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How does Acupuncture manage Migrainesand Headaches?

By Dr. Tukmachi (Acumedica clinical director)


Millions of peoples round the world (mostly women) suffer from chronic headaches or migraines. Past and recent scientific clinical research shows that acupuncture is the best alternative treatment compared to western medicine and more effective than medication in alleviation the severity and frequency of both headaches and migraines.  The signs and symptoms of either headache or migraine could have a bad impact on the daily life of sufferers.   As the Chinese acupuncture treatment has virtually no side effects or complications, it has can powerful analgesic and tranquilizing effects in comparison with the prescribed pain killers and over-the-counter drugs.
Various types of Headaches (such as tension and cluster headaches) and migraines (such as classical migraines and hormonal migraines) have been treated with great success by traditional Chinese acupuncture over thousands years.  The treatment scheme could be with Acupuncture only or more often in combination with diet and/or detoxification programme.
The typical signs and symptoms are the throbbing headaches (preceded by aura in migraines) which could last for many days at a time. The Traditional Acupuncture treatments work not only to relief the pain but also to prevent the recurrence of these episodes of headaches or the attack of migraine.
A course of acupuncture treatments (twice weekly sessions for at least 8-10 weeks) can decrease the severity of headaches and their frequency as well as alleviating the overall stress and muscular tensions, which can keep migraines at bay. The acupuncture works by decreasing the bad hormones (adrenalin, nor-adrenalin ...etc) and increases the secretion of good feeling natural hormones (Endorphins and natural steroid “Cortisol”) and also by increasing blood circulation overall regularly. These mechanisms would be essential tools to keep the headaches and migraines away more and more often, giving much-needed relief to people who know the amount of pain a migraine can cause.

Which types of headaches and migraine the acupuncture can treat?
The Traditional Chinese acupuncture could treat the two categories of headaches: primary and secondary.  By definition, the primary headache is a clinical condition which is not caused by any another disorder and it is known as tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches. While the Secondary headaches are the symptom of other medical conditions such as sinus disease, allergies, dental disorders, head injury or brain tumours. Although Traditional acupuncture is very effective in treatment of primary headaches such as tension and migraine, but also it is effective in secondary headaches.

What is involved in the treatment of headaches & migraines by Traditional Chinese acupuncture?
Traditional Chinese acupuncture is working the causes, pathology and diagnosis of headaches and migraines. The main benefit e of acupuncture is that it does virtually no harm. Unlike drugs (synthetic chemical pain killers), acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches are much less invasive. Acupuncture is applied by the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body, followed by gentle manual with/without electrical stimulation of the needles. Blood flow in the tissues increases when small vessels around the area of the needle dilate. While actions designed to increase circulation are generally an excellent treatment for pain, such a treatment is not beneficial in the treatment of migraines.
Because the pain of a migraine may be associated with the dilation of blood vessels in the head, increasing circulation in this area can worsen the patient's symptoms. Sometime the acupuncture treatment is performed with the patient in a recumbent position or on other time in a prone position.
In secondary headache or migraines, emotional stress is a well-known key factor in triggering the attack of headaches or migraines. This type of imbalance (emotional or physical stress), may be related to other health conditions such as heart disease, insomnia, hypertension and premenstrual syndrome. The acupuncture treatment could prevent migraine attacks by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and decreasing muscle tension. Acupuncture points for this technique are usually chosen on the forearms and lower legs. The excessive muscular tension in the neck and upper back is usually common in people with migraines;  the Traditional Chinese acupuncture   can reduce that tension and  prevents migraines. By finding and treating the most reactive of the 24 major diagnostic points, we can affect an instantaneous increase in blood flow to sore and tense muscles. A low-frequency electrical current (1 Hz) may be added to the needles in order to further enhance blood flow in the muscle tissue.

What the outcomes of acupuncture treatments of Headaches and migraines at the end of the course?

The past and recent clinical studies round  the world have indicated that acupuncture is very effective in treatment of migraines and headaches.  Since 1970 until now, more than 30 studies on acupuncture have shown that acupuncture is the best pain reliever for a variety of ailments, including chronic headaches and migraines. They found that acupuncture reduces pain with negligible side effects and can be less expensive than medication.  Researchers found that using acupuncture as an alternative for pain relief also reduced the need for post-operative pain medications. While in 2005, the research trial of acupuncture published in British medical Journal showed that a randomized controlled trial in Germany found that acupuncture cut tension headache rates almost in half.  The Researchers divided 270 patients who reported similarly severe tension headaches into three groups for the study. Over the project's eight-week period, one group received traditional acupuncture, one received only minimal acupuncture, and the third group received neither treatment. Those receiving the
traditional acupuncture reported headache rates of nearly half that of those who received no treatments, suffering 7 fewer days of headaches. The minimal acupuncture group suffered 6.6 fewer days, and the non-acupuncture group suffered 1.5 fewer days.  The improvements continued for months after the treatments were concluded, rising slightly as time went on.
In conclusion, through the experience of all acupuncturists round the world indicated that after a course of a traditional acupuncture treatment course for headaches or migraines, it clears the signs and symptoms if the patient finished the treatment.

Do you complain from headaches or migraines? Please contact us for further details (www.acumedica.co.uk)