Migraines are treated by Western medicine and Chinese medicine both similarly and differently. In diagnosing the condition of migraines, different approaches are taken with Western medicine relying more on clinical, lab and imaging methods, versus the Chinese method of direct observation. However, when choosing the appropriate treatment both treat it based on the possible cause rather than a one size fits all treatment for migraines. The actual treatment processes between the two styles are also quite different from each other.
Western medicine relies heavily on lab tests and exams to assess and diagnose migraines. For migraines some common tests are CT scans, MRIs and blood tests. Chinese medicine takes a more personal approach and diagnoses migraines based on the presence of other symptoms, i.e. nasal congestion, location of the headache or the presence of a fever. The treatment process from Western medicine relies heavily on medication both for migraine headache relief and as a preventative measure to reduce the occurrence of migraines. It is important to note that depending on the underlying cause, Western medicine also treats migraines with a combination of lifestyle changes and alternative medicine in conjunction with traditional pharmaceutical methods as laid out by the Mayo Clinic. Once the cause is narrowed down in Chinese medicine, the treatment focuses on acupuncture and taking the appropriate herbs to combat the imbalance in the body causing the migraines. This treatment process, like the Western one, also includes lifestyle choices as an area to focus on in treating migraines. Overall while they are different, Western and Chinese medicine share many similarities.
“Migraine Information Page.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.p. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.