Tension Headaches, Da Zao and Sheng Jiang
Tension headaches are one of a few subtypes of headaches, along with cluster headaches and migraines. They’re the most common type of headaches that people deal with, and they can present in an acute or chronic-like fashion. In both cases, tension headaches can cause debilitating pain and interfere with normal daily functioning.
Medical researchers still aren’t sure what causes tension headaches. It was once thought they were the product of tense muscles, but that theory has fallen out of favor. Regardless, there are treatment options, including Chinese medicinal herbs like Da Zao and Sheng Jiang that can help with tension headaches.
Is it a Migraine or a Tension Headache? Symptoms to Consider
Tension headaches are characterized by pain that presents on both sides of the head and wraps around like a ring. Migraines, in contrast, tend to emerge on one side of the head. Migraines can also cause visual disturbances, aura, and secondary symptoms like nausea. Tension headaches only rarely cause anything other than pain, though the pain can be serious enough for some to seek treatment.
How Chinese Herbs Can Help with Tension Headaches
Chinese medicine conceptualizes the body as a conduit for life energies. You’ve likely heard of Qi, Yin and Yang – all types of life energy proposed by Chinese medicine. When these energies are out of harmony with each other, it can result in various maladies – tension headaches among them.
Chinese medicine practitioners rely on a variety of herbal remedies to tonify those energies and support the organs responsible for regulating them. In the case of tension headaches, Da Zao (jujube fruit) and Sheng Jiang (ginger) are two commonly prescribed botanicals for resolving tension headache pain. Da Zao is used to support better spleen health, which helps strengthen the body’s Ying Qi energy, by extension. Sheng Jiang is directed toward the stomach, where it improves function there and tonifies the body’s Wei Qi. Houston Practitioners believe it’s the interplay between Ying and Wei Qi that may result in tension headaches, and therefore this botanical mix is a popular option for resolving the condition.