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Veteran with Headaches


Veteran w/Headaches

African American Female
44 yrs old.

Main Complaint: daily severe left side headaches from trauma, ‘92.
Secondary Complaint: plantar fascitis
Other: benign thyroid tumors.

Signs and Symptoms

Shen: white, damp/oily, lively, eyes bulge
Tongue: dry, sl. purple,
Pulse: LV and KD Yin weak.

Fire; pungent smell w/headaches, excess spinal fluid (TW), hyperthyroid, difficulty falling asleep, palpitations
Earth; joint pain and bronchitis worse in damp weather, weight gain, bloating, fatigue, acne around mouth, chin; sinusitis, bleeds and bruises easily, halitosis
Metal; bronchitis, sinusitis
Water;excess spinal fluid and spinal shunt to drain it, more h/a since pregnancy, heel plantar fascsitis, hx kidney stones, menarche age 9, low back pain.
Wood;neck pain, hernia, difficult mense

H/C: often hot.

Hospitalization; fused cervical vertebrae, 2 shunts to drain spinal fluid, 3 uneventful births, thyroid removed after 4 month of treatment.
Medications: thyroid

I’ve been treating this patient as part of a study of Gulf War Illness, though I doubt her imbalance is a result of exposure to heat toxins or bugs. Her headaches are unusual in that they are often accompanied by her sensing a strong odor of amonunia. The western dx is excess spinal fluid (!) for which they installed two shunts that must be monitored and drained. Most of the time the headaches are left sided/occipital. They exasperate/are worsened by neck tension. She is slightly overweight. Many of the Fire symptoms improved after her thyroid was removed.

Diagnosis: local stagnation, KD Yin and Yang Deficient, SP deficient, damp, LV Qi Stagnation.


16 treatments, short break after 12. None of my treatment strategies/point choices have been unusual. Mostly I use LI4 & Kd3 with the ear point for the occiput, which is very tender upon palpation. Sometimes I’ll do local needling/add points for neck pain and LV Qi Stagnation or Damp, Deficient SP. Occasionally I’ve cupped her upper back.

Duration and Outcomes

The patient makes steady progress while in treatment, however as soon as she discontinues treatment, her symptoms return--and that’s what I’d like help with!


What progress (in very exact terms) do you notice during treatment and how long after treatment stops do the "symptoms" (again in very exact terms) return. For someone with this history months of treatment would not be unusual, so you may not be as far off track as you might think. That said, your treatment plan sounds a bit all over the place so after you answer my questions above I&#39ll try to offer something more consistent.



According to some of the info. supplied, your patient has fused cervical vertebras, which on ocasions may probably cause a partial blockage for correct blood supply to the brain/scull area, and that may cause a tensional headache, the partial repeated blockage can be easily worsened when there is muscular tension. I would suggest using BL10 both sides, GB20 and GB21 both sides all with strong manipulations as to "break" muscular tension...a.w.a GB36, GB43, LV3 and LV8, and see what happens...:-); regarding the smell your patient senses, try adding DU24+23

All the best



In my opinion for every case we should make a clear diagnosis and then we should address the root cause. Here you made your diagnosis, but your treatment is quite general and doesn&#39t comply with your diagnosis... I suggest you use some points that activate blood and remove stagnations, and probably some plegm resolving points. If possible combineacupuncture with chinese herbs...




with normal or lowish B.P (Mention of B.P. and m.c. flow would have given better picture) .</div>
1. Sp4 (tone left) P6 (sedate right): these will clear pathways of yin and send the yin down. Thus cervical and post op effects will be helped.</div>
2. UB23, 47, K3, UB11 both sides toneall Cv4, GV4, K6 (right - water side), tone - csf dishormony will be helped and Kid yin and yang will be toned. tonification of Kid yang might cause occipital pain increase so with P6 (sed) as above also sedate UB54 to restrict cotravection of kid yang.</div>
3. Liv4, Liv8 tone both sides so yin energy from Lu will transfer to Liv. (Kid Meridian has feeble yin!) also tone SP6 both sides for yin.Also sedate TW5 so more yin is available in meridians for Liv and Kid. Sedate LI4, and GB20, Liv3, GB34 and Liv 14. these will take care of stagnation and headache.</div>

make sure she has adequate Hb%. if less tone liv blood deficiency instead of Liv yin - Left temporal pain and poor sleep generally reflects Liver blood deficiency.

lot more thinking is possible with more information. Feel free to connect.


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