Acupuncture helps relieve headaches but when most people think about headache treatments acupuncture doesn’t even make the list of options. Generally we go for one of the many pill shaped “friends” to quickly ease our pain. Unfortunately many of these so called friends can also come with some risky side effects such as liver damage. Acupuncture however can give powerful relief without the harmful side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs may eventually cause.
A general headache is defined as a pain anywhere in the head or neck. Acupuncture helps relieve headaches and can be used to treat a variety of headaches from cluster headaches, to migraines, to tension headaches.
How Acupuncture Helps Relieve Headaches:
Thin needles are inserted into different acupuncture points on the body depending on symptoms and type of headaches you suffer from. Acupuncture points for the treatment of headaches are located all of the body including the legs, arms, shoulders, and feet.
Acupuncture needles are small enough to fit through the middle of a hypodermic needle and most patients do not experience any discomfort from the needles since they are so thin. If a patient does feel some sensitivity it is usually during the insertion of the acupuncture needle and this quickly goes away once the needle is set in place. Most are able to completely relax during their treatment with many people even falling asleep during acupuncture sessions.
Visit frequency and length depends on each patient’s individual symptoms and needs. Typically though, each acupuncture treatment last between ten to thirty minutes. Some patients may notice a decrease in symptoms after their first visit while those dealing with chronic ailments may require several treatments before experiencing relief.
- A clinical observation, published in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and in a study published in the November 1999 issue of Cephalalgia, scientists evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines and recurrent headaches by systematically reviewing 22 randomized controlled trials. A total of 1,042 patients were examined. It was found that headache and migraine sufferers experienced significantly more relief from acupuncture. http://www.acupunctureonline.org/cure-for-migraine.php
- In a case study, published in the June 2003 Issue of Medical Acupuncture, doctors found that acupuncture resulted in the resolution or reduction in the frequency and severity of cluster headaches, and a decrease or discontinuation of medications. It was concluded that Acupuncture can be used to provide sustained relief from cluster headaches and to stimulate adrenal cortisol to aid in discontinuing corticosteroids. http://www.acupunctureonline.org/cure-for-migraine.php
- Acupuncture can reduce the number of days of migraine pain a person has a year, as well as reducing the amount of medication they need and days off work. This was derived out of a study conducted by UK Doctors. The results of this study are published on the website of the British Medical Journal. http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/a/acupuncture
Do you suffer from headaches? Call our office at (615)503-9900 to set up an acupuncture consultation!
Photo By: Peter Hellberg