Headaches and migraines can occur for a variety of reasons. The most commonly known sources are from dehydration, barometric pressure changes, and blood circulation. Another common source of headaches and migraines, that is less well known, is due to cervical muscle tension, physical trauma, and head injury. The location of the headache or migraine will usually indicate whether or not it comes from the muscle, or another source.
Typically, headaches experienced on the forehead and behind the eyes come from the sternocleidomastoid, (SCM) the large muscle in the front of the neck, or the Scalenes, which are thinner muscles behind the SCM. These muscles are vulnerable in traumatic situations such as car accidents where the head is forced forward, and these muscles contract, causing increased muscle tension and “trigger points”. Trigger points are areas on the muscle that, when pressed or rubbed in one particular area, pain is felt in an entirely different area. For example, during palpation and massage of the SCM, I often find Trigger points along the muscle that re-create a headache or migraine pain pattern that feels like the headache is “behind the eye”. When these Trigger points are found, they are treated through both acupuncture and massage techniques.
More acupuncture points are selected according to further information the person provides regarding their health, and the nature of the headaches or migraines. The nature of the headache or migraine pattern is also important since each person has a different experience. For example, some people experience a sharp stabbing pain, others feel a pounding or dull constant ache, and some are sensitive to light and feel nauseous. Taking into consideration all of the person’s background helps to provide a more well rounded treatment in order to get to the source of the overall health concern(s).