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Sidney Rosenberg
Username: Sidney

Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 13:01:   

Hi Shmuel,

I have a cousin (Raymond) in the UK who has a son-in-law who suffers from "cluster Headaches". Raymond suggested that I look up the symptoms of this problem on I had heard of this problem before but had no idea just how painful and debilitating it is to the suffer, far exceeding that of the worse migraine. Raymond's son-in-law claims he has tried acupuncture without success.

I should be most grateful if you could detail an TCM approach to this

With many thanks. Sidney Rosenberg
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Shmuel Halevi
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 13:43:   

Well, Sidney, if you analize the signs and symptoms of cluster headaches according to Ch.Med. tools, there is no one etiology that you could attribute this disorder to, categorically. It probably involves liver Qi and blood energetic mechanisms, as it is located around the eye and temple. It is also characterized by abrupt attacks, sometimes appearing and disappearing very quickly, it is associated with alcohol in many occasions and with emotional predilection towards anger or depression. The abrupt nature of the disorder is typical of an energetical phenomenon of Liver Yang exuberance which may be the outcome of liver blood stagnation. That may also explain the high occurrence of this disorder in people who have had history of traumatic injuries, head operations etc. Yet, such an acute phenomenon may sometimes involve also other energetic systems in the body, most likely those of the heart, kidney and stomach. In such cases there may be also other symptoms and signs involved, symptoms that may even take precedence over the basic liver/gallbladder characteristics. A sudden burst of liver Yang, for instance, may cause a splitting headache around the eye and in the same time inhibit the heart functioning thereby causing bradycardia and palor. A symptom that may shift back to normal as soon as liver Qi regulates itself again. In any event, this is definitely a difficult type of headache for treatment, and I am not surprised that your relative has failed treatment. A very sharp diagnosis must be done in such cases, as well as a very high skill in acupuncture. Even so, success rates may not be high.

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