32nd Issue | March, 2020


Guiding Needle Acupuncture has the following mission: “To elevate the consciousness, robust health and vitality of humanity.”


Acupuncture is very effective for treating headaches of all kinds, including: migraines (severe pain, often accompanied by nausea and seeing auras sinus headaches, cluster headaches (headaches grouped together in the same day of over several weeks). Headaches due to low blood pressure (deficiency) or high blood pressure (excess). Tension headaches (due to tight muscles, fascia, connective tissue in the neck and base of the head). Headaches due to head injuries (characterized by stabbing, boring pain). Stress related headaches. Headaches occurring around the menstrual cycle. Cold, flu, pathogenic invasion headaches and more. Most often patients notice headache pain diminishing during or immediately following treatment.

A headache is a subjective symptom that often accompanies other acute and chronic syndromes such as high blood pressure, inflammatory febrile diseases, intracranial diseases, neurological, psychiatric conditions, and others.

Headaches can be located throughout the entire head, behind the eyes, back of the head, forehead, top of the head, temples and sides of the head. They can be dull, throbbing and distending, intense sharp, pulling pain, fixed, boring and exhibit a sensation of heaviness.

Headaches can originate from outside the body, external factors include: weather/ environmental influences; wind, heat, cold, dampness, pathogenic exposure, toxins, pollutions, electro magnetic fields (EMF) and radiation.

Headaches can also originate within the body from either deficiency or excess patterns. Deficiency patterns include Qi, blood and kidney deficiency. For example: Inadequate nutrition, lack of exercise, excessive thinking, lack of sleep and overwork; consume Qi, blood and exhaust kidney regenerative and reproductive essence causing poor circulation, obstruction, deficiency of body fluids which gives rise to heat and fluid consumption.

Deficiency type headaches exhibit fatigue, weakness, poor memory, poor concentration, mild pain that comes in bouts and is better with rest. Women may notice it after the menstrual period.

Inadequate circulation can cause lack of nourishment and oxygen wherein the body fluids fail to nourish the head. I often use the illustration of a dam obstructing the circulation of a river causing stagnant water to pool and heat up in the sun due to lack of circulation. Similarly in the body, deficient circulation fails to propel blood, oxygen and body fluids, inhibiting nourishment to the head causing weakness, stagnation and pain.

Excess patterns that contribute to headaches include hyperactivity, high blood pressure, rising of heat to the head and Qi stagnation triggered by an emotional disturbance, sudden emotional change and stress. This headache is severe, with throbbing or pounding pain, often related to stress. The pain is usually on the temples or behind the eyes. There may be nausea or vomiting or the patient may see auras or lights.

Headaches occur due to blood not circulating properly. An underlying obstruction of Qi or blood in the vessels from a physical trauma, fascia tension, muscle tension, scar tissue and other structural interference can cause poor circulation, blood stasis, leading to excessive pressure. A stabbing, boring type of pain characterizes this headache. This headache commonly occurs after a head injury. Women may have painful periods with dark-clotted blood. Stagnation of cold can also inhibit normal blood circulation.

Another pattern is due to excess fluid accumulation. In this scenario the digestive system and fluid metabolism is weak; preventing metabolism of fluids properly which contributes to retention of phlegm, lymph, dampness and food. With this type of headache the patient feels a pressure type pain in the head or feeling that the head is wrapped, a heavy or muzzy headed feeling, poor appetite and a feeling of fullness in the chest. The pressure, heaviness and fullness are due to the excess, accumulated fluids: poor appetite shows weak digestive function.  Headaches resulting from excess stomach heat are characterized by an intense frontal headache pain accompanied by upper stomach pain, thirst and sour regurgitation.

The good news is that headaches are treatable with acupuncture, cupping, Chinese herbal medicine, food therapy, and complimenting therapies. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treats headaches differently, depending upon the cause, signs and symptoms. A patient presenting a deficiency headache is treated using acupuncture points and herbal formulas that tonify Qi, build and invigorate blood. If digestion is weak with excess fluid retention, acupuncture points and herbs that strengthen digestive function, enhance metabolism and drain excess fluids are employed. Moving blood treats a blood stagnation headache. During an excess heat rising counterflow headache, the direction of circulation is corrected and excess cleared.

Where there is pain there is lack of circulation and where there is circulation there is no pain. Acupuncture combined with fire cupping and complimenting therapies open up and correct the unimpeded flow of circulation throughout the body. With proper diagnosis of each individuals unique constitutional pattern, the root cause of the headache is determined and treated to restore circulation, function, mobility and strength while simultaneously eliminating interference and pain.



In the Tao Te Ching, one of the most ancient and profound books ever written, Lao Tzu wrote:

That which is at rest is easily kept hold of; before a thing has given indications of its presence, it is easy to take measures against it; that which is brittle is easily broken; that which is very small is easily dispersed. Action should be taken before a thing has made its appearance; order should be secured before disorder has begun (1).


This writing explains the importance of preventative medicine which is a basic principle of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatment is designed to locate and treat imbalances before they manifest into serious disease conditions. Not only does this medicine address and treat uncomfortable painful symptoms of disorder but also the root cause of their occurrence. Routine checkups and wellness care supports a healthy lifestyle.



1.      J.Legge, L.Tzu, 1891, Tao Te Ching (Sacred Books of the East, Vol 39). Chapter 64.      Website http://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm


Testing for adrenal exhaustion determines adrenal gland function and provides insight into conditions such as chronic fatigue, non-refreshed sleep, feeling overwhelmed or rundown, slow to recover from injury, low stamina, poor concentration, low immune function, poor digestion, food and environmental allergies, PMS, consistent low blood pressure, extreme sensitivity to cold and others. Adrenal fatigue is indicated when the systolic blood pressure drops or does not rise by 8-12 points when positioning from lying down horizontal to standing up vertical.



Sleep Is A Nonnegotiable Biological Necessity

Sleep aid tips:

1) Avoid caffeine, alcohol, food, digital devices and electronic screens prior to retiring to bed.

2) Schedule sleep regularly: go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time.

3) Keep your sleep environment cool; aim for a bedroom temperature of 20 degrees Celcius / 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Enjoy the convenience of scheduling appointments online in real-time, 24/7

The Guiding Needle Acupuncture wellness process is designed to help you achieve your personal health and wellness goals. First time patients, begin by conveniently scheduling a comprehensive initial acupuncture assessment/treatment online. 

At your FREE initial 60 minute comprehensive acupuncture assessment, you meet one-on-one with Thomas to discuss your case in a no-pressure environment. This gives you the opportunity to see if Thomas' services are an ideal fit for you, and Thomas will have the opportunity to determine his ability to help your unique case.

An acupuncture treatment fee of $90 applies for treatment following this free initial 60 minute acupuncture assessment.

Read Amazing GNA Wellness Reviews Here

Thank you for choosing Guiding Needle Acupuncture as your provider of quality traditional Chinese medicine. I choose to be of great service to you, your family and friends now and for future years to come. May the blessings be.

Thomas Nerbas R.Ac, PFT

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Guiding Needle Acupuncture

#50 - 17 Boudreau Road
St. Albert AB