What the Location of Your Headaches Reveals about Your Health

Where is your headache? You might not have stopped to ask but it’s one of the first questions an acupuncturist will ask you as it reveals so much about the cause of your pain.

One of the gems of wisdom that comes from Chinese Medicine is the understanding of the link between areas of the body and the internal organs like the liver, heart and kidneys. Each of the 12 main organs in the Chinese Medicine system is allocated an area of influence in the body as depicted by the meridian system.

Liver headaches

Your pain will typically begin behind one eye and then extend into the temples before lodging in the base of the skull. The pain is often throbbing or stabbing in nature. You may also experience sensitivity to light and nausea (migraine symptoms).

Kidney headaches

Usually a dull headache which can start at the base of the skull (but closer to the spine than a Liver headache) then commonly spreading to the top of the head or the whole head. Usually accompanied by a state of profound physical exhaustion.

Large intestine

Pain across the lower part of the forehead, usually dull but persistent and tenacious. May be in association with constipation and can be eased with a bowel movement. Usually an indication you’re also dehydrated so an indication to drink more water.

Spleen headaches

Starting on the forehead and extending into the hairline, often with a heavy and dull sensation. Typically associated with mental overstrain and accompanied by poor memory and concentration.  

Gall Bladder Headaches

Headaches that involve the temples, can overlap with liver headaches in location and sensation. The classic ice pick in the skull pain – ouch!!

Treat the cause don’t just mask the symptom

Whilst these are the most commonly seen patterns there are many more l variations and combinations of these basic types.  The good news is that once we understand which organ system(s) are out of balance we know exactly what needs to be done to not only resolve your headaches but to reset your whole wellbeing.

Once you’re back in balance you’ll find your energy levels improve, your mood lifts and other symptoms that seemed unrelated like digestive issues, sleep problems, skin irritations and so on will also be resolved. It’s a reminder that headaches are just a message from the body, asking for your attention and support.

Wes Smith is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stressanxiety and depression
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes also enjoys teaching meditation and is the creator of meditatewithwes.com an online resource for learning how to meditate. es has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist. Learn more about acupunctureherbal medicine and meditation.

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