The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
In Chinese Medicine, cluster headache is sometimes associated with Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp, a so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease" because both concepts arise from totally different ways of seeing the human body.
To understand whether someone's cluster headache might be caused by the pattern Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from cluster headache alone. Indeed if cluster headache is caused by Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp, patients also experience symptoms such as generalized body pain, aching bones and joints, cold extremities and no thirst. Similarly, patients with Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp typically exhibit choppy (Se), deep (Chen), minute (Wei) or slow (Chi) pulses as well as a tongue with thin white coating.
We've listed below a more detailed description of Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp so that you can have a better understanding of where cluster headache might find its root according to Chinese Medicine.
Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below Fu Zi Tang, a formula that can help treat Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp.
Pulse type(s): Choppy (Se), Deep (Chen), Minute (Wei), Slow (Chi)
Tongue coating: Thin white coating
Recommended herbal formula: Fu Zi Tang
Cluster headache might be due to Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as generalized body pain, aching bones and joints, cold extremities and no thirst. Similarly, patients with Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp typically exhibit choppy (Se), deep (Chen), minute (Wei) or slow (Chi) pulses as well as a tongue with thin white coating.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Key actions: Warms the Meridians. Assists the Yang. Dispels Cold. Transforms Dampness.
Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp, a pattern sometimes associated with cluster headache. If it looks like you might suffer from Yang Deficiency with Cold-Damp, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).