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Health Education Articles

Acupuncture for Migraines

By Kimberly Guorong Du

Approximately 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches about 12% of the entire population. While they affect both young and old, migraine headaches are most common among those 20-40 years old.

Your doctor has probably prescribed one of many different conventional medications available for migraine, but they can cause many side effects including confusion, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, depression, hypertension, insomnia, cramps, muscle spasms, mood swings, hair loss and many more.

Acupuncture Can Help

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used to relieve headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes, for thousands of years and is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches in our society.

There are acupuncturists that specialize in the treatment of headaches and migraines and can help you manage your pain with acupuncture and Chinese herbs alone, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

How Acupuncture Works:

The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body, which is termed Qi (pronounced Chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs.

According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin that have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

The Acupuncture Treatment:

Acupuncture points to treat headaches are all over the body. During the treatment, tiny needles will be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your big toe. There seems to be little sensitivity to the insertion of needles. Occasionally, there is a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, but once the needles are in place, most people relax and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from 5-30 minutes, with the patient being treated 1-2 times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

The style of acupuncture that your acupuncturist has been trained in will play a role in length of treatment, number of points used and frequency of visits.

 
 
 
 

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