Constraint – Migraine (JB)

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Case by: Jason Blalack

The patient presented with a chief complaint of chronic migraines, which were preceded by a sensation of heat rising to the head. She also felt warm overall, had red eyes that could easily become swollen with yellow discharge, painful and bleeding gums, difficulty falling asleep and would wake up with her mind racing, a long history of menstrual cramps and pain with clots, alternating bowels (constipation and loose) that had a tendency towards a strong smell that were occasionally sticky. Her abdomen was sore to the touch, her pulse was deep, wiry, and jumpy, and her tongue had a yellow coat.

She had tried many formulas in the past including tian ma gou teng yin as well as bitter, cold, descending and purging methods with no success. This is a pattern of fire due to Liver constraint. The treatment method was to follow the Inner Classic’s “when there is fire from constraint discharge it (火郁发之)”

  • mǔ dān pí­ (Moutan Cortex)9
  • gōu téng (Uncariae Ramulus cum Uncis)12
  • sāng yè (Mori Folium)6
  • lu dòu yī (Glycinis Testa)6
  • bò hé (Menthae haplocalycis Herba)6
  • màn jīng zǐ (Viticis Fructus)12
  • jú huā (Chrysanthemi Flos)9
  • zhī zǐ (Gardeniae Fructus)9
  • gǎo běn (Ligustici Rhizoma)6
  • cì jí lí (Tribuli Fructus)9

1 bag=2days.

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Commentary: This formula eliminated all migraines, which was the first time this had occurred. Also her sleep and many other heat related symptoms improved. After stopping the herbs a sense of a migraine would occasionally arise that could be headed off quickly after taking the herbs.

Although I like this formula for the headaches and addressing the basic pathodynamic, I do think there is a deeper level to treat to attempt to “cure” the problem. The patient has expressed interest in pursuing a deeper treatment, and if anything interesting arises I will post the progress.

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