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              Chinese medicine . Acupuncture . Energy therapies          

april bui licensed acupuncturist houston


Migraines, Headaches

On this page you can find a brief discussion about migraines and headaches according to Chinese medicine principles, the possible causes of this condition in terms of Chinese medicine diagnosis, and the treatment protocol at our clinic.


Please keep in mind that Chinese medicine is very different in principles, concepts, language, and treatment methods from western medicine. The information here is intended for the lay people who have no knowledge about Chinese medicine, therefore this discussion must be limited in scope and depth. The purpose is to impart the relevant information and to help you gain a general understanding, from your standpoint as a potential patient of Chinese medicine, how Chinese medicine views and diagnoses this condition of interest and what you can expect from a treatment if you decide to become a patient of our clinic.


Below are brief explanations of some common terms and concepts in Chinese medicine diagnosis that you would come across in a reading. This also helps you to understand better the discussion on this page.


  • Qi - means energy. Qi is the universal energy that pervades within and without us everywhere in this realm of existence. Strictly speaking in our body, qi is the vital force that causes all movements, activities, functions, growth, development, control, check and balance, nourishment, protection, and transformation.
  • Yin - pertains to the material basis of our body.
  • Yang - pertains to the energetic, functional aspect of our body.
  • Damp - refers to moisture in the body. The mentioning of damp in a diagnosis usually refers to an excessive accumulation that consequently produces problems.
  • Heat, cold - temperature in our body. The mentioning of temperature in a diagnosis usually indicates an extreme level of imbalance.
  • Wind - exists naturally in our body. The mentioning of wind in a diagnosis indicates an imbalance has occurred which causes the activity of wind to become excessive or in severe cases out of control.
  • Meridian – another term for energy channel.

According to Chinese medicine, migraines/headaches result from the following imbalances:

  • Qi stagnation (pain moves around in different places)
  • Blood stagnation (pain is fixed and stabbing)
  • Wind invasion (pain wanders to different areas)
  • Excess damp (pain is distended and usually affects forehead and sinus area)
  • Deficiency of blood or yin (pain feels hollow, commonly occur with menopause and heavy menstruation)
  • Ascending liver yang (pain feels pressured, throbbing and usually affects temple area)

Treatment Protocol

We use acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat migraines, headaches to achieve these healing effects:

  • Open the affected energy channels.
  • Regulate qi and blood flow according to the presenting symptoms and diagnosis.
  • Disperse obstructions.
  • Clear damp.
  • Drain heat.
  • Expel wind.
  • Nourish qi, blood, yin if deficiencies involved.

The initial course of treatment comprises of six weekly sessions. Depending on the type and severity of condition, a maintenance program is recommended after completion of the initial phase. Conditions involving damp or deficiencies require an extensive period of maintenance because it takes longer time to clear damp out of the body or to replenish deficiencies.

An in-depth assessment and individually tailored treatment recommendation are conducted in person as there may be pre/existing factors of one's health that influence the condition of interest.