There are few conditions more actively debilitating than frequent migraines. Every year tens of millions of Americans experience migraine headaches, characterized by moderate to severe head pain lasting between 2 and 72 hours. These headaches are often worsened by secondary effects such as nausea, making the performance of daily physical tasks exceedingly difficult. While there is still no scientific consensus about the cause of migraines, we know that it’s directly related to changes in vascular blood flow to the brain. This causes the brain to become hyper excitable, making most sensory stimuli painful.
We offer Acupuncture as a preventative treatment for migraines because it carries no side effects compared to leading medications, it is safe, and it has been clinically proven to reduce migraine incidence and intensity. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical practice which involves painlessly inserting needles into the skin in order to treat various medical conditions. Acupuncture is a highly safe medical procedure and is performed by well trained licensed professionals. With regards to migraines, one of the main ways that acupuncture relieves migraine incidence is by relaxing the muscles around the neck, which decreases the probability of experiencing tension headaches. This, coupled with general stress reduction associated with acupuncture, further improves a patient’s condition. For migraines, acupuncture is often performed over the course of weekly half hour sessions, preventing headaches from manifesting afterward.
The fact that acupuncture has little to no side effects is also a non trivial advantage. Many migraine medications, despite being effective, come with a host of serious side effects. Common side effects of Topiramate, a common migraine medication, include nausea, weight loss, and depression. Other migraine medications, such as Valproate, can cause more serious side effects such as suicidal behaviour. Moreover, many of these medications are not suitable for nursing or pregnant women. Acupuncture on the other hand, manages to produce comparable clinical results with minimum side effects while also being safe during pregnancy.
Numerous studies attest to efficacy of acupuncture in treating migraines. A study published this year in the JAMA Journal of Internal Medicine indicated that acupuncture can prevent and reduce the frequency of migraines. A 2001 Cochrane systematic review done on over 1000 patients similarly indicated that acupuncture helps treat and prevent migraines. Another large study by the Canadian Medical Association found similar results, with participants experiencing fewer migraines of lower intensity after being treated with acupuncture. These studies are joined by dozens of others, the vast majority of which indicate similarly stellar results. In addition, thousands of people who have been treated with acupuncture can attest to how this treatment has helped get their lives back on track.