Traditional Chinese Medicine for Migraine | Cupping & Acupuncture

I just wanted to share my migraine treatment journey. For those who have been following my blog, you will have no doubt read about my migraine issues and my treatment journey.

For the past 2 years, I have been seeing a neurologist. I’ve been on strong pain relief medication. I’ve also been on migraine preventative medication, which I hated the side effects of and has since stopped. 

I am now trialling a Traditional Chinese Medicinal treatment, which encompasses massage, cupping, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. 

Firstly, there have been some new findings based on the cupping treatment. Interestingly, the findings align with my yoga therapy findings. 

And that is my kidney area or “hormonal function” is malfunctioning. TCM based this off the cupping markings and yoga therapy is based of the fact that my backbends are stuck around the same area. Obviously there are other diagnostic questions that lead to this hypothesis, such as my menstruation cycle, whether I had migraines during my pregnancy etc. 

So the latest is that I should consider seeing an endocrinologist to rule out any hormonal dysfunctions that may be triggering these migraines. 

So far, since starting the TCM treatment, I haven’t had any major migraine attacks. Praise God for finding me some relief through this. At the same time though, it’s as if my body is washing out all the toxins from inside, my immune systems seems to be undergoing some cleansing. I’ve been struck with the flu and feeling a little weak lately. On saying that, I’m pleased with the TCM treatment. It has only been 2 months. I hear that after 6 months, the body should start settling into ‘balanced’ health. 

Here are some progress pics of my cupping!

First time – notice the stagnation (deep red) in the lower back, kidney area. 

Second time – 2 weeks after 1st treatment: improvement 

Third time – 5 weeks after 1st treatment:  significant improvement

Photo source below : CuppingTherapy.org


[UPDATE : I’ve brought my TCM’s recommendation to see an endocrinologist to my Western GP. He isn’t in agreement with it but is happy to put a referral through to a gynaecologist. His basis was that ‘hormonal issues’ is too generic a diagnosis. Everything that controls are body has to do with hormones so he didn’t buy into my TCM’s prognosis. The conclusion? I have an appointment with my neurologist coming up and my GP has asked me to get a second opinion from him. After all, my GP says, “THEY are the migraine specialists!”  Let’s see… ]

[SECOND UPDATE : And after seeing my neurologist and bringing to him my TCM’s findings, he was grateful that I was seeing a practitioner who had genuine interest in the root cause and lateral thinking. At the same time, the suggestion of migraine being a “hormonal” and hence treating this dysfunction with “hormone” therapy is not new. It is also well-documented. Research suggests that hormone therapy yields the same results in the long run. I.e. No long term cure. There have been extensive studies carried out in this area. Essentially, my neurologist was not in agreement with going down this angle. However, he was very pleased to hear that my body seems to be in agreement with the acupuncture. Now, that [sic acupuncture], has seen a lot of proven success for migraine sufferers and I’m glad you are one of them. Keep that going and hopefully, it will provide good relief for a couple of years until the body gets used to it (and migraines return again, as can happen sometimes). And we can assess then. I guess by then, I might be more comfortable with finally trying the Botox treatment that was originally recommended. 

That’s it, folks! I hope this gave you some well-rounded information or at least, you may relate to this!] 

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Worsening health conditions | Chinese Medicine treatment

You would think that quitting work and taking a break means less stress and a healthier body. For me, it was not. In fact, ever since I stopped working, it is almost like my body has lost its adrenaline and will to fight and gives in to the smallest amount of stress, manifesting itself into various forms of pain for the body but most commonly migraine attacks.

I’ve been prone to migraines to as far back as I can remember, the age of 9. My oldest memory was when I was in grade 4 and would have to travel home by myself (both parents were at work) in the school bus. Many days I would step off the school bus doing projectile spews resulting from a splitting headache. So my point is, migraines are not foreign to me. However, the frequent attacks that I have had are way beyond what I can handle. In recent years, well let’s say after giving birth, I have resorted to Panadeine and strong doses of Voltaren, to help numb the migraines to make daily activities possible. Even then, the more recent attacks would see Panadeines and the strongest stuff fail on me. Two weeks ago, I was stuck in bed for more than 36 hours, with a prolonged migraine that tortured me to cold sweats and pleads for hospital admission.

It was after the more recent attacks that I’ve resorted to Chinese acupuncture. I’ve tried Physiotherapy and Chiropractise but neither have worked, despite spending a lot of money on both.

So far, after doing 9 days of religous remedial massages, acupuncture and taking torturous Chinese herbal medicine, I’m very impressed with the healing. It seems my body is responding well.

The first few days saw some lingering migraines at the start of the day but after each acupuncture treatment, it was like epidurals in effect! Mind you, it’s a very expensive dose of epidural at $99 per treatment. But at this rate, I’m willing to spend my whole fortune on getting back to 100%.

The Chinese doctor insists that once my ‘qi’ and balance is restored, I’ll never experience migraines again ( with an intelligent caveat ‘as long as I don’t allow my stress to build up again’ ). Still, he’s made a big call and I’m banking on his confidence.

Let’s see….