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Migraines: What Are They & How TCM Treatment Can Help


By Sin Kang TCM


Migraine is a recurrent headache caused by neurovascular causes. The attacks are often one-sided, and a few migraines may affect both sides of the head. The attacks may be accompanied by varying degrees of nausea and vomiting, as well as photophobia. About one-third of people with migraines also experience neurological symptoms such as changes in mood, fatigue, lack of concentration, and changes in eating habits before the attack.


Migraine triggers are very complex and broadly divided into internal and external factors that can both be triggered simultaneously.

Internal factors


  • Genetic factors, according to epidemiological survey statistics, about 70-80% of patients have a family history.
  • Some endocrine and metabolic factors during adolescence result in more frequent episodes during menstruation in girls and less frequent episodes during pregnancy and after menopause.


External factors


  • Stimulation by external environmental influences such as sound, light, etc.
  • Diet, medications, too little or too much sleep, and stress may also trigger migraines.


Types of Migraines


There are many types of migraines, but generally, they can be broadly divided into migraines without aura and migraines with aura.


Migraine is, also known as “head wind”, is characterised by violent headaches on one side. The pain is so intense that it can radiate through the eyes and teeth. To diagnose the specific type of migraine, dialectical evidence is needed to identify external and internal injuries, the location of the headache, and the nature of the headache. In TCM treatment, this is done through syndrome differentiation, where physicians determine if the symptoms fall under any of the six meridians: Shao-yang, Sun meridian, Yang-ming, Tai-yin, Shao-yin and Jue-yin.


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    Remedies & Treatment for Migraines


    • TCM treatment using a combination of Tuina therapy and traditional Chinese herbs can achieve good results. Studies have shown that when combined with Tuina, the effectiveness of Chinese acupuncture increases for migraine treatment.
    • Improving sleep. Too little or too much sleep can trigger migraines, so make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
    • Adjustment of diet. Load up on leafy greens, fresh fruits and foods low in sodium.
    • Stress relief. Try relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga to help you handle stressful situations.
    • Stick to a regular schedule. Eat at regular intervals, stay hydrated and make sure you clock in sufficient sleep.


    Recipes & Herbal Medication for Migraine Treatment


    1. Chuanxiong Tea


    Ingredients: Chuanxiong and Thornbush 20g each, Peppermint Leaf 15g (later on), Asarum sieboldii 3g, Angelica dahurica, Radix Angelicae Sinensis, Qiangwu and Licorice 10g each.



    Preparation: Finely grind 15 grams each time, 2 times daily.


    How to use: Take with tea or as soup, 1 dose daily, divided into 2 doses.


    Effects: Removing wind and dispersing cold, promoting the circulation of meridians. Suitable for external headache.


    2. Rhizoma Ligusticum Dahurianum and Gypsum Soup


    Ingredients: Wu Juhua, Hanxia, Ligustrum, Licorice 10g each, Chuanxiong 6g, Ginger 18g.



    Preparation: Decoction with water.


    Dosage: 1 dose daily, divided into 2 doses.


    Effects: Relieving wind and pain. Suitable for headaches caused by external wind-heat.


    3. Chai Kudzu Soup 


    Ingredients: 9 grams each of Radix Bupleurum, Pueraria Mirifica and Scutellariae, 3 grams each of Radix Angelicae Sinensis and Radix Paeoniae Alba, 6 grams each of Radix Platycodon grandiflorus, Radix Qiangwu and Radix Glycyrrhiza Uralensis 



    Preparation: Decoction with water.


    Dosage: 1 dose daily, divided into morning and evening.


    Effects: Relieving wind and pain.


    What Not to Consume for Migraine Treatment


    • Minimise the consumption of foods that trigger headaches, such as cheese products, chocolate, coffee, tea, preserved foods, tobacco and alcohol, MSG, citrus fruits, etc.
    • Avoid taking medications that may cause headaches, such as nitroglycerin.
    • Avoid taking painkillers for long periods of time as they can cause drug-dependent headaches.


    Curious to see for yourself how Tuina therapy and Chinese acupuncture can help with migraines, speak to our experienced TCM physicians in Singapore today!

    About the author

    Sin Kang TCM

    Contact us for Enquries 联络我们

    Sin Kang TCM was established in 1999 in the heart of Singapore's business district and won the Top 25 Prestige Award in 2014 and awarded the Singapore 500 SME Company prestige commercial status in 2021.

    For over 20 years, Sin Kang TCM Clinic has been providing a holistic and comprehensive range of treatments for our patients to improve their quality of life through affordable healthcare, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) wisdom and modern medical advances. Some of our treatments include signature NO-PAIN Acupuncture™, Tui Na, Cupping, Gua Sha and many more.

    In 2017, we expanded our health renewal journey by curating quality products to bring you the best of TCM right to your doorstep.

    When you're looking for quality affordable products, we hope that we'll continue to be the place you think of. Thank you for dropping by, and do drop us any feedback so that we can bring you better healthcare products!

    Sin Kang TCM 于 1999 年在新加坡商业区的心脏地带成立,并于 2014 年荣获 Top 25 Prestige Award,并于 2021 年荣获新加坡 500 SME Company 声望商业地位。

    20多年来,新康中医诊所以中医智慧和现代医学进步为基础,通过负担得起的医疗保健,为我们的患者提供全面和全面的治疗,以提高他们的生活质量。 我们的一些治疗包括标志性的无痛针灸™、推拿、拔罐、刮痧等等。

    2017 年,我们通过精选优质产品扩展了我们的健康更新之旅,将最好的中医带到您家门口。

    当您正在寻找特别且价格合理的东西时,我们希望我们将继续成为您想到的地方。 感谢您的光临,并为我们提供任何反馈,以便我们为您带来更好的保健产品!