Acupuncture for Headache and Migraine
We’ve had many patients come to us for acupuncture for headaches and migraines. Some of them have migraines monthly at the time of their period, others a few times a week and some even daily!
Headaches and especially migraines can be debilitating. Symptoms include pain, vision problems, strong neck or sinus pain, fatigue and the inability to function properly throughout the day. It affects your ability to work, your relationships and how you enjoy life. We’ve even had a patient who writes off one day every week (weekly migraine) where they have to pull all the blinds to create a dark room and go to bed for 24 hours!
What Triggers Migraines?
From our clinical experience there are a number of things that trigger migraines.
- Neck Problems – most migraines originate from neck pain and tension.
- Sinus Problems – chronic sinusitis can lead to migraines, especially during flare-ups.
- Periods – the loss of blood during a period can lead to migraines. But in our experience it’s not so much a hormonal issue but that the loss of blood affects the Liver, which then aggravates neck problems.
- Strong light – sensitivity to strong lights like fluoro can set off a migraine.
- Smells – strong smells like perfumes or burnt toast can trigger a migraine.
- Stress – high stress can bring on migraine.
It could be a combination of any or all of these – in some cases there are a number of the above issues occurring simultaneously that bring on and strengthen migraines.
Common Headache and Migraine Treatments
Most treatment centres around the use of medications including pain relievers, triptans and opioids. Also used as a preventative are blood pressure, anti-depressants and anti-seizure drugs as well as Botox injections.
Whilst these treatments can provide relief, the long-term use of these medications is often problematic in addition to any short-term side effects.
Medications mainly treat the symptom and not the root cause of the headaches and migraines. Often, if you stop taking the medication, the headaches and migraines may return because the base cause of them still remains.
Acupuncture can be highly effective in treating migraines. Firstly, we need to determine what is causing your migraines. We do this through pulse diagnosis. After we figure out the cause, we use acupuncture, supplements and diet to treat the cause with the objective stopping your migraines at the source of the problem.
See evidence of how Chinese medicine can assist with migraines here.
Chinese medicine takes a completely different approach to Western medicine in diagnosing and treating headaches and migraines.