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Yesterday we briefly looked at the classification of diseases and imbalances in terms of Yin and Yang and more specifically:

Yin   Yang
Internal External
Cold Hot
Empty Full
Chronic Acute

What type of headache did you last experience?  Most people will identify with one or more of the following:

Hangover headache

Tension headache

Migraine headache

Menstrual headache (occurring at the time of a period, before, during or just after)

A hangover would normally be classified as External, Hot, Full (or possibly both Full and Empty) and Acute.  Why would it be classified as such?

External – alcohol was introduce into the body from the outside,

Hot – alcohol is very heating to the liver in particular. The detoxification process forces the liver to go into over-drive which causes Heat to build up.  Think of what happens to any engine or machine that is working at full capacity.  It requires some kind of coolant such as water, oil, or a fan, to keep it from over heating.  Otherwise it will ultimately cause damage or break down.  So, too, our livers.

Full or Empty– normally when we are younger, our hangovers are Full.  You would not want to put any pressure on your head such as your hand.  Even the weight of a cold flannel on your forehead might be too much.  But sometimes, particularly as we age, hangovers can tip over in to Full and Empty so that not only does the cold flannel help, but so too does our hand resting on the top of our forehead creating some additional pressure.

Acute – Most hangovers are acute in nature, rapid onset, with severe and sharp symptoms, followed by rapid recovery (although when you are in the midst of one it can seem never ending)

It may seem obvious to say that if you have a hangover you can correct the imbalance by not drinking so much alcohol.  But for many people as they age, hangovers become worse, sometimes much worse, as time goes on.  For some, they are so severe that alcohol or certain types of alcohol can no longer be tolerated.  It is not uncommon for some people who love red wine to be forced to give it up in their 40’s because even one glass causes later discomfort.  But this did not happen when they were younger.

So what has changed?

In order to better understand the answer to that question we need to look at the other types of headaches.  The benefit of going through this exercise and examining the nature of your headache is to determine whether an underlying imbalance is occurring and to take early steps to rectify it through diet and lifestyle.  We will continue to look at other types of headaches tomorrow then look at what can be done in terms of diet and lifestyle.