Can Acupuncture Help with Migraines?

Migraines are agonizing headaches that can disrupt your entire life, making it all but impossible to work, take care of children, or even just enjoy your favorite activities. Often, a migraine can make you feel as if you just want to crawl into a dark room and sleep to escape the pain.

As if the headaches weren’t bad enough, finding the right migraine treatment can be like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s difficult to prevent migraines entirely, and in most cases, current medicines can only treat the migraines when they occur. Also, they are not always 100 percent effective.

 

Acupuncture and Migraines 

An ancient Chinese therapy called acupuncture can offer relief to migraine sufferers that have tried everything else.

Acupuncture is based on the Chinese concept of qi (pronounced Chee). Qi is the life force of a person. This life force flows through pathways of the body called meridians. During acupuncture, needles are inserted at specific points along these meridians. The Chinese believe this allows the body’s natural flow of qi to be rebalanced, alleviating any illnesses.  

Acupuncture treatment is about 10 to 30 minutes long after the needles are inserted, allowing the person to relax and allow their energy to balance. Most people do not feel the insertion of the needles, although some people do experience mild discomfort during the procedure.

 

Does Acupuncture Help with Migraines? 

While Chinese medicine believes acupuncture’s therapeutic effect is a result of qi balance, most western doctors believe that acupuncture actually stimulates the production of the body’s natural painkillers – endorphins. It is also thought that this therapy stimulates blood flow to the muscles and other tissues of the body.  

Several studies have been done on acupuncture and its effects. One such study tested acupuncture against the migraine medication Maxalt (rizatriptan). One group was given both Maxalt and acupuncture while the control group was given just Maxalt. The study found that the group that had both Maxalt and acupuncture had a significant improvement in their symptoms compared to the group that only received Maxalt. 

A number of studies have looked at acupuncture as a preventative therapy for migraines. One study found that the group that received acupuncture had a significant decrease in not only migraine frequency but also the pain intensity of the migraines.  

If you are suffering from migraine headaches and have tried several different treatments, contact the National Headache Institute today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations. You don’t have to suffer in pain. We can help you get your life back.