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Acupuncture provides relief from migraines and chronic headaches

Acupuncture for headaches and migraines

    Over the past 10 years I have seen hundreds of patients with frequent migraines or headaches. Some are caused by hormonal shifts, or changes in barometric pressure. Others are caused by food triggers like chocolate and red wine. But most everyone can agree that stress and tension are the major contributors to the frequency of their migraines and/or headaches. Over and over again I have seen the same pattern of women and men holding tension in their neck and shoulders with the chief complaint being chronic headaches. In Chinese medicine everyone is looked at as an individual and treated as such. That means no two treatments are exactly the same. Every person that comes into our office gets a consult and an individualized treatment plan and diagnosis based on their symptoms. With that being said a majority of people see an increase in headaches with stress, tension in their neck and shoulder and being physically worn down by lack of sleep or overexertion. This is why acupuncture is so effective at treating headaches, it can address almost all of these factors. Acupuncture has been proven by research to decrease muscle tension and pain, regulate hormone levels and even effect neural activity in the brain to prevent the onset of future migraines. Recently a study was published finding that acupuncture was more effective at treating migraines than “conventional drug therapy”. Acupuncture can be used alone or as an adjunctive therapy with medication. The best part about acupuncture is there are no side effects. Acupuncture is a safe and natural way to get long lasting results for pain relief and prevention of migraines. Most people find acupuncture to be painless and very relaxing. Some even can take a quick power nap during the treatment. A treatment lasts about 60 minutes in length and may or may not include other modalities such as Chinese herbs, massage or cupping. Like many other therapies acupuncture requires a course of treatments often ranging from 6-8 visits over a months’ time. Once the migraines start to decrease in frequency and intensity we can start to taper the treatments to once a month or as needed. Lifestyle changes may need to be made such as change in diet or exercise to support your health. A couple things to remember is the longer you have been dealing with migraines (or any pain), the longer it may take for acupuncture to correct the imbalance. This does not mean that you won’t see relief right away, it just means to maintain long lasting results you will need to come in for tune ups even if you are pain free. 

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