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Headache As A Coronavirus Symptom: Acupuncture
Aug 21, 2020

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I’d like to discuss headache as one of the CDC’s 11 symptoms of the coronavirus. The classic definition of a headache is a painful sensation in any part of the head, ranging from sharp to dull that can accompany other symptoms. Headache has been determined to be one of the main symptoms of COVID-19. If you feel you’ve been infected by this virus, I recommend you contact your physician to get tested, and while under the care of your physician attempt to contact your local acupuncturist for additional care regarding your symptoms. A headache brought on by the coronavirus tends to present as really tight with somewhat of a squeezing sensation to it and it usually worsens with cough and fever. This sensation tends to occur as a result of your immune system reacting to this virus via its actions of releasing chemical cytokines in which the cerebral cortex of the brain perceives as pain. Those whose lungs have been severely impacted tend to show more complex neurological complications.

Findings from observational studies are showing that the onset of headaches can occur during the presymptomatic phase or the symptomatic phase of infection. There are known cases where headaches as a symptom of the coronavirus persisted long after all other symptoms had been resolved. As usual, I’ve been asked by some: How is a headache diagnosed and treated in Chinese medicine? In Chinese medicine, the head is the area where the yang channels of the body meet. Pain in the form of headaches tends to occur as a result of yang being obstructed or there’s a lack of qi, blood, or essence as nourishment is deficient.

Now a headache in Chinese medicine can be a result of exterior pathogenic factors or interior organ dysfunction. Headaches in Chinese medicine are usually tied to the internal wind as a result of exterior wind being the main pathogenic factor. The upper part of an individuals’ body is usually the first area to be attacked by the external wind. Wind pathogens in Chinese medicine tend to carry other pathogens with it when it invades the body. For example, wind-cold tends to coagulate qi and blood and obstruct the collaterals. And wind-heat tends to go upwards to the head to disturb the orifices. Wind-damp tends to disrupt the flow of qi, especially yang qi obstructing the ascension of yang. If the headache appears as stubborn and may linger for several months, I would include herbs that would invigorate the blood and unblock the channels within the body because headaches that tend to linger long after other symptoms have resolved tends to be a sign of deep obstruction within the collaterals whereby herbs are generally needed to assist acupuncture.

Until next time…Acupuncture Is My Life, what’s yours?

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