Why Heat Causes Headaches?

Summer is finally here in New York. Most people are happy about the hotter weather but for many with chronic migraine and tension headaches warmer weather will trigger a headache.


It’s not just you alone. Many research studies on weather patterns causing headaches show an increase in temperature to be a significant factor in triggering headaches. An increase in humidity was also a factor for most types of headaches.

Acupuncture doctors have observed this phenomena for centuries. Weather and climatic factors are one of the major causes of headaches in acupuncture.

Acupuncture uses the weather patterns — wind, dampness, heat, cold, and dryness—as descriptions of the pattern of symptoms you are experiencing.

Why does weather affect headaches so much?

While Western science cannot fully explain this phenomenon (the link may be due to dehydration, but we’re not sure) acupuncture has long had an explanation which is linked with their view of health and disease.

In acupuncture, your health is based upon balance and harmony within the body and the environment. If you get headaches when it is hot or humid, it is because there is a disharmony in the body which is reacting to the environmental trigger.

Acupuncture for Heat Headaches

Acupuncture is very effective for treating and preventing headaches throughout the summer months. Many of our patients have been able to reduce or stop medications all together. The key to a successful treatment is identifying the correct imbalance and then choosing the most effective acupuncture points for that imbalance.

First, we must identify the underlying cause of the headaches. This can be informed by the way in which you experience being hot. People experience being hot and cold in many ways.

Some are hot in their chest and head or cold in hands and feet. This signals that there is not enough circulation of energy in the body. Other people have hot and sweaty hands and feet. This may show that there is not enough yin, or cooling aspect within the body. Some people are hot all over and sweat significantly. This shows that there is too much heat in the body. The way in which one is hot or cold is one reflection of the state of heating and cooling in the body.

Then the acupuncture treatment and selection of acupuncture points is tailored to specific imbalance you are experiencing. By targeting the specific imbalance, acupuncture is very effective at treating heat headaches and returning the body back to a state of balance.

Photos: zoomar,

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Joseph Alban

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a Doctor of Acupuncture, New York Licensed Acupuncturist, and NCCAOM Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.

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