Here are your nine best bets for relieving a headache, from the annals of Chinese medicine.
One study found that acupuncture reduced pain by 31% in people with chronic tension headaches. Another study of different headaches found that one session lowered the number of days people spent with a headache. It also lowered the number of painkillers they had to buy.
For a headache, the needles will often be inserted in the legs, arms, and shoulders. This has a high success rate, and is capable of limiting the pain of virtually any headache. The session lasts between five and 30 minutes, and may have to be performed weekly for a while.
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2. “Ginkgo Biloba”
This Chinese herb could stop inflammation, as its core ingredients have been proven to do so. Chew ginkgo, or take it in powder form, at about 500 mg with water every five hours or so when you begin to feel those nagging headache symptoms.
3. Chinese Massage
A type of acupressure massage can work wonders for a minor headache. There are very simple ways you yourself could cure the pain. One way is to find the point in the webbing of your thumb — between the thumb and index finger. Press in there firmly and hold for a couple of minutes. Repeat with other hand. You will feel relaxation as well. The other point is directly between the eyebrows at the start of the forehead. Apply gentle pressure for here for two or three minutes.
4. Peppermint Oil
Smooth the oil across your temples and watch a tension headache start to slip away. So said one preliminary study, as well as a double-blind one that found that a 10% peppermint oil lotion rubbed three times in a half-hour over the temples was more effective than “Tylenol” in relieving headache pain. Another one found that peppermint oil was just as effective as over-the-counter painkillers.
5. “Angelica 14” and “Xanthium 12”
Combine these two products, available at most health stores, to beat down a headache caused by phlegm. Angelica helps get your digestive tract in order, while other ingredients stifle inflammation. Congestion is cleared and circulation is restored to the head.
6. “Po Chai”
This one is particularly good for indigestion headaches. One dose will likely be sufficient. If you are dizzy as well, it’s known to stop the room from spinning.
7. “Xiao Yao Wan”
This herbal remedy could treat a headache caused by indigestion, food allergies, or even depression. It helps build “Qi” in the organs of your digestive tract — the spleen, pancreas, and stomach. It also helps the flow of bile to the liver and gallbladder.
8. “Lung Tan Xie Gan Wan”
This is a remedy that is said to clean the “heat” from the blood of the liver. As such, it’s meant to battle liver-related headaches. It helps with a healthy flow of bile. Typically, you take about 12 pills a day, but follow the package directions. It’s good for headaches possibly accompanied by blisters in the mouth, constipation, or urinary tract infections.
9. “Niu Huang Chieh Tu Pien”
Calling skullcap, rhubarb and gypsum its main ingredients, this formula is a strong anti-inflammatory. It is one of the best remedies for clearing a phlegm-heat headache. This formula treats a headache by cooling down inflammation and encouraging toxins to leave the liver and large intestine.