Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, and the Treatment of Headaches and Migraines

Migraine and Headache Sufferers

Acupuncture Can Help

 

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

 

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine has been able to relieve headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes for thousands of years, and is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches in our society.

 

Studies on Acupuncture and Headaches

 

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines and headaches. Recent studies show extremely positive results:


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.


A clinical observation published in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine of 50 patient presented with various types of headaches were treated with scalp acupuncture. The results of this study showed that 98% of patients treated with scalp acupuncture experienced no headaches or only occasional, mild headaches in the 6 months following care.


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 than patients who were administered “sham” acupuncture.
 

 

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