The following guidelines are based on classical Chinese literature, and include descriptions of specific headaches. Regardless of whether or not your headaches match the descriptions, if you are experiencing any headaches after behaving in any of the ways listed below, you should suspect the behavior to be responsible.
- Dull Headaches: Inadequate meals or nourishment are a common cause for dull headaches, if the diet is consistently lacking nourishment, more severe headaches can develop
- Frontal Headaches, Sharp Pain: Overeating is a common cause for headaches characterized by sharp pain, especially those in the front of the head
- Frontal Headaches, Sharp Pain: Eating too quickly or while engaged in serious conversation can lead to sharp headaches in the front of the head
- Frontal Headaches, Dull Pain: Eating irregularly from day to day or eating too late at night can lead to dull headaches in the front of the head
- Frontal or Temporal Headaches, Sharp Pain: Excessive consumption of hot-natured foods (curry, peppers, etc.), red meats, or alcohol are also common causes for sharp headaches in the sides and/or front of the head
- Headache of entire head or Occipital region, Dull Pain: Excessive salt in the diet (canned soups, smoked or cured meats, etc.) will often cause dull headaches in the whole head or back of head
- Temporal Headaches or Migraines: Excessive consumption of sour foods (yogurt, grapefruit, pickles, vinegar, red currants, etc.) can lead to temporal headaches or migraines
- Chemicals in foods (MSG, dyes, etc.) can cause headaches for many reasons that are not discussed in classical Chinese literature, but should always be considered when headaches recur after eating certain foods. In general, food coloring should be omitted from the diet when possible.
- Coffee and chocolate are examples of foods that were not traditionally available in China and were not explained in Classical literature, but both can be a cause of headaches. It is always advisable that headache sufferers eliminate both to determine if they may be causing the headaches.