupuncturist for a complete assessment with tongue and pulse diagnosis. In the meantime, be kind to your body by reducing stress and remembering that you don't have to get everything done all at once. Make sure to boost your resources with good nutrition, enough sleep, and major hydration with lots of tea!