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Hi SJ`ers. . .


I`m in Tokyo for a few more weeks, and was hoping to hook up with some people on the forum for a night out.


I`m here on an internship, but the nights can be dull when you don`t know many people in town.





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I`m here in Tokyo on a pharmacy internship, working in a drugstore in Shibuya, and a traditional chinese-->japanese medicine 漢方 shop in Ginza. It`s cool, but the nights are kinda dull.



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er, less beer and alcohol?


Try some acupuncture in the interim.


Note - the below applies to traditional chinese medicine, not kampo. Since you're J-literate, you could probably google kampo and the Jword for migraines and acupuncture and get more info. There's bound to be acupuncturists in Brizzy. Ask Roo if he knows anyone good.


You would probably need to see someone to find out what herbs would work best for your particular condition and constitution. A quick google on herbs brought up kudzu, but you really have to take the whole consititution into bearing, so just taking it off the bat may be very effective for you, but then again, it may not. Read on about acupuncture. If you search further you will probably find some chinese medicine forumlas that are for migraines, (and kampo too - maybe Barok would know of these and could give more info). There's a book on kampo (in English) that gives all the kampo forumlas with J and E and chinese names, that I've recently ordered, sorry, don't have it yet.


A combo of acupuncture and herbs would be helpful.





Acupuncture Treats Headaches and Migraines

by Diane Joswick, L.Ac.


Migraine and Headache Sufferers

Acupuncture Can Help



The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have been used to relieve Headaches and Migraines, as well as their underlying causes, for thousands of years and is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches in our society. There are acupuncturists that specialize in the treatment of headaches and migraines and can help you manage your pain with acupuncture and Chinese herbs alone, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.



Diagnosis with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize migraines and recurring headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables: Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head? When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)? Do you find that a cold compress or a dark room can alleviate some of the pain? Do you describe the pain as dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?



How Acupuncture Works

These questions will help create a clear picture on which your practitioners can create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.



The Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture points to treat headaches are located all over the body. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles will be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your big toe!



There seems to be little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. They are so thin that several acupuncture needles can go into the middle of a hypodermic needle. Occasionally, there is a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, but once the needles are in place, most people relax and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.



The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments. The style of acupuncture that your acupuncturist has been trained in will play a roll in length of treatment, number of points used and frequency of visits.



Studies on Acupuncture and Headaches

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines and headaches. Recent studies show extremely positive results:



In a case study, published in the June 2003 Issue of Medical Acupuncture, doctors found that acupuncture resulted in the resolution or reduction in the frequency and severity of cluster headaches, and a decrease or discontinuation of medications. It was concluded that Acupuncture can be used to provide sustained relief from cluster headaches and to stimulate adrenal cortisol to aid in discontinuing corticosteroids.



A clinical observation, published in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, of 50 patient presenting with various types of headaches were treated with scalp acupuncture. The results of this study showed that 98% of patients treated with scalp acupuncture experienced no headaches or only occasional, mild headaches in the six months following care.



In a study published in the November 1999 issue of Cephalalgia, scientists evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines and recurrent headaches by systematically reviewing 22 randomized controlled trials. A total of 1,042 patients were examined. It was found that headache and migraine sufferers experienced significantly more relief from acupuncture than patients who were administered “sham” acupuncture.





How Does Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat Headaches or Cluster Migraines?

by Lygia Angel, MSOM, LAc


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, all disease is treated as an imbalance unique to the individual experiencing it. No two people are treated the same way even if they have the same disease.



There are many reasons people get headaches or migraines, and there are many ways to treat headaches, depending on that person’s constitution. Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to treat root causes, rather than symptoms; in other words, the treatments are not palliative–they do not kill pain temporarily. Instead, we determine what imbalance in the person’s constitution is causing the headache, and we retrain the body to no longer respond that way.



Determining a Person’s Constitution



Practitioners of Chinese medicine use several diagnostic tools to determine a person’s constitution. We look at the whole person’s total body pattern. We look at the skin color to see whether it is red, yellow, pale, or gray. We also look to see the consistency of the skin - whether it is dry or has edema. Patterns of the hair, eyes, ears, and musculoskeletal system are all taken into consideration. The bowels, urinary, digestive, sleep, and emotional patterns are analyzed as well.



A major tool of diagnosing a person’s constitution is looking at the tongue and feeling the pulses. The tongue in Chinese Medicine is divided into several segments that represent the internal workings of the body. By looking at the size, shape, color, coat, and consistency of the tongue a practitioner can tell the internal workings of the qi (energy), fluids, organs, blood, and emotions. By feeling the pulses, a practitioner can also determine the condition of these areas. Three pulse positions on each wrist represent the different organs, and the practitioner feels these organ pulses to determine the depth of imbalance. A practitioner also feels for the consistency and rhythmic pattern of the pulse. Together these diagnostic inquiries present a pattern of symptoms, when put together, that make up a person’s constitution.



Diagnosing Headache and Migraine



Patterns in Traditional Chinese Medicine In Traditional Chinese Medicine headaches are classified in many ways. Some headaches occur from external conditions and other from internal constitutional imbalances. The location of the headache also determines the kind of headache a person is experiencing.



The accompanying testimonial is from a client who was suffering from headaches that started in the right eye, then spread across the face. In western medicine this is typically known as a cluster migraine. In Chinese medicine, aching in the pupil of the eye is seen as a liver blood deficiency headache. The client’s constitutional signs - tongue, pulse, medical history, and present functions of the body - also confirmed that her flow of liver blood was not sufficiently reaching her head and therefore causing headaches.



Testimonial from Denise Owen, RN MSN and Nursing instructor at MATC



“I have suffered with headaches for much of the past 6 years. I would get them monthly, the pain starting in my right eye then spreading into my face and head. The pain was usually accompanied by a slightly droopy eyelid and nausea and would last 4-5 days. Over the counter meds had no effect. Prescription meds provided only limited relief and left me feeling groggy. I spent lots of time each month lying down in a darkened room with a cool cloth on my head…



“Needless to say, the headaches affected my quality of life… Being in pain so much of the time left me tired, irritable, and physically and emotionally drained. My physician suggested that I try acupuncture. While I appreciated her open minded attitude toward Eastern medicine, I admit that as a practicing nurse of almost 20 years that I was skeptical…



“I’m not sure what I expected from the first treatment. Unlike some people, I did not see immediate results. Then Lygia suggested a blend of oriental herbs that might be helpful. The first type had no effect on me so she switched to another formula and we continued treatment. The change was dramatic. I went from having headaches 8- 10 days a month to being almost headache free. I actually went for over two months without a headache and have since then had only an occasional mild headache, with relief obtained by over the counter meds.



“Acupuncture has also been effective in treating the rosacea I also have. My skin has become relatively clear, with decreased redness, blotches, and blemishes. People cannot even tell I have rosacea anymore.



“I have been thrilled with my results and have recommended acupuncture to my friends and family. I have gained a new perspective on acupuncture and now see the value in both traditional and alternative treatment modalities.”



Lygia Angel has a Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine and is a Licensed Acupuncturist for the Chiropractic Company. She see clients in Glendale, Shorewood, and Brown Deer.





Product Name


Pueraria lobata (Kudzu) extract



Product Name: Pueraria lobata (Kudzu) extract

Specification: Isoflavones>40%

Test Method: HPLC

Packing: 25Kg/drum



Pueraria Root P.E.

Latin name: Pueraria lobata

Chinese Pin-Yin name: Ge Gen

Family: Legurninosae

Genus: Pueraria

Part used: Root


Pueraria Root is a perennial, trailing or climbing vine of the Legume family. The first written mention of the plant as a medicine is in the ancient herbal text of Shen Nong (circa A.D. 100) in China. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Pueraria Root is used in prescriptions for the treatment of stomach discomforts, thirst, headache, and stiff neck with pain due to high blood pressure. It is also used in modern Chinese medicine as a treatment for angina pectoris, allergies, migraines, and diarrhea.


Pueraria Root is rich in isoflavones, such as puerarin,daidzin and daidzein. Isoflavones of Pueraria Root show very similar function to estrogen, thus they can be used to treat the syndromes of menopausal women. Pueraria Root Extract is also active in boosting blood volume of the coronary artery vessels, promoting the production of body fluid to quench thirst, improving the eruption of measles to allaying fever and stopping diarrhea. It relieves tension in the muscles and promotes blood circulation. This herb is traditionally used to treat fever, colds, migranes, and diarrhea

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The kampo book I have mentions plenty about headaches, but nothing specifically about migraines. I can give you the headache info if you email me. If you go to a doctor who specializes in kampo (I know a few now), that`s yer best bet. It should be covered by insurance. Kampo (medicate per diagnosis) is different than the American approach to herbs (medicate per disease), which is what I am used to. Kampo/trad. Chinese diagnosis is and will always be a mystery to me, but you should at least give it a try if nothing else has worked for you.


I don`t know enough about accupuncture to say anything one way or the other, `cept that it works well for some people, and doesn`t work well for others. I always thought that it worked better for acute illnesses/conditions than for the chronic (I wouldn`t recommend treating high-blood pressure with accupuncture), but I also know that accupuncture has helped many people with headaches, and it is covered under some insurance plans here.


The favored western medicine is Imitrex. It`s relatively new, and alot of people report favorable results. Unfortunately, it is also very expensive. Again, I can get you clinical info if you email me. The drug is called イミグランhere. The dose is 50 mg, which is the same as in the western world (alot of drugs here are much lower in strength then in the west).


Above all with herbs/kampo, etc. Don`t make the mistake assuming natural = safe for self-treatment, etc. The deadliest poisons are found in nature, and 30-35% of drugs are simply plant extracts. However, unlike Imitrex, most kampo can be bought OTC, once you have an understanding of what works for you, and in what dosages.


Hope that helps. . . I go back in 10 days.

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