Can acupuncture help migraine headaches?

If you suffer from chronic pain, you know just how terrible and life-altering it can be. Unrelenting pain can impact your life in ways that other people simply don’t understand. It can be difficult to think beyond taking your next few steps, getting through your next task, or trying to gain some semblance of relief. Acupuncture can help you shed your pain and live again. You’ll feel more confident to go out into the world, say “yes” to a fun happy hour after a long day of work, volunteer as a chaperone for a school trip, and maybe even pick up a new hobby.

Chronic pain can be debilitating, especially when that pain consists mostly of chronic headaches and migraines. Severe migraines and headaches can negatively impact many levels of your health, including your feelings of belonging, your lifestyle, your financial security, and your relationships.

Migraines and headaches are a bit different, even though they occur in the same places and have some of the same causes. Migraines are typically characterized by an intense throbbing pain in one part of your head. Headaches are duller, milder pain or pressure felt throughout the scalp, forehead, and neck.

Fortunately, acupuncture can help alleviate chronic migraines and headaches by increasing blood flow to the tissues in the area. This will increase circulation and help provide relief for chronic pain.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine used to treat many conditions, including chronic pain of all kinds. Acupuncture is gaining popularity all over the world, including in the Western World, and therefore, insurance companies are beginning to cover treatments, especially for issues like chronic migraines and headaches.

Acupuncture naturally stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms, so it can take care of itself. It returns the body to a balanced state by inserting extremely fine needles (about the size of a few human hairs) into specific points of the body. The insertions are focused on specific pathways called Meridians, where energy flows through the body. When you have a headache or a migraine, that natural energy is interrupted. Inserting an acupuncture needle returns the flow of energy, or Qi, to a normal state.

Acupuncture appointments usually take about an hour, as the needles are slowly and carefully inserted. For chronic migraines and headaches, the therapist usually focuses on the person’s back or neck.

Acupuncture & Migraine Relief

Traditional medicine hasn’t always been extremely effective when it comes to treating migraines. Medications are usually prescribed, but they don’t necessarily help everyone, and their effectiveness wears off after continual usage. Acupuncture, on the other hand, has shown incredible results in alleviating the pain caused by migraines and can even impact how often migraines occur.

Acupuncture has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines by up to 59 percent in some trials. Six months after the acupuncture treatments, some particpants participants were still reporting fewer migraines than they had before.

Research has been conducted on who benefits most from acupuncture, and it turns out that while almost everyone sees some vast improvement, the greatest success has been reported in individuals who have not found relief with other traditional ways. If you have tried other methods and they haven’t been successful, or the success has been fleeting, you may want to consider acupuncture.

Many people who suffer from migraines cannot do things that other people can do. Sometimes they cannot go out into the sunlight, attend concerts, or fly on airplanes. Some individuals can’t even eat their favorite foods. Chronic migraines are often cruel and debilitating and can be triggered in just a few minutes. But with acupuncture, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Acupuncture & Chronic Headache Relief

Acupuncture can also be used to treat chronic headaches not caused by migraines. These are the headaches that you may be able to treat with OTC painkillers; however, you may worry about long-term use. Many people who either don’t respond well to painkillers or those who don’t want to use them as a long-term solution have found success with acupuncture.

In reviews of how acupuncture can help alleviate chronic pain, it has been found that those with tension headaches, often caused by work and stress, benefited most from acupuncture. Participants reported having fewer headaches, and when they did get headaches, they were not as intense in nature.

So, how could acupuncture change your life? Would you be able to focus more at work? Come home at the end of a long day and feel better? Would you be able to spend more time with your family? People who don’t suffer from headaches don’t realize just how much they impact every aspect of an individual’s life.

Another great sign is that acupuncture seems to have consistent results in trials. People do not become immune to the treatment, and there have been no signs that the treatment wanes or stops working.

Using Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Regular acupuncture appointments seem to be a good remedy to prevent chronic pain of all kinds, including chronic migraines and headaches. Your particular treatment will depend on your symptoms and your body. You may need fewer needles than others, or you may need more. Each treatment is unique to the individual’s needs. Most people have appointments every week or every two weeks, and they usually last for about an hour. You may need to schedule more frequent appointments initially, and then you will be able to space them out. It is all about how you feel and the results you are getting.

If you’re wondering how acupuncture can alleviate chronic pain, you simply won’t know until you try it. Acupuncture could be the pain-relieving solution you’ve been seeking!

Want to Learn More About How Acupuncture Can Help Alleviate Your Pain?

Contact Us Today at Merriam Park Acupuncture!

Merriam Park Acupuncture offers acupuncture, cupping, Gua Sha and herbal medicine services in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul MN metropolitan area. 

Published: May 9, 2020

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