Headache is also known as Shirah Shula, in Sanksrit, with Shirah meaning head. Shirah Shula is defined based on the dosha involved. In addition to categorizing headache into doshic imbalance, the cause of the pain arising from nervous tissue or bone structures helps dictate the treatment of head pain. Depending on which dosha is being influenced, different headache types will manifest.
Vata type headaches are often located in the cervical/occipital regions and have a throbbing component to them. These headaches are generally not as severe in intensity and often do not have any associated features such as light sensitivity, smell sensitivity, nausea, or vomiting associated with them. Sound sensitivity may be present, as it reflects an excitable nervous system. These headaches are most often induced by stress, especially when the daily routine of sleeping and eating are not followed in a regular fashion.
Pitta type headaches are often located in the retro‐orbital/temple regions and have a sharp, intense component to them. These headaches are often moderate to severe in intensity and associated with nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. Pitta, the fire state, is often linked to the development of inflammation. Thus, the use of anti‐inflammatory medications, herbals, or injections is understood as helping this type of headache.
Kapha type headaches are often located in the frontal areas. This headache is often associated with congestion and allergies. These headaches can worsen with changes in season, especially in the spring season.
People with headache may present with combinations of doshic imbalances. For example, one may have a Pitta‐Vata headache or a Vata‐Kapha headache. These headaches need to be treated by balancing out both of these imbalanced states.