Acupuncture for Headaches – Does  It Really Help?

Headaches and migraines are two of the most prevalent pain causing conditions that many of us suffer from. Although headache symptoms can range from mild to pounding, sometimes lasting only a few hours, some, including, migraines, are intense and can last for days. Researchers have successfully documented that acupuncture for headaches not only works, it also provides safe, virtually side effect free pain relief for migraines says Samantha Jacobs a Fairfield County Acupuncturist.

Migraine Causes

In most cases, a common headache is caused by tension, an excessive amount of stress and emotional changes. Migraines are a more complex problem, believed to be set off when blood vessels in the brain expand, releasing chemicals from nerve fibers that induce inflammation and consequently the intense pain. While the precise cause of migraine headaches hasn’t been clearly defined, there are certain triggers that include the following.

Eating Habits

Consuming fermented foods, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco and trigger headaches and migraines.

Hormonal Changes

Women frequently experience extreme headaches due to hormonal changes, often just before they start their periods. Migraines are even more common following the onset of puberty, decreasing after menopause.

Additional Causes

Sleeping disorders, tension, stress and changes in atmospheric pressure can lead to severe headaches and nausea. Acupuncture for headaches provides relief that can be life changing.

Acupuncture for Headache Treatment

Acupuncture seeks to restore the flow of positive energy throughout the body, and to remove the negative energy that causes pain. From a traditional medical perspective, acupuncture stimulates a number of systems in the body (nerves to release endorphins, etc.), initiating a healing response. The practice is beneficial, both as an alternative and supplementary treatment. Traditional medical professionals today are more open to recommending acupuncture in a growing number of situations. A meta-analysis of controlled laboratory and clinical investigations also concluded that acupuncture can be effective for the treatment and prevention of migraine headaches. In one controlled trial studying the effectiveness of acupuncture for headaches and migraines it was found that it lessened the intensity of the pain and how long it lasted. Also important to note is that the study found that there weren’t any adverse side effects of treatment. Up to three months of follow up after acupuncture treatments maintained the same effects and demonstrated that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of headaches and migraines on both a both short and long-term basis.

In another study, researchers using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) in a clinically-controlled study observed a considerable reduction in the functional connectivity of the migraine patient’s right frontoparietal network. The connectivity dysfunctions were found to be reversible following 4 weeks of acupuncture for headaches. The findings presented an additional curative effect of acupuncture that’s quantifiable in continued controlled experiments. Another study that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that acupuncture can help reduce the number of days the migraines last and in some cases has lasting effects

In conclusion, acupuncture has been shown to be an effective, safe and drug-free practice that addresses a wide variety of common ailments and problems. Besides using acupuncture for headaches, the practice has been shown to enhance immunity and the body’s natural recuperative power. Bottom line, acupuncture for headaches is a treatment option that is well worth considering.

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