Headaches and Migraines are painful conditions that often respond well to integrative therapies. Different therapeutic modalities are like different languages that your body speaks – the key is to find the right language (or combination of languages) that your body will listen to. At Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, we offer many services that can benefit patients suffering from headaches and migraines, either as stand-alone therapies or in combination with one another. When it comes to holistic medicine, we find that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of single-use, sterile, solid needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to reduce tension and pain, overcome disease, and rebalance the body. Your acupuncturist will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your headaches from a Chinese Medicine perspective, and your treatments will be tailored to your presentation of the headaches/migraines. Additional Chinese Medicine methods such as cupping and gua sha manual therapy may be included in acupuncture sessions, when appropriate. Acupuncture can reduce muscle tension, balance hormones, and change how the nervous system perceives and responds to pain and stress.
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on manual therapy technique. The craniosacral system extends from the head (cranium) to the sacrum and includes the central nervous system. A craniosacral therapist can feel and rebalance the rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid flow, which covers your bones, joints, and sutures. Craniosacral Therapy seeks to reset the nervous system, which operates on high alert when you are in a state of pain. It can reduce tension held in the body’s membranes, as well as calm activated nerve fibers between the sutures of the skull. Many patients find Craniosacral Therapy to be a very relaxing experience.
Headaches and migraines are often caused by or linked to tension and trigger points in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Therapeutic Massage – which incorporates Swedish massage, myofascial release, deep tissue, and sports massage techniques – works to reduce muscle tension and pain, improve circulation, and increase range of motion as needed. Massage on the neck and upper back can be highly effective at relieving tension headaches and some kinds of migraines, as well as headaches related to jaw issues.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine works on the same principles as acupuncture – but the herbs work from the inside-out, whereas acupuncture works from the outside-in. Herbs are taken in a formula of 2-20 herbs working together to create balance in the body, reduce pain and inflammation, and boost your body’s natural resources. Formulas are customized to your presentation of headaches – your herbalist will consider the timing, location, duration, and intensity of your headaches, as well as common things that trigger or alleviate the headaches. Herbs are prescribed in pills, teas, tinctures, powders, or raw herbs to decoct at home.
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness guide, who can help you to identify food triggers for your headaches, migraines, or chronic inflammation. Health Coaching sessions focus on looking at all aspects of your lifestyle and how simple changes can improve your headaches, such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleep habits, work stress, and relationships.
Reflexology is a therapeutic treatment in which pressure is applied to particular points and regions of the foot to affect change in the whole body. Reflex points on the feet correspond to different organs and body systems, and by stimulating these points the practitioner can create positive change in a particular system and bring the body back into balance. A trained reflexologist can pinpoint areas of tension or imbalance on the feet to treat pain and tension in the head, face, and neck.