Acupuncture Treatment for Migraine and Headache

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Migraine is a disorder characterised by excruciating pain in the upper region of the head. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as a stress headache or sinusitis. Migraine headaches are a result of inflammation of and release of chemicals in blood vessels located underneath the skin, and just outside the skull. The release of these chemicals from the nerve endings of the arteries causes severe pain, usually known as migraines.

These severe forms of headaches can last anywhere from a few hours to five days. They are very painful and hinder daily activities. Most migraines have a genetic origin and are difficult to distinguish from various other types of headaches. A proper diagnosis is necessary to recommend proper treatment for migraine headaches.

Migraines can be Broadly Classified into Two Types –

  1. With aura or symptoms
  2. Without aura or symptoms

According to National Health Service in the UK, one third of people who have migraines also have certain auras or symptoms. These auras may occur before the migraine attack or during the attack. The Migraine Trust says that, in adults, these auras occur before the attack and in children during the attack.


Other Migraine Symptoms Include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blind spots
  • Tingling of arms and legs
  • High sensitivity to light and sound
  • Flashes of light
  • Disturbance in vision
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Weakness

Migraine symptoms may vary from person to person. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to diagnose migraines correctly. The length and frequency of migraines can also vary from person to person.

Some of the symptoms that occur before a migraine attack include thirst, irritability, drowsiness, elation, tension and sweating. These symptoms give an indication that one is going to face an attack soon. They actually warn one about the headache that is going to come.

Causes of Migraine:

Most migraines are caused due to the following factors:

  • Genetic.
  • Hormonal changes in women.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcohol.
  • Stress.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Menopause.
  • Fasting.
  • Contraceptives.
  • Allergies.
  • Loud noises, bright lights.
  • Menstrual cycle fluctuations.
  • Foods containing tyramine, monosodium glutamate or nitrates.
  • Foods like dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, bananas, citrus fruits, onions, and pickles.

Women have an increased propensity to suffer from migraines as compared to men and about three quarter of people who have a migraine problem, also have a family history of the same. This disorder usually attacks people in the age group of 15 to 55 years.

Migraine Remedies

Migraine pain can be treat using a number of allopathic medicines such as, naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and paracetamol etc.

For treating the symptoms of migraine pain, especially nausea and vomiting, anti-emetics can be used. Antidepressants like tricyclics, serotonin agonists, and serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are also prescribe, depending upon the symptoms.

Migraine can be prevented by following these easy to do activities:

  • Sleeping properly
  • Exercising daily
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Avoiding stress
  • Avoiding allergic foods and other allergens.

Apart from the allopathic remedies, acupuncture is another method to treat migraine pain and migraine symptoms.

Acupuncture is a method of piercing the skin at specific points with fine needles to heal a number of disorders and diseases. It is an age old practice which originated in China about 3000 years ago and is still very much in use. The main concept involve in this method of treatment is that our body is believe to have an energy ‘Chi’ that flows through the energy meridians in the body, and any imbalances in this energy causes disorders. Acupuncture is use to re-balance this energy and thus, helps in healing and relieving pain.

Acupuncture for migraine is one of the popular remedies for migraine pain and can really rid you of the problem.

Also Read: Daith Piercing Help for Anxiety [Natural Treatments]

How Does Acupuncture Work?

When certain energy points on the skin are pierce with needles, our body releases anti-inflammatory and pain relieving chemicals like cortisol and endorphins that help in healing our body, reduce pain and cure various diseases.

These fine silver needles are left in the skin for no more than 30 seconds of healing. A few patients report weakness, drowsiness, light-headedness and discomfort during or after the treatment, but these settle down soon.

Acupuncture For Migraines


Acupuncture is most frequently use to treat migraines and episodic headaches in the West and China. In a research study conducted by Acupuncture Research Resource Centre, it has been shown that acupuncture has a significant effect in relieving migraine pain. A clinical trial was conducted with 115 patients and the trails included six randomised controlled trials, of which, five were control groups. The results of these trials showed that acupuncture is effective in treating migraines in more than 80% of the population.

How Acupuncture Helps in Relieving Migraine Pain?

When the skin is pierce with needles at specific points, the blood vessels around the area dilate and the blood flow increases. The increase in blood circulation is an excellent treatment for pain. But as migraine pain is cause by dilate capillaries and increase blood circulation, acupuncture method for the treatment of migraine pain involves inserting needles in the lower body, avoiding the head and neck region. This acts by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and reducing muscle tension.

In a study published by British Medical Journal, researchers found that acupuncture treatment decreased the frequency of occurrence of migraine by 22 days and usage of medication by 15%. Visits to the medical practitioner by reduced by 25%. Patients also took 15% less sick leaves from their work.

Also Read: Blood Pressure and Weight: Is There a Correlation

The research was conducted on 401 adult individuals aged between 18-65 years old.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Migraine Pain:

Acupuncture for Migraine Relief is:

  • Cost-efficient.
  • Has minimal or no side effects.
  • Decreased frequency of occurrence of pain.
  • Possibility of being cure completely.
  • Increased productivity at work and decreased hindrance to daily activities.

Acupuncture for migraines can be considered as the most cost-effective and highly effective method for curing migraines as it has minimal side effects and its success rate is nearly 80%. This is the main reason why this age-old traditional practice has gained significance to treat migraine and other pains. Acupuncture by far, also does not have known side effects and is a completely safe therapy.

Acupuncture for migraines is also one of the few natural remedies for migraine.

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