Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Migraine headaches are a neurological disorder commonly linked with misbalanced brain chemistry. It causes severe head pain (usually limited to one side), usually accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound and light.
According to the National Headache Foundation, 14.9% of Americans--more than 37 million people--suffer from migraines, with three times as many women affected as men.
Western pain medications can help alleviate symptoms, but come with a host of side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, and digestive troubles. With acupuncture, the body is primed to heal itself and relieve pain naturally without side effects.
Acupuncture for Migraines
Chronic pain, such as persistent migraine pain, over-sensitizes the nervous system. Acupuncture releases endogenous opiates, the body's natural pain killers, to relieve pain and increase the body's pain threshold.
Some studies also show that the frontal and temporal lobes have "decreased functional connectivity" in migraine sufferers, and acupuncture works to effectively restore that connectivity, decreasing the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Acupuncture also improves circulation to the brain and encourages nerve regeneration to reduce pain from migraines as well as working to treat the underlying causes in the brain.
In a clinical study comparing acupuncture to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac sodium, acupuncture had an 86.4% total effective rate at alleviating migraines. The diclofenac sodium only had a 70% effective rate.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has used acupuncture and cupping to relieve debilitating migraines that used to put her in the hospital.
Additional Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices may also be effective when used along with acupuncture to alleviate migraines. When paired with tuina (TCM therapeutic massage and body work) in one study, acupuncture had a 93.8% total effective rate in treating migraines.
Implemented alongside cupping in another study, acupuncture had a total effective rate of 100% at reducing migraine frequency and intensity, with 88.3% of patients recovering completely.
In most studies, a minimum of 12-16 treatments was required to achieve the greatest effect from acupuncture.
If you or a loved one suffer from migraines, start working to relieve them today! Call us at (321) 972-2940 to schedule your initial health consultation.
HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Proven Effective for Migraine Relief. (May 5, 2016). Retrieved from http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1633-acupuncture-proven-effective-for-migraine-relief
HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Reduces Migraine Frequency." (April 25, 2017). Retrieved from http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1735-acupuncture-reduces-migraine-frequency-intensity-and-duration
Hall, Suzanne. "Clean Shakes + Inside Out Facials: Living Well with Meghan Markle of the TIG." (February 11, 2015). Retrieved from http://thechalkboardmag.com/living-well-with-meghan-markle-of-the-tig
Hunstad, Eric P. "Acupuncture Information Manual (AIM)." (2017).