Acupuncture for Migraine Relief
Looking for Relief from Migraine Headaches?
If you’ve ever had a splitting headache, then you know how unbearable the pain can be. All you want to do is crawl into a dark, quiet room and wait for the misery to end.
For most of us, these kinds of headaches are rare. But for Canadians suffering from chronic migraines, it’s an all-too-common occurrence that can make it impossible to function. Extreme pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of vision, light sensitivity—the symptoms can last up to 3 days, interfering considerably with your quality of life. It’s much more than just a bad headache!
According to the Migraine Trust, migraine is the most common neurological condition in the developed world. It’s more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined—almost 3 million Canadians suffer from migraines (and those are just the ones who have been diagnosed).
The exact cause of migraines isn’t 100% understood, although genetics and environment do seem to play a role. Whatever the cause, a number of things may trigger them. Certain foods, food additives and drinks can all set off a migraine, and so can stress, bright lights and changes in the weather.
Can acupuncture help?
Although there is no cure for migraines, you can use acupuncture to manage the condition by reducing the frequency of attacks and reducing pain once an attack starts.
Several clinical studies have shown acupuncture to be an effective option for treating chronic migraine headaches. One especially good analysis of the treatment, published in the British Medical Journal, included 401 patients with chronic headaches, predominantly migraines. Patients were randomly chosen to either receive up to 12 acupuncture treatments over three months in addition to standard Western care, or only standard Western medical care.
The study found that participants in the acupuncture group experienced 22 fewer days with headaches, used 15% less medication, made 25% fewer visits to their doctor, and took 15% fewer sick days off from work. In short, a higher quality of life!
Will acupuncture work for my headaches?
There are so many types of migraines, with so many varied causes. But the beauty of acupuncture is that it treats the patient, not the problem. No two headaches, just like no two people, are the same.
Before starting treatment, your acupuncturist will take an extensive health history, perform a visual inspection of your face and tongue, and take your pulses. All of this information is used to identify any imbalances in your body and create a plan that is tailored to your body’s unique needs. By looking deeper than the diagnosis of a migraine, your acupuncturist will help you heal in many areas of your health, including your headaches.