If you have ever experienced a migraine headache then you know not only how painful they can be, but also how difficult it can be to get relief. Acupuncture can be the solution that migraine sufferers are seeking.
The Mayo clinic defines a migraine as:
- Pain on one side or both sides of your head
- Pain that has a pulsating, throbbing quality
- Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
According to the Migraine Research foundation, migraine headaches affect 38 million people in the US alone, and nearly 1 in 4 households have a migraine sufferer. While some people have the occasional migraine headache a few times a year, 4 million people suffer from these debilitating headaches at least 15 days per month! Acupuncture can help this.
From my experience migraine headaches most commonly arise for one of 3 reasons: a problem with the neck, a hormonal imbalance, a food sensitivity, or some combination of these. Acupuncture is amazing for treating problems in the neck and helping to regulate hormone imbalances. As far as food sensitivities go, I recommend trying an elimination diet for at least 6 weeks and then introducing foods back in one at a time to look for any reactions. There are many books out there on the subject, Heal your Headache is one that leads you through the elimination process and explains what to avoid.
I can tell you first hand that acupuncture relieves migraine headaches. I personally suffer from the occasional migraine and acupuncture is the one thing I have found that can stop the headache in its tracks and the best part is, there are no side-effects! Many people think that while they are in the midst of a headache that nothing can be done and that it’s not the time for treatment. If you can make it into the office safely this can actually be the most effective time to see an acupuncturist. I practice a style of acupuncture (Dr. Tan and Master Tung) where I can target pain areas and get them to instantly reduce suffering. Having the headache during treatment allows me to more precisely zero in on the most effective acupuncture points. More treatments are then needed to keep migraines from returning. For regular migraine sufferers, you can expect a treatment plan of twice a week for 1-2 months and often times the addition of Chinese herbal formulas can help expedite the healing process.
There is more and more research demonstrating that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of migraines. According to the Mayo Clinic staff, “Clinical trials have found that acupuncture may be helpful for headache pain.” In one Canadian study with 500 participants, patients were treated twice a week for 6 weeks and all of the patients reported a reduction in frequency and intensity of migraines. You can read about the study here. In another study at Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, researchers tested two acupuncture protocols. One of the acupuncture protocols achieved a 100% total effective rate with an 88.6% complete recovery rate. This involved a combination of acupuncture and cupping. In the Indian Journal of physiology and pharmacology, Vijayalakshmi et. al., finds electroacupuncture more effective than “conventional drug therapy” for the treatment of migraines. Electro-acupuncture significantly outperformed the drug flunarizine in the treatment of migraines. In 10 sessions of acupuncture, patients showed superior outcomes using acupuncture, including pain relief, psychological profile and quality of life improvements, and reductions in migraine related disabilities.
If you have been suffering with this debilitating pain, there is no time like the present to make an appointment and start the natural healing process.
Collins, Sonya. "Acupuncture May Be Effective for Migraines." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 05 June 2016. <http://www.webmd.com/
migraines-headaches/news/ 20120112/acupuncture-may-be- effective-for-migraines>.
Jin SS, Du YZ, Han L, Liao C & Gu WL. (2015). Observations on the Efficacy of Acupuncture at Point Shanzhong (CV17) plus Cupping on Back-Shu Points in Treating Migraine. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 34(3). "Home - Migraine Research Foundation." Migraine Research Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016. <https://
"Migraine." - Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/
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Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, 01, 08) Alternative Medicine, mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/alternative-medicine/con-20026358.
Vijayalakshmi, I., N. Shankar, A. Saxena, and M. S. Bhatia. "Comparison of effectiveness of acupuncture therapy and conventional drug therapy on psychological profile of migraine patients." Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology 58, no. 1 (2013): 69-76.