Stress and Indigestion – Remedies for the Holidays

Holiday Digestion and Stress Relief

Eight Essential Holiday Remedies

I would like to thank all my clients, family, friends and colleagues and wish you all a very happy and fulfilling holiday season.
I think that digestion, stress and over-eating are common concerns during the holidays, and I am hoping that the information in this short article will help increase your energy, immunity, serenity and peace of mind.
The most common digestive symptoms that people have are gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, fuzzy thinking, fatigue after eating, headaches from not eating or after eating, burning in the stomach, sinus congestion and irritability either from not eating or after eating.
Chinese medicine says that if your digestion is working well, everything else will work well too. In other words, if your digestion is not working well, you are assured to have other health problems. Poor overall health follows poor digestive health.
I will look at your tongue. Do you have a coating? Is your coating white or yellow? Do you have teeth marks on the sides? Do you have a bright pink tip? Do you have a crack in the center?
Probiotics are vital for everyone to take. These are the body’s own-naturally occurring bacteria, which become compromised with age or illness. I recommend a product called “IFlor”.
Digestive Enzymes should include both upper and lower GI tract enzymes. I recommend
“PanPlex 2-Phase”.
Many people tend to be allergic to the foods eaten most often, often including gluten, cow’s dairy products, chocolate, tomatoes, and oranges.
Acupuncture, probiotics, and digestive enzymes can help you overcome your allergies.

Dealing with Stress – Daily Meditations:

4 minute Soft Belly Live Meditation Safe Link

10 minute Mindfullness Meditation Safe Link

Give yourself 10 minutes each day to practice Letting Go as a meditation.
Become mindful of each sensation, acknowledge it, and then be grateful for it.
Repeat this gentle process with each thought and feeling you experience.

As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done. If left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities, and aggravation of already troublesome health conditions. Over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system. Stress can cause the overproduction of negative hormones like cortisol. The extra stress hormones over an extended period of time may wear out the body’s reserves, leading to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of other serious physical and psychological ailments.

Some signs of stress include:

- anxiety or panic attacks
- feelings of constant pressure
- irritability and moodiness
- stomach problems, headaches, or even chest pain
- allergic reactions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or asthma
- problems sleeping
- overindulgence in food, alcohol, smoking, or drugs
- sadness or depression

Stress is often the cause of illness and can lead to the long-term deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy. According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing diseases to affect the body.

Through acupuncture, these stressful energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Why does acupuncture help reduce stress?

Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

Eight Indispensable remedies for the holidays:

1. Arnica montana – the first remedy to take for auto accidents, trauma, sprains, strains, back pain strain, eye strain, or after surgery or dental work

2. Nux vom – the first remedy to think of for indigestion and over indulgence, especially if you find you are angry or short-tempered or have constipation as well.

3. Magnesium phos – use for muscle spasms, stress, pain relief, and headaches

4. Rescue Remedy – for any kind of physical or emotional stress

5. Ginger tea or capsules – great for indigestion, gas, diarrhea, stomach flu or over indulgence.

6. Ignatia – for grief, saddness, or emotional loss.

7. Acupuncture – acupuncture treatments for stress, muscle spasms, and digestive problems.

8. Meditation, Exercise and Relaxation

Where to Get Homeopathic Remedies: Any health food store or homeopathic pharmacy.

How to Take Them: The homeopathic remedies generally have directions on them. If you are not sure, ask Dr. Martin.

Make sure you don’t eat or drink for about 20 minutes before or after you take them and don’t touch them. Tap them into the cap and then under the tongue for maximum effectiveness.

Precautions: If you are on any prescription medications, never stop taking them without first consulting your Medical Doctor.

First ask your doctor if you can take homeopathic remedies before you try these on your own.
If you or someone you know is experiencing stress, contact me for more information about how acupuncture, homeopathy, and Oriental medicine can help you regain peace of mind, regulate your immune system and stay healthy over the holiday season and throughout 2015.



I look forward to working with you throughout 2015.
*Chinese Herbal Medicine*
*Nutritional Counseling and Diet*

Dr Randy Martin, OMD, LAc, PhD, CCH
Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Certified Classical Homeopath

What Does Your Tongue Really Show






This link will give you a short course in diagnosing your condition using the tongue.
If you begin to study Chinese medicine, you will find that your tongue is a window to the body and mind. The color, bumps, coating, and shape tells me where you have your imbalance.


Fall Seasonal Tune-Up

Fall Seasonal



………… each seasonal change……….

The tune up will help keep you in balance:
According to Chinese medicine, we are particularly vulnerable to illness at each change of season. Receiving acupuncture at the seasonal change will help your body acclimate to the change in weather, boost the immune system, balance hormones and regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
1. If you like receiving the relaxing benefits of acupuncture, I’ll use those acu-points known to balance the organs related to the fall season we are now in.

2. If you prefer homeopathy, we’ll take the opportunity to discuss your ongoing constitutional treatment to determine your next homeopathic prescription.

3. If you prefer herbs, we’ll choose an herbal formula to match your constitution and the season. Or we can go with a detoxification program for fall.

4. If you want suggestions and advice on how to eat a healthy diet that is in keeping with the seasons, we can evaluate your diet and nutritional supplements as well.

Or, you can have your choice of all four modalities at your seasonal turn-up. Let us know when you schedule your appointment which modalities you prefer, and how long it has been since you last saw Dr. Martin, so that we can schedule you properly.


Justification for Homeopathy

Scientific Homeopathy Article

I often have patients ask me what the scientific basis of homeopathic medicine is.

I finally have an article which is very analytic, clear, and evidence-based as to why and how homeopathic medicine is, in fact, very scientific….. including double-blind studies!

For your friends who are skeptical, or for people who like reading in-depth scientific/referenced types of articles, here it is:

Link to Scientific Homeopathy Article

I personally know homeopathic medicine works. And it works for such a huge variety of problems, both emotional and physical.

On a weekly basis, I use homeopathic medicine effectively to treat hormonal imbalances, depression, insomnia, anxiety, migraines, back pain, joint pains, female infertility, male impotence and ED, IBS, fibroids, sciatica, neck pain, PMS, and chronic fatigue.

When I see something as effective as this…….. I use it!
That’s why I continue to use homeopathy as a powerful tool and adjunct to my acupuncture and Oriental medical practice.

and……the link below is a good one showing the connection between the successful treatment of Dementia and Acupuncture:

Link to Dementia and Acupuncture Article

How is Your Thyroid?

Treating Thyroid Problems with Acupuncture

When functioning properly, the thyroid gland secretes just the right amount of thyroid hormone to regulate almost all the metabolic processes in your body. Too much or too little of these vital body chemicals and it can drastically influence energy levels, body weight and your mental health. With over 20 million Americans living with some form of thyroid disease, much attention has been given to the many ways that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can treat thyroid problems.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that sits in the front of the neck. It is responsible for energy, metabolism, hormone regulation, body weight and blood calcium levels. Thyroid disorders stem from either an overproduction (hyperthyroidism) or underproduction (hypothyroidism) of thyroid hormones. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, your body can experience a variety of symptoms:


Weight loss despite increased appetite

Increased heart rate, heart palpitations, higher blood pressure, nervousness, and excessive perspiration

More frequent bowel movements, sometimes with diarrhea

Muscle weakness, trembling hands

Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)

Lighter or shorter menstrual periods


Lethargy, slower mental processes or depression

Reduced heart rate

Increased sensitivity to cold

Tingling or numbness in the hands

Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)

Constipation, heavy menstrual periods or dry skin and hair

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by testing the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. Hormones secreted by the thyroid are measured, as well as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a chemical released by the pituitary gland that triggers hormone production in the thyroid. Some milder forms of hypothyroidism can also be detected by a consistently low basal body temperature.

How can acupuncture help?

Both Western and Eastern medicine offer various methods to restore thyroid hormone levels. Western treatments rely mainly on drugs and surgery while Eastern treatments aim to restore immune function as well as balance the production and release of thyroid hormones through a variety of approaches ranging from acupuncture and herbal remedies to lifestyle changes and special exercises.

In the treatment to thyroid problems, acupuncture can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions and help manage sleep, emotions and menstrual problems. There are several powerful acupuncture points on the ear and the body that can be used to regulate the production of thyroid hormones. Treatments take all of your symptoms into account and are aimed at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health.

When it comes to lifestyle changes, a diet rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, and iodine helps support thyroid function while certain foods known as goitrogens may interfere with thyroid hormone production and should be limited. These include cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts), peanuts, and soy. Stress reducing exercises such as yoga or tai chi can also be beneficial.

If you have a thyroid problem, call for a consultation. A custom-tailored treatment plan will be created to suit your individual needs so that you can feel better quickly and safely!


Acupuncture for Overactive Bladder

Acupuncture for Overactive Bladder

This study confirms what I already know: That acupuncture is very effective for treating and curing overactive bladder. Three symple acu-points where used for this study. I use my own combination which includes these as well. I also use Chinese herbs and homeopathy.

Here is the link:

Sample Dr. Martin New E-Book the first section for free:

No Mud No Lotus Link to E-Pub

Athletic Injuries and Lower Back Pain

Dr. Randy Martin, OMD, PhD, LAc
Doctor of Chinese Medicine

I have been asked quite a few times over the last few weeks if I’m watching the World Cup. I’m not sure how to respond since I don’t want to sound anti-social. But in truth, it’s hard for me to watch competitive athletic events that have a lot of concussive types of injuries involved…… It brings up old memories for me.

Some of you may know that I competed internationally for the United States in pre-Olympic competition, when in high school and college, and that I was on a full gymnastics scholarship at USC. Gymnastics was largely my life.

As a direct result of working out for so many years and for so many hours every day, I had many gymnastics injuries. It was these injuries that were the primary reason I went to see my first acupuncturist. Acupuncture was very effective at curing those injuries.

I also saw most of my buddies with many injuries as a result of their gymnastics competitiions. And it’s now coming out in the press that many of our most popular sports heroes also have many concussive and chronic injuries. We can see in any typical day of the Worl Cup at least a few injured athletes.

Flash forward…

A patient recently contacted me with the following question:

“I have recurring back pain that resurfaces once or twice every year.” She said, “….and just recently, I have been seeing a chiropractor for the neck and shoulder pain I have as a result of a rear-end car collision. I was wondering, in your honest opinion, will acupuncture or other holistic medicine help me, and to what degree can it help?”

“Yes, acupuncture will definitely help to relieve your pain,” I answered. Then I went on to respond in a little more depth, because so many people do not realize how effective acupuncture really is for pain control and athletic injuries.

I had another patient tell me that after going to his chiropractor six times for a shoulder injury, it still hurt. The chiropractor recommended he add acupuncture to the treatments. And after only a few acupuncture treatments, he was almost completely healed and was able to get right back to weight-lifting again.

Acupuncture works great on neck, shoulder, and back pain, whether due to auto accidents, sports injuries, or other more chronic problems. Usually when someone is not healing properly from a car accident or sports injury, it’s because the trauma “kicked in” some deeper imbalance. The injury might actually be related to poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep or exercise, lifestyle issues, or other problems that will become clear to me as I get to know you personally.

There are also certain emotional factors that usually accompany lower back pain. Since according to Chinese medicine, the lower back is controlled by the kidneys, Chinese medicine says that lower back pain involves the emotion of fear. (Each organ and part in the body has a corresponding emotion.)

There are two ways I approach treatments. Option A is to just do acupuncture. This works very well, especially if there are no underlying imbalances. Many people with back pain report that after a few treatments, they feel substantially better. Option B is for more stubborn problems that have been around for a longer period of time.

For those, it’s best to have a longer consultation and devise a longer-term strategy, allowing me determine the underlying imbalances in your body based on your complete history, blood analysis, diet or other lab work.

In addition, we can do the Chinese tongue and pulse diagnosis. Then we create a plan based on acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, supplements, and homeopathy.

Some of the most common herbs and supplements I might use for lower back pain in conjunction with the acupuncture include the following:

· Pain X – a great anti-inflammatory and pain killer
· PSI Nighttime – a good pain reliever which also helps with sleep when you are in pain
· Magnesium and calcium combination – provides vital vitamins and minerals to help bring down the swelling in the back and around the vertebrae.
· Back Pain (Lower) – a good Chinese herbal formula to strengthen the kidney yin and increase the circulation in the lower extremities and back

Some of the common homeopathic remedies used for lower back pain include the following:
· Mag phos – used as a muscle relaxer and to help with sleep
· Colocynth – helps with muscle cramping
· Rhus tox – indicated when the lower back pain is better after you begin to move around a lot
· Bryonia – indicated if you are better not moving around, just lying still in bed

After the initial problem is better, I usually see people monthly for a tune-up acupuncture treatment and to assess if the herbal, homeopathic, and nutritional program is holding. If it stops working, then we sit down to figure out why and create a new and different program.

With normal life stress, most people can really benefit from getting on a program like this. If you want just a quick solution, and you don’t stick to it over the long-term, it might not work. Many of my patients start with just acupuncture alone, and when they see how effective acupuncture really is, they then choose to delve deeper into more of the underlying issues.
I like to work as a team with Chiropractic doctors, and practitioners of other holistic modalities. So if you are already having good results with your chiropractor, I would suggest sticking with him or her while adding the other treatment methods on.

It’ll result in a more effective and longer-lasting healing effect. I like my patients to get massages, chiropractic treatments, and sometimes counseling, energy work or therapy. Meditation is also helpful. It’s also important for patients to have an MD whom they trust and who is open to working as a team. This teamwork approach will be much more effective than any single type of treatment would be on its own.

How Should I Feel After My Acupuncture?

How Should I Feel After My Acupuncture Treatment?
I’m asked this question a lot, and the answer is always the same: “It depends.”
But on what does it depend?
    That is the real question. Well, it depends on many factors, including the kind of problem you’re being treated for.
Depending on what you’re being treated for, you might experience different types of reactions to the acupuncture treatment.
            If you are being treated for a systemic problem, like migraines or ovarian fibroids, then you may experience a healing aggravation. This means your condition may appear to worsen or some other uncomfortable physical or emotional symptoms may arise, but these (as well as the original problem) will subside as your body works to heal itself. If you are being treated for a short-term, pain-related problem, then the likelihood of a healing aggravation is not as high.
            Systemic problems include anything hormone-related or having anything to do with one of the various organ systems in the body. Examples are the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, the emotional system, the urinary system, the digestive system, and the like. Because these systems are so complicated, often a problem related to one of the systems might take longer to heal.
            When undergoing treatment for these types of problems, a person will often experience a healing aggravation, or healing crisis. This could mean you experience a rash, headaches, or even nausea. Sometimes, certain emotions such as anger, or weepiness and saddness, may overcome you.
            These are all signs that your body is healing and correcting imbalances by releasing physical and emotional toxins that may have been held in the body. The healing aggravation occurs when the problem gets temporarily worse before getting better.
            Depending on the severity of your health problem, you may experience positive results immediately, or the treatment might take some time. The length of time it takes to feel the healing results of the treatment may be anywhere from one treatment to six months of treatments.
            I’ve seen many migraine patients who experienced relief with one treatment, and other migraine patients who didn’t experience complete pain relief for about six months or so after the treatment. In general, the more severe the health problem, and the longer you have had the problem, the longer it’s going to take to heal and establish permanent results.
            Please remember that this is a general rule and, depending on other factors, even a longstanding, severe problem can sometimes respond quite well to acupuncture in just a few short weeks. I recently treated a man in his 50s for long-standing asthma and coughing that cleared up in three treatments. I generally tell people that it’ll take half as long as you’ve had the problem to completely heal it. But that is not to say that you won’t experience significant relief and benefits from your treatments long before this time period. It has been my experience that most people find significant relief in just three or four treatments, regardless of the length of time they’ve had the problem.
Treatment time will vary depending on what result we are trying to accomplish and the following additional factors:
1. How many needles are used?
Some forms of acupuncture may use only one or two needles placed strategically on specific points meant to elicit a constitutional balancing. Other treatments may use 20 to 30 needles or more. Depending on the strength of the various types of treatments, you may feel entirely different after one type of treatment than after another and get entirely different results. In fact, even if you had the same treatment for two consecutive weeks, you might feel different after each treatment, because the energy traveling through your acupuncture meridians is constantly shifting and changing.
2. How many treatments have you received?
In general, the more treatments you receive, the better results you are going to have. This is also true in terms of frequency. If you have been feeling very depressed and come in for acupuncture, I will probably recommend you have treatments twice a week. This is not to say that you won’t get as good a result if I only see you weekly, or twice monthly, but you will receive the benefit more quickly if you receive treatments more often. Most people receive a very nice benefit from the treatment after about eight to ten treatments, and then after that they will decide to let the frequency trail off to every other week, or once a month.
3. Which type of acupuncture is being used?
There are so many different types of acupuncture. Each type was “invented” by a different doctor, and most have proven to be quite successful. You could go to 20 different acupuncturists and receive 20 different types of treatments. The important thing is that you experience significant improvement and that you feel comfortable with the acupuncturist and your treatments. Comparing types of acupuncture treatments is like comparing apples with asparagus. Each practitioner you see will tell you something different.
4. How much toxicity is stored in your tissues and cells?
Most people living in our culture do not eat and drink only perfectly healthy food. Also, if you live in a large city, you are breathing air that is not too pure. So for the average patient I see, there is quite a bit of detoxification that goes along with the acupuncture treatment. Often, people will report headaches, changes in bowel and urination habits, and emotional shifts. If you are someone who rarely expresses yourself emotionally, you might find that after receiving regular acupuncture treatments, you are more apt to say what is on your mind. On the other hand, if you tend to have an explosive streak in you, you might tend to become more calm and relaxed, as you detoxify.
            Above all, acupuncture allows the body to heal itself by releasing toxins and allowing a free flow of energy that helps you reestablish harmony in your body and in your life.
5. How much anxiety or stress are you under?
If you are a relaxed person and not stressed out, if you are not subject to worry and anxiety, and if you sleep well, then the acupuncture will relax you on a much deeper level. If you are someone who is under stress and has anxiety, then the acupuncture will still relax you, but it will last only a few days. The treatments compound themselves, so that the more acupuncture you receive, the longer and deeper your relaxation response will be.
6. What is your diet like?
If you have a healthy diet for your body type, the acupuncture will work more quickly. In fact, many of my patients who are balanced in terms of diet and nutrition experience a spike in their energy and better sleep after each acupuncture treatment.
7. How much water and other fluids do you drink to keep your body hydrated and flushing out toxins?
If you have ever received a massage, you probably remember that they usually give you a glass of water after the treatment. This is because your body will naturally release toxins after a massage. So, too, with acupuncture. It’s important to drink enough fluid to keep your body’s toxins moving out of you. It’s also a good idea to drink electrolyte water, so that the fluids you are drinking are more easily assimilated and you re-establish your sodium, potassium, and other minerals and micro-nutrients.
8. Do you exercise regularly?
Exercise is essential to effective treatment. If you exercise daily, your acupuncture treatment will feel better and you will get more out of it. Acupuncture gives your body a head start on the path to wellness, balancing your hormones and your neurotransmitters; exercise does the same thing, so they act in tandem.
In summary, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of eating right, exercising, getting a lot of fluids into your system, and learning to relax—not only for your health in general, but also for increasing the effectiveness of your acupuncture.

Acupuncture, Fertility and Meditation

Pregnancy and Fertility and Meditation
by Dr. Randy Martin, OMD, PhD, LAc, CCH
Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Certified Classical Homeopath
Below are two (2) links I thought you may enjoy. 
The first is a link to a scientific study showing the lack of adverse side-effects when using acupuncture during pregnancy.  I know that some pregnant women are referred to me by their OB-GYN MD’s.  Yet other women are afraid to use acupuncture.  I’m hoping this research will put your mind at ease; that acupuncture is completely safe during pregnancy.
This second (2nd) link is a short video showing the positive effects of mindfulness meditation for helping achieve greater connection and intimacy in relationships.
Sitting quietly, in mindfulness meditation, just 10 or 15 minutes per day will greatly help lower your stress levels and retrain the brain – increasing it’s neuroplasticity.  In other words, it helps your brain develop new synapse pathways, which allow you to react to the same situations in new, more productive ways.
Finally, I have found that acupuncture is a great adjunct in fertility treatments, either alone or with herbs and homeopathy; or along with your MD fertility specialist treatments.
 Acupuncture, herbs and homeopathy are also very effective for increasing male fertility and erectile function, as well as in increasing female libido and balancing hormones.


Holistic Headache Treatment





Effective Complementary Treatment for Headaches
by Dr. Randy Martin, OMD
I was listening to a local talk radio show, and a commercial came on for headache control using over-the-counter pain medications. While I’m a big proponent of taking Western pharmaceuticals and using surgery on an as-needed basis, I feel that many of us use medications due to laziness or a lack of knowledge rather than real need. 
When you have the facts, you’ll see that almost all headaches, including migraines, can be successfully treated without the use of Western medications. The goal should always be first to try to treat pain problems without the use of Western medications. Then, if that doesn’t work, you can always take the “easy way out” and take a pill.
Out of all the cases of headaches that I see in an average year, there are only a few that don’t respond to complementary healing methods. This segment will discuss the four most common types of headaches and the treatments that work for them most of the time.

1. The Migraine Headache:
I won’t discuss the Western physiology behind the migraine, because if you get them, you most likely already know all about the aura that precedes the headache, how it can last a number of days, and that you feel better in a dark room, etc. Complementary medicine treats migraine headaches very successfully. As with all headache treatments, I first look at diet.
The important factors are to reduce sodium and increase protein intake to three or four times per day. Blood sugar and allergies often set off a migraine, so it’s important to eliminate dairy, gluten, citrus, chocolate, and nuts. Staying out of direct sunlight is also recommended. I use liver and colon detoxification pills for about one month to balance and regulate the body and to throw off many of the accumulated toxins.
Supplements are very important, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, chromium, and a high-potency multi-vitamin. Acupuncture is indispensable and is done once weekly for ten weeks, or discontinued earlier when improvement is seen. The homeopathic remedies most often effective in treating migraine headaches are Natrum Mur, Lachesis, and Magnesium phosphoricum.

2. The Stress Headache (also called neck- and shoulder-tension headaches):
This type is usually caused from poor diet, ineffective coping mechanisms when under stress, or poor ergonomics at work. If your neck is tilted and your arms are too high at your computer, it will throw the spine out of alignment and cause the muscles in the back and neck to contract, resulting in poor blood flow.
For stress headaches, I use the same liver detoxification and colon detoxification program that I do for migraine headaches for the first month of treatment. The supplement program consists of doubling the magnesium-to-calcium ratio. I also always do a blood lab analysis to see if minerals, protein, and red blood cells are at healthy levels.
Acupuncture is performed once weekly until the desired results are achieved, which is usually from four to eight weeks. I sometimes use a homeopathic remedy for stress and muscle tension such as Kali phos, Avena sativa or Magnesium phos.

3. The Sinus Headache: 
This headache can be caused by allergies and is often accompanied by a sinus infection, dizziness, and other flu-like symptoms. I use the same detoxification pills for this type, but I also emphasize digestion and cleaning out the colon more than in the previous two types. Supplements include a good probiotic and digestive enzyme to ensure assimilation and breakdown of food. Magnolia flower, Pe Min Kan Wan, or another such Chinese herbal formula is also used, depending on the exact symptoms. Acupuncture is done mainly on the face for the sinuses and on the back of the neck for relaxation of the muscles of the upper back, neck, and head. Homeopathy is not usually used unless hay fever symptoms are prevalent; if they are, I prescribe Allium cepa, Pulsatilla, or Kali Mur for the congestion. If there is vertigo or dizziness, I may also use Cocculus.
4. The Hormonal Headache (PMS or Menopause):
This is, by far, the easiest type of headache to cure. I prescribe the same two detoxification pills that I use for the previous three types of headaches, in addition to a Chinese herbal formula called Free and Easy Wanderer. Acupuncture is used twice per month: just after the menstrual period has ended and just before the period starts. The homeopathic remedies that have proven most helpful for the PMS type of headaches are Sepia, Natrum Mur, Lachesis and Nux vomica, depending on the specific symptoms.Note that treatments for all four common types of headaches may vary, depending on individual symptoms, and that the length of time it takes to cure the headaches will also vary, from about one to four months.
Generally, the shorter time you’ve had the recurring headache, the easier it is to cure it. The best time to treat headaches is when you are not actually in pain.Occasionally, headaches will resolve and never return after just one acupuncture treatment or one dose of the correct homeopathic remedy.
Often I’ll get a call at my office from a desperate patient who has a throbbing headache and wants an immediate cure with acupuncture. Traditionally, the superior Doctor of Chinese medicine would only use acupuncture as a last resort.
First, he or she would use nutrition, diet, Chinese herbal treatments, and massage, and only if none of these worked would he or she resort to acupuncture. Sometimes these desperate patients leave my office with relief of their headache. But the importance of preventive treatment cannot be overemphasized.
Some patients request that I diagnose their problem from the point of view of Chinese medicine, and this diagnosis is much more complicated than in Western medicine.
For instance, the diagnosis of headache in Chinese medicine can be sub-divided into many different categories, and each one requires a completely different type of treatment.
These categories do not correspond to the above four types of headaches we find using the Western medical model. In practice, I usually combine the previous Western medical model with the Chinese medical model that follows. By using both, and getting the best from both, patients will have the combined benefit of East and West in their diagnosis and treatment options.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine evolved in a culture with an entirely different view of the world and of the human body. It views the human body as a whole and uses terminology that reflects this different worldview.
Here are some of the most common diagnoses and treatments of headaches using Chinese medicine diagnostic categories:
1. Wind Cold:
This type of headache is usually encountered in winter or when you are exposed to a cold draft or air conditioning. Symptoms usually include aversion to cold, shivering, possible fever, cough, sneezing, a blocked or runny nose, and pale urine. Often the neck and shoulders are very tight, and the headache is worse in the back of the head.
One of the best ways to avoid this type of headache is to use a scarf to protect the back of the neck from the cold. The primary herbal formula used for this type of headache is Yin Chiao. The acupuncture points used are GB 20, 21, 2, and 43.
2. Wind Heat:
This type of headache feels as if the head is too full and is usually accompanied by a fever, thirst, sore throat, red eyes, dark urine, constipation, a rapid pulse, and a tongue that may have a bright red discoloration on the tip.
The most common herbal formulas for this type are Gan Mao Ling and Gentiana Formula. The acupuncture points used include GV 20, 4 Gates, and St 45.
3. Internal Dampness:
This is most frequent in damp areas in individuals who have a weak spleen condition, according to Chinese medicine. Common symptoms include a swollen tongue with teeth marks, bloating, dull headaches with a heavy feeling in the head, a feeling of being in a fog mentally, a runny nose, a lack of appetite or nausea, a craving for sweets, and a sticky tongue coating.
The most common Chinese herbal formula for this type of headache are Ginseng and Cardamon Formula or Prosperous Farmer Formula. Acupuncture points used might include Sp 4, 6, St 36, CV 12.
4. Blood Stasis:
This type of headache will have a stabbing pain and be long-term and chronic. It may come from an injury like whiplash or a chronic muscle spasm in the neck or shoulder that was never completely dealt with. Other sources might be from chronic allergies or chronic sinus problems.
The pain may feel as if a nail were being driven into the head, and there may also be painful menses with dark, clotted blood, or pain in the lower-left portion of the abdomen. The tongue might have a purple spot or have a purple tinge throughout. Formulas for this type of headache include Corydalin and Meridian Passage. Acupuncture points used include GB 21, 2, 43, St 30, 28, and Yin Tang.
This is just a small sampling of the Chinese diagnostic categories for headaches and their treatments. There are many more types of headaches according to Chinese medicine, and there are also many other Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture points that I might use in treatment of the headache depending on the severity and longevity.
The recommended herbs mentioned above are not just painkillers. Rather, they will work to change the underlying condition that is causing the headache.
In addition to these formulas, I also recommend using herbal and natural pain relievers as much as possible. These have no side effects, cause no toxicity to your liver or kidneys, and are preferable to the use of drugs.
Some herbs are also designed to help you to get to sleep when you are in pain. In addition to Chinese herbs and acupuncture, I will usually recommend a homeopathic remedy and a dietary change of one type or another.
Often, headaches are caused by an allergy to certain foods, by low blood sugar, or by blood sugar swings. Diet can play an important role in regulating and treating headaches.
Finally, exercise is critical in the treatment of headaches. It’s important to keep the energy, or Chi, flowing smoothly, the thyroid functioning well, and the adrenal glands working optimally. 
You can win the battle against headaches by educating yourself as to the type of headache you have, getting the appropriate testing, immediately starting complementary therapies, and sticking with the treatment. With this combination, you will have success. Headaches are one type of problem that almost all of us have at one time or another, and fortunately, most health insurance companies will pay for your treatment.