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On pages 46-47 of issue #7, 2004, of Ji Lin Zhong
Yi Yao (Jilin Chinese Medicine & Medicinals),
Wang Qiu-yue published "The Treatment of 46 Cases of One-sided Headache
All 46 patients enrolled in this study were seen as outpatients at the Chinese
author's hospital in Shandong province. Among them, there were 14 males
and 32 females aged 17-62 years. These patients had had migraines for durations
ranging from one month to 16 years. All met the diagnostic criteria for migraines
published in Shen Jing Bing Xue (A
Study of Neurological Diseases), written
by Wang Wei-zhi and published by the People's Health & Hygiene
Press in Beijing in 2001.
The following points were needled on the affected side:
- Feng Chi (GB 20)
- Shuai Gu (GB 8)
- Tai Yang (M-HN-9)
While the remaining points were needled bilaterally:
- He Gu (LI 4)
- Wai Guan (TB 5)
- Tai Chong (Liv 3)
Two-inch long, 0.38mm in diameter needles were
used. Feng Chi was needled with the point of the needle angled
toward the tip of
the nose to a depth of 1.5
inches. Large amplitude twisting and turning and small amplitude lifting
and thrusting hand techniques were used to propagate a needle
sensation to the
temporal region. Shuai Gu was needled transversely to a depth of 1.5
inches to connect with Tou Wei (St 8). Tai Yang was needled posteriorly
with He Liao (TB 22). These three needles were manipulated with small
amplitude twisting and turning technique. He Gu, Wai Guan, and
Tai Chong were needled
with standard methodology. These points were needled once per day,
with the needles retained for 30 minutes each time. Ten treatments
and a five-day rest was allowed between each successive course.
Clinical cure was defined as disappearance of the clinical symptoms and no
recurrence within six months. Some effect was defined as marked decrease
or disappearance of the symptoms. However, there was a recurrence within
six months. No effect was defined as a lack of improvement in clinical symptoms
after two courses of treatment. Based on these criteria, 33 cases (71.74%)
of the patients were judged cured, another ten (21.74%) got some effect,
and only three (6.52%) got no effect. Therefore, the total effectiveness
rate was published as 93.48%.
According to Dr. Wang, migraines are associated with the shao yang and yang
ming channels and are mostly due to wind cold, phlegm damp, and static blood
obstructing the flow of qi and blocking the clear orifices. Because the channels
and network vessels are not freely flowing, there is pain. Feng Chi is an
intersection of the foot shao yang channel and yang wei vessel. It is able
to dispel wind and open the orifices, free the flow of the channels and stop
pain. Its effect is markedly better when it is needled deeply. Tai Yang is
an extraordinary point on the head region that can treat one-sided head pain.
Tou Wei is a foot yang ming channel point. Shaui Gu is a foot shao yang channel
point. When these three points are used together, they are able to extinguish
wind, transform phlegm, and stop tetany, clear the eyes, and stop pain. He
Gu is the hand yang ming source point. It is an essential point for freeing
the flow of the channels and settling pain in the head and face regions.
Wai Guan is the foot shao yang network vessel point. Tai Chong is the foot
jue yin source point. The liver and gallbladder have an interior/exterior
relationship, and these are their respective source and network vessel points
that untie the two. Therefore, they are able to course and disinhibit qi
stagnation of the liver and gallbladder channels and vessels. Thus, the flow
of the qi and blood are freed and eased or smoothed, yin and yang are harmonized
and regulated, pain is eliminated, and the spirit is quieted.
On pages 40-41 of issue #4, 2005, of Hei Long Jiang
Zhong Yi Yao (Heilongjiang
Chinese Medicine & Medicinals), Zhao Yue published "The Treatment
of 58 Cases of Migraine Headache with the Four Bars Plus Electro-acupuncture."
All 50 patients in this study had been diagnosed by both Chinese and Western
medicine as suffering from migraine headaches. Among them, there were 19
males and 39 females aged 12-69 years, with an average age of 35.6 years.
These patients had suffered from migraines for durations ranging from seven
days to 23 years.
The main points consisted of the following:
- He Gu (LI 4)
- Tai Chong (Liv 3)
- Feng Chi (GB 20)
- Tai Yang (M-HN-9)
If there was dizziness, Si Shen Cong (M-HN-1) was added.
If there was vomiting, Nei Guan (Per 6) was added.
If there was insomnia, Shen Men (Ht 7) was added.
After disinfection with 75% alcohol, the main points were needled with 28 gauge
1.5-2-inch needles. He Gu was needled towards Hou Xi (SI 3) to a depth of 1-1.5
inches. Tai Chong was needled towards Yong Quan (Ki 1) to a depth of 1-1.5
inches. These two points were needled with even supplementing-even draining
hand technique, and the needles were moved once every ten minutes. Feng Chi
was needled towards the inner canthus of the eye to a depth of 0.8-1 inch.
Tai Yang was needled with the tip of the needle pointing medial and inferior
to a depth of 0.8-1 inch. After obtaining the qi at these two points, they
were attached to a G6805 electro-acupuncture machine, Tai Yang connected to
Feng Chi on the same side. A dense-dispersing wave form was used. All the needles
were retained for 30 minutes, with one treatment given per day and ten times
equaling one course. After one course, a one-day rest was allowed before starting
a second course. Outcomes were analyzed after two courses.
Marked effect was defined as complete disappearance of headaches and any accompanying
symptoms with no recurrence on follow-up within three months. Some effect
was defined as disappearance of headaches and accompanying symptoms. However,
these did recur if the patient was overstimulated or fatigued. Nevertheless,
repeat acupuncture treatment was able to make the headaches go away again.
No effect was defined as no obvious decrease in the headaches or accompanying
symptoms. Based on these criteria, 38 cases (65.52%) got a marked effect,
15 cases (39.47%) got some effect, and five cases (8.62%) got no effect,
for a total effectiveness rate of 91.38%.
According to Dr. Zhao, migraine headaches are mostly due to ascendant liver
yang hyperactivity with phlegm and stasis mutually binding, thus resulting
in non-upbearing of the clear yang, or turbid evils harassing above depriving
the clear orifices of nourishment. Tai Chong is the source point of the foot
jue yin liver channel and relates to the blood, while He Gu is the source
point of the hand yang ming large intestine channel and relates to the qi.
Therefore, the four bars move the qi and quicken the blood as well as settle
pain and resolve tetany or spasm. Feng Chi courses and resolves the shao
yang channel qi. It also promotes the upbearing of the clear qi and the downbearing
of turbid evils. When combined with the local point Tai Yang, they promote
the diffusion and spreading of the channel qi in the diseased area, and freedom
of flow leads to absence of pain. Electro-stimulation of these latter two
points with a dense-dispersing wave and strong stimulation increases these
points' therapeutic effect.
On page 90 of issue #1, 2005, of the Shi Yong Zhong
Yi Nei Ke Za Zhi (Journal
of Practical Chinese Medical Internal Medicine), Guo Yu published "Clinical
Observations on the Treatment of 50 Cases of Migraine Headache with Electro-acupuncture."
All 50 migraineurs in this study were seen and treated at the Shen Yang Municipal
Chinese Medicine Hospital in Liaoning province. Among these 50 patients, there
were 21 males and 29 females aged 13-51 years, with a median age of 28.1 ± 4.8
years. In 15 cases, migraine headache was a new occurrence, while in 35 cases,
migraines had been a recurrent condition. These 50 patients were randomly divided
into two groups: a treatment group and a comparison group. In the treatment
group, the youngest patient was 13 and the oldest was 50, while in the comparison
group, the age ranged went from 16 to 51.
All members of the treatment group received acupuncture at the following points:
- Shuai Gu (GB 8)
- Shen Men (Ht 7)
- Lie Que (Lu 7)
- Feng Chi (GB 20)
- Yang Ling Quan (GB 34)
If there was phlegm turbidity obstruction and stagnation, Feng Long
(St 40) was added. After obtaining the qi via twisting and turning
needle manipulation, these points were stimulated with electro-acupuncture
using a G-6805 electro-acupuncture machine with dense wave and as strong
a stimulation as the patient could bear.
All members of the comparison group were orally administered 1mg of ergotamine
per day. This dose was able to be increased but did not exceed 6 mg per day.
Seven days of treatment equaled one course for both groups, and results were
analyzed after two such courses.
Remission was defined as complete disappearance of headaches with no recurrence
within six months. Marked effect was defined as complete disappearance of
pain. However, there was a recurrence within six months. Some effect was
defined as a decrease in pain, which was now bearable. No effect meant that
none of these foregoing criteria was met. Table 1 shows the outcomes based
on these definitions.
Table 1 shows that the electro-acupuncture protocol was significantly more
effective than the ergotamine. The P-value for the difference between the total
marked effectiveness of these two treatments was published as (P > 0.005).
Further, the 18 cases in the treatment group whose pain completely disappeared
got this therapeutic effect with only one course of treatment.
Table 1: Study 7 Outcomes
Tai Yang, Shuai Gu, and Feng Chi are all local points on the affected area,
the head. Dr. Guo deems them all essential points for the treatment of migraine.
Tai Chong is a liver channel transport point homing to or affecting both
the external and internal branches of this channel. Its effect is to calm
or level the liver. Shen Men's effect is to quiet the spirit, while
Lie Que is an essential point for the treatment of diseases of the head and
face in general.
On page 105 of issue #2, 2007, of the Zhe Jiang Zhong
Yi Za Zhi (Zhejiang Journal
of Chinese Medicine), Wang Cheng-guo and Xu Cun-hua published "The
Treatment of 35 Cases of Menstrual Period Migraine with the Hua Tuo Jia Ji
Altogether, there were 70 patients randomly divided into two groups of 35 patients
each. In the treatment group, the patients were 18-41 years of age, with an
average age of 34.7 years. These patients' course of disease had lasted
from eight months to seven years. Four cases had bilateral headaches, 27 had
consistently one-sided headaches, and four cases experienced headaches that
shifted from side to side. In the comparison group, the patients' ages
were 17-45 years, with an average age of 34.3 years. These patients had suffered
from menstrual migraines from one to six years. Five cases had bilateral headaches,
25 had consistently one-sided headaches, and five cases had headaches that
shifted from side to side. Therefore, in terms of age, disease duration, and
disease condition, these two groups were considered statistically comparable.
All members of the treatment group were needled at Feng Shi (GB 20) and Hua
Tuo paravertebral points 5, 7, 9, 11, and 14. Feng Chi was needled with a
1.5-inch needle with the needle inserted to a depth of one inch and the tip
of the needle pointed toward the inner canthus of the opposite eye. After
obtaining the qi, the needles were manipulated with twisting and turning
draining technique. The needle sensation was propagated along the shao yang
channel to the cheeks or to the Tai Yang (M-HN-9) area on the temples. Afterwards,
the needles were removed. The Hua Tuo paravertebral points were needled with
1.5-inch needles to a depth of approximately one inch with the tips of the
needles angled medially towards the spine at an angle of 75% to the skin.
The needle sensation at these points was propagated up and down the spinal
column. This treatment was begun three days before the expected onset of
menstruation and was continued once per day through the menstrual period.
Three menstrual periods equaled one course of treatment.
All members of the comparison began orally taking ten milligrams of an unidentifiable
Western drug (Xi Bi Ling, probably imipramine) each day, three days before
the expected onset of menstruation, and three menstrual cycles also equaled
one course of treatment for this group.
Cure was defined as complete disappearance of headaches and any accompanying
symptoms with no recurrence on follow-up after one year. Marked effect meant
that there was marked improvement in both headaches and accompanying symptoms
or that there was simply a very slight headache. Some effect meant that there
was some improvement in the headaches and accompanying symptoms, but this
improvement was not pronounced. No effect meant that there was no improvement
in either the headaches or accompanying symptoms. Table
2 shows the outcomes
of the two groups based on these criteria.
Therefore, the acupuncture regime
was deemed more effective overall than the Western drug treatment.
Table 2: Study 8 Outcomes
According to the authors of this study, the Hua Tuo paravertebral points regulate
the function of the internal viscera. In Chinese medicine, this condition
is related to liver channel depressive heat and phlegm and stasis obstructing
the network vessels. The combination of Feng Chiua Tuo paravertebral points
5, 7, 9, 11, and 14 can level the liver and extinguish wind, fortify the
spleen and transform phlegm, nourish blood and free the flow of the network
vessels. Therefore, it achieves fully satisfactory therapeutic effects for
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