Acupuncture for Migraines: Does it Work?

Many people are familiar with the physical act of acupuncture, the act of inserting needles into the skin for the purpose of relaxation and natural healing. But acupuncture goes much further than needles in the skin. The peoples of ancient China used acupuncture to re-align one’s Chi, which is an energy of universal life that the Chinese believe flow through all people. It is believed that when the Chi is blocked and unable to flow freely, health is affected. Now, researchers are investigating the role of acupuncture for migraine reduction and treatment. Read below for more on how acupuncture for migraine reduction works.

The Studies

Two publications have published studies that have lead to strong conclusions on the effectiveness of acupuncture for migraine relief. The Journal of the American Medial Association, or JAMA, published a study titled “Acupuncture for Patients with Migraine.” In this study, scientists used 302 patients, most of which were women who suffered from migraine headaches. Patients were administered acupuncture, sham acupuncture and a waiting list control. Researchers concluded that sham acupuncture was no less effective than regular acupuncture, though both had much more of an effect on migraines than did the wait list control.

In another study, published by Blackwell Synergy, one hundred sixty women were studied to see if acupuncture for migraines is effective. This study tested the effects acupuncture for migraines versus flunarizine for migraines. Group A was administered acupuncture weekly for 2 months and then once monthly for 4 months. Flunarizine was given to the patients every day for two months and then twenty days out of the month for four months. The conclusion was profound: acupuncture won the contest for the most effective treatment out of the two.

Getting Past The Fear

Perhaps you suffer with migraines but have an intense fear of needles. The first thing to look for when seeking out a professional acupuncturist is to make sure that the acupuncturist is licensed and certified, depending on the state in which you live. Most acupuncturists will walk you through their sterilizing procedures, and most use disposable needles. If you cannot get past the fear of acupuncture needles, the acupuncturist will probably provide alternatives for you. These include herbal methods, magnetic needles and ear cups that can be taken for similar results.

When you go to the acupuncturist, be sure you know what you are seeking treatment for and have as much medical information as possible. This will help the acupuncturist decide what acupuncture for migraine techniques are right for you.

Related Information and Products

A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
Migraine - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
A migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, the headaches affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from a few hours to 3 days. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.
Migraine - Wikipedia
Migraines are a recurring type of headache. They cause moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or pulsing. The pain is often on one side of your head. You may also have other symptoms, such as nausea and weakness.