Self-care for Migraine Headaches

headache natural remedyMigraines are a complicated condition with organ-level imbalances according to Chinese medicine. Effective and prolonged relief requires that one recognizes the pattern of imbalance that they are suffering from and fashioning a personalized protocol taking in to account her/his individual health situation. These self-care therapies are performed daily over many months. Like other ongoing therapeutic modalities, application is not just at the time of head pain for prolonged resolution of migraines.

For best outcomes using self-care, combine associated Aroma Acu-Sticks® to acupuncture points, topical remedies, and good lifestyle practices.


Aroma Acupressure Points for Migraine Headaches

essential oils for acupressureLearn how to apply aroma acupressure effectively linked here!


Patterns of Imbalance Causing Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches can come from Excess or Deficiency according to Chinese medicine. Often time, symptoms in younger people reflect and Excess such as Liver Fire; as the person ages and becomes more depleted, the symptoms reflect Deficiency such as Internal Dampness. Most of those who suffer with chronic migraines will reflect more than one of these common patterns of imbalance associated with migraines.

liver essential oilsLiver Blood Deficiency

Chronic emotional stress and frustration will develop in to Liver Qi Stagnation often with pain on one side of the head. With Liver Qi Constraints, the Liver energetic organ begins to heat up. Liver Blood is consumed by Liver Fire. This can create redness of the eyes, visual problems, tunnel vision, blurry vision, or an aura. 

  • Blood is Yin in nature and is cooling
  • Liver Blood nourishes the eyes
  • Blood is grounding and stabilizing

Like a camp-fire, heat in the body rises, swirls, and creates Internal Wind.

  • Heat rises to the head via the Gallbladder Acupuncture Channel
  • Wind is chaotic and moves quickly
  • Wind results in dizziness

Liver Blood is closely associated with menstruation and migraines that occur around a woman's monthly cycle could reflect unstable Liver energy. Liver Fire can cause red skin, inflammation, and rashes. As Liver Heat rises one may experience ringing in the ears.

Spleen-Damp and Migraines

detox foot soak with essential oilsSpleen Qi Deficiency can develop and result in Internal Dampness. This type of migraine may present with nausea, a heavy head or limbs, and/or brain fog.  One's condition would improve with rest with Qi Deficiency. There may be loose stools and fatigue.  Left untreated, Liver Fire will combine with pathogenic Internal Dampness creating thick internal Phlegm with worsening severity of symptoms such as vertigo and chest tightness.

Many times the Liver overacts on the Spleen when it becomes agitated. This can create a counter-flow Qi situation where a person goes home to relax for the weekend and mysteriously gets a migraine. This occurs because the Liver attempts to course and discharge the stagnant Qi once the stress of work subsides and the Qi goes upward to the head.

Kidney Deficiency and Migraines

Yang Deficiency Topical RemedyKidney Yang Deficiency can contribute to Qi Deficiency and Dampness. Cold blocking the flow of Qi and Blood will cause pain (especially along the associated Urinary Bladder Channel). This would present with cold limbs, no thirst, and/or fixed stabbing pain.

Kidney Yin Deficiency can contribute to Liver Yin Deficiency and Blood Deficiency and would present with symptoms worsening at night, thirst, and/or possibly night sweats. Tinnitus related to Kidney Deficiency would be more constant and would not arise only with head pain.

Blood Stasis Obstructing the Acupuncture Channels

This would present as an enduring headache with fixed sharp or piercing pain. This is often due to traumatic brain injuries or concussion. Blood Deficiency can also result in Blood Stasis.


Unfortunately, some medications simply mask the symptoms of migraines while the underlying disharmonies continue to worsen and evolve in to other chronic disease patterns. However, one would not want to discontinue the use of meds without consulting with the prescribing physician who can assist with a weaning-off protocol. This should not begin until regular self-care methods have been used for 4-6 months giving the organ systems time to heal and moderate. One should also implement positive lifestyle practices such as regular exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet.


Acupuncture Channels Involved with Migraine Headaches

We provide detailed information on both acupressure channels (or meridians) and specific acupressure points and their benefits for you to research. By assessing the specific channel where pain is present during your migraine headaches, you can asses which related energetic organ systems may be at the root of your dilemma. 

gallbladder acupuncture channel

Gallbladder Acupressure Channel

Frontal, forehead, temples, side of head. Pain that vices the entire head and occipital pain.

Bladder Acupressure Channel

Eye pain, occipital pain, pain at the top of the head



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This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.