There are many different causes of headache. Below you can find a list of the more common causes and some less common. The Energetic diagnosis is outlined in each. Any discussion about the energetic causes of headaches can not be exhaustive simply because of the wide variety, suffice it to say the vast majority of headaches can be treated using Acupuncture.
Stress is the most common cause of headaches and accounts for about 70% of all headaches, the treatment for stress headaches is the same as treating stress generally, the most common imbalance in the meridians is liver Qi stagnation (caused by stress), please follow this link to direct you to the page explaining Stress.
Diet is known to trigger migraine. This will be discussed in more detail discussed below.
Medication side effects (especially pain medication).
Many pills are known to cause headaches, the contraceptive pill, anti-biotics, blood thinning medication like warforin, blood pressure medication, anti histamines, steroids, chemo-therapy drugs, even overuse of vitamins. In a lot of cases the treatment is to come off the medication. In some cases the headaches will need to be treated. All these different pills effect the Qi of the liver, it can not clean the toxin from the body properly and acupuncture is required. One of the unknown qualities of acupuncture is its ability to remove toxins such as medication. Some types of drugs are known to effect the body for many years such as anti-biotics, steroids, and hormones.
Headaches due to sleep problems are due to emotional disturbances which imbalance the Qi of the heart. Heart Qi deficiency will lead to stagnation in the meridian of the gall bladder which travels up the sides of the body to the temples, the headaches are at the sides of the head and effect the eyes. Or it leads to stagnation of the meridian of the bladder which runs up the back of the body, over the head and into the eyes, these headaches commonly start at the back of the neck and run over the head to the frontal region. They also cause pain in the sinuses. Follow this link for more information about insomnia.
The ancient Chinese were aware of the cranial nerves. They were able to observe which energy controlled which nerve. The twelve cranial nerves follow the sequence of the branches in Classical Chinese philosophy. The fifth energy is the Stomach and trigeminal neuralgia is always due to an imbalance in stomach Qi, for this reason it has been connected with diet. The meridian of the stomach has an extensive pathway covering a large area of the face. In practice stagnation in the Qi of the liver is the underlying cause of this pain.
Sinusitis is inflammation of the paranasel sinuses, this is due to infection (weakness of defensive Qi), allergic reaction (excessive reactive Qi) or an auto-immune reaction (auto reactive Qi). All three require a different treatment strategy and are discussed at length on the page Sinusitis within respiratory conditions.
Migraines result from an inflammatory process of an artery within the skull. This in turn causes a reaction of the sympathetic nervous system, which then produce the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and changes in digestion. The energetic diagnosis of any inflammatory process is always a malfunction (usually stagnation) in the Qi of the liver. This gives rise to pathological heat causing the artery to dilate. The Qi has stagnated, or a trigger has penetrated the body’s defences and is causing the reaction. The main triggers are listed above. The following describes treatment for migraine caused by reactive Qi.