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A migraine headache is a form of headache which is typically considered the most intense and disabling. Migraines are chronic in nature, meaning that they happen often for the individual that is affected. Typically Migraines are one sided in nature, meaning that the pain is felt on one side of the head.

Migraine Symptoms

Looking at the symptoms of migraine headaches can be a little overwhelming and not make a lot of sense at first. The list looks like:

  • Pain - Moderate to severe on one or both sides of the head
  • Throbbing - Some pain may throb, almost like the heart pulse, but on its own rhythm
  • Vomiting
  • Photophobia - Fear of, or dislike of light
  • Phonophobia - Fear of, or dislike of sound
  • Pain may be worse with movement

A traditional migraine, often referred to as a migraine with aura, is preceded by a group of specific symptoms called aura, most commonly experienced as a visual disturbance (sense the term aura). Common migraine or migraine without aura, in contrast, lacks this specific warning. Many migraine patients will experience a prodrome, a vague sensation that things are just not right that may precede the headache by several hours. Although sometimes comparable in severity, the symptoms of migraine differ from those of cluster headache.

Alternative Medicine and Migraines

When one looks at the Oriental Medical breakup of headaches, migraine symptoms start to make a lot more sense. In this system, migraine symptoms can be broken down by location, type of pain, amelioration and aggravation. Then, diagnosis can be made in relation to the organ systems or the channels affected. Lets look at how some of these symptoms might break down.

Location of Pain in Headaches:
  • Top of the head - The liver channel reaches the top of the head. This type of headache is most often related to "a deficient liver blood state" but can also relate to "liver yang rising" which is an excess state. The difference being that if excess, the headache would be aggravated by lying down, but if deficient, would get relief from lying down.
  • Sides of the Head
    • Only One Sided - This relates to the "Gall Bladder" channel, and headaches here are either due to "Liver Yang Rising" or "Liver Fire"
    • Temples - This again is typically thought of as due to a disturbance in the "Gall Bladder" channel, and as such, can be either caused by "Liver Yang, "Liver Fire" or "Liver Wind." This location shows pain that is often throbbing in nature.
    • Behind the Eyes - This is a very frequent location for migraine. This type of headache is often due to "Liver Blood Deficiency."
  • Forehead - Headaches here are usually related to the "stomach."
  • Back of the Head - Here, headaches are usually due to a "Kidney Deficiency" manifesting on the "Bladder Channel."
  • Whole Head - Chronic Headaches n this area are due to "Kidney - Essence deficiency. They are not typically scene as migraines.
Types of Pain in Migraine Headaches:
  • Dull Headache - A headache is due to one of the deficiencies outlined above
  • Feeling of Heaviness - This is characteristic of "Dampness" or "Phlegm"
  • Distending Pain - Typically a migraine symptom of "Liver Yang" or "Liver Fire."
  • Stiff - "Liver Yang"
  • Pulling - "Liver Wind"
  • Stabbing and Boring - This sensation is very intense and fixed in one place and it indicates "Blood Stasis." This is more of a symptoms of Cluster Headaches.
  • Feeling of Emptiness - This can indicate a deficiency of Kidney Yin or Yang.
Disclaimer: Information shared in this section is indicative. Please do not make any conclusion and we strongly recommend you to consult with your Doctor. Symptoms may vary with individual, geography, climate and lifestyle