#2 Migraine Western approach

#3 Hypertension Western approach

Migraine medications are often prescribed to relieve the pain, and patients are encouraged to avoid certain factors that can trigger the headaches – for example, certain foods, lack of sleep or stress. Additionally, Dr Tan says biofeedback, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation therapy are effective treatments, and they’re often used in conjunction with medication. Eastern approach In TCM, a headache is classified according to its origin and the meridian channels causing the headache. These causes can be external environmental pathogens (for example, invasion of external wind, cold, heat or dampness) or body imbalances in the internal environment (such as stress and fatigue). TCM herbal medication, along with targeted acupuncture and the massage system known as tuina , can be used to restore the qi and blood balance in the body, thus reducing the frequency of chronic headaches, says Peh. An integrated approach would likely entail avoidance of triggering factors and medication for immediate pain relief, with regular TCM treatment to prevent future migraines from occurring.

Lifestyle modifications can be made to lower blood pressure and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, says Dr Tan. These include weight loss, reduced alcohol intake, quitting smoking, reducing sodium intake and increasing exercise. Medications are also prescribed to help lower blood pressure. Eastern approach Studies have shown that acupuncture can aid in the dilation of blood vessels and enhance circulation in the brain. This can help regulate the cardiovascular pathways, and reduce symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and palpitations, says Peh. TCM medication can also be used to correct deficiencies in the liver, spleen and kidney meridians, while dietary changes may also be recommended. An integrated approach would likely prioritise medication, and lifestyle and dietary changes, while using TCM and acupuncture as complementary tools to boost the body.

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155 AUGUST2022

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