It’s no secret that recurring severe headaches and the crippling pain of a migraine can leave anyone dysfunctional. Because of this, most people resort into taking painkillers to alleviate the ache and return to their normal lives. However, this goes on and on, leaving patients trapped in a vicious cycle. Additionally, we all know that taking painkillers can cause long-term side effects, and this is why more and more patients that suffer from headaches and migraines are now seeking alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
The evidence that supports the efficacy of acupuncture against headaches and migraines is overwhelming. In the past couple of decades, many studies have proven that acupuncture can indeed help patients with these extremely bad headaches, reduce the number of attacks and provide long lasting effects.
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Diagnosis
Traditional Chinese Medicine does not view recurring, stubborn headaches and migraines as conditions that affect every body in the same manner. Rather, it addresses and treats the condition through its specific symptoms unique to each patient. Thus, the diagnosis and treatment procedures differ based on several factors: what part of the head is the pain coming from, when does the pain usually show up, is the pain sharp and piercing or dull and throbbing, etc.
How Acupuncture Treats Headaches and Migraines
By answering the factors mentioned above, the Acupuncture Physician can come up with a special treatment to address the condition effectively. The basic foundation of Oriental Medicine, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, is that “Qi” (pronounced as “Chee,” meaning energy of life) flows through the body via channels called “meridians” which connect the all-major organs. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that diseases and illnesses manifest when the flow of Qi is interfered, leaving both the body and mind out of balance. Acupuncturists treat illnesses, including arthritis, back pain and recurring headaches and migraines by inserting tiny needles into the meridians that connect to the head, which are located in the arms, legs, shoulders, and even toes. These needles stimulate specific points of the body, promoting a better flow of Qi, and restoring balance of the mind and body. While it is rare, occasionally there may be a brief feeling of discomfort, but as soon as the needles are in the right place, patients start to feel relaxed and many times even fall asleep during treatment.
Course of Treatment
The duration and frequency of an acupuncture treatment session for headache and migraine depends on the severity of the symptoms. A regular session usually lasts 45 minutes once or twice a week. Minor symptoms can be calmed during the first treatment, but chronic and more serious conditions may need longer, multiple sessions to provide efficient and long lasting relief.