For some reason, I have had a recent surge of people coming to my clinic for help with migraines, so I thought this would be a good blog post topic. There’s plenty to say, as acupuncture can be an extremely effective treatment for migraines!
Let’s start with the research:
MRI scans show specific changes in brain activity during acupuncture. MRI studies demonstrate that acupuncture treatment decreases the frequency and duration of migraine attacks by increasing functional connectivity in the brain’s frontal and temporal lobes, where migraine sufferers normally have decreased connectivity.
Albrecht Molsberger discussed the current state of the research in the journal CMAJ, concluding that
A sound body of evidence exists supporting the use of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis.
Acupuncture is at least as effective as prophylactic drug therapy for migraine and it is safe, long-lasting and cost-effective.
The Cochrane group, a trusted independent organisation that conducts meta-analyses of all the data available on different health related subjects, similarly conclude that “the available evidence suggests that adding acupuncture to symptomatic treatment of attacks reduces the frequency of headaches. The available trials also suggest that acupuncture may be at least similarly effective as treatment with prophylactic drugs. ”
Acupuncture For Migraines
Acupuncture is such a good treatment for migraines, because it is effective in a number of area which can trigger or worsen migraine attacks. Specifically, it reduces muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders, it stimulates the circulation, and it reduces pain. It can also regulate the hormonal system, which can be helpful for women who suffer with migraines related to the menstrual cycle.
Other common symptoms like nausea, visual disturbances, and sensitivity to lights, sounds or smells can also be treated with acupuncture.
Lisa came to see me recently for help with terrible migraines that were getting worse, and happening multiple times per week. Here’s what happened, in her own words:
“I consulted with Neil after suffering migraines 4-5 times a week for several months, I had had medication from my GP as a prevention but found the side effects to be unacceptable .
Neil took a thorough history and reassured me acupuncture may well reduce the migraines he explained what he would do and why, Neil is very knowledgeable and professional and gives an honest opinion as to the potential success and duration of treatment. On each follow up he plans the next step of treatment with you and ‘checks out ‘ how you are responding. I have only suffered 3 migraines since starting the treatment approx 6 weeks ago.
Since starting the treatment I have experienced a general sense of well-being feeling better than I have felt for many years. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the treatments I have received and Neil as a practitioner he is approachable, knowledgeable and demonstrates a keen enthusiasm for his work .” – Lisa Martin, Abergavenny
If you know anyone, like Lisa, who is suffering with migraines, click here to find out more about my practice: South Wales and Bristol Acupuncture