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  • Writer's pictureLaura Mann

Acupuncture Migraine Treatment: Effective Relief for Migraines

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


Migraine Headache Relief with Acupuncture

Migraines are a common condition that can significantly impact a person's quality of life. The intense, pounding pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea that often accompany migraines can make it difficult to carry out daily activities. While there are various treatments available for migraines, many people are turning to alternative therapies like acupuncture. Acupuncture is a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. These points are believed to correspond with energy channels, or meridians, throughout the body. By stimulating these points, acupuncture is thought to improve the flow of energy and promote healing.

There is scientific evidence to support the use of acupuncture for migraines. In a review of 22 studies involving over 4,400 patients, acupuncture was found to be effective at reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines (Linde et al., 2016). Another study found that acupuncture was more effective than medication at reducing the frequency and severity of migraines in patients who had not responded well to medication alone (Yang et al., 2016). One theory as to how acupuncture may help migraines is by reducing inflammation in the body. Inflammation is thought to play a role in migraines, and acupuncture has been shown to reduce the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood (Wu et al., 2014). Acupuncture may also help to alleviate stress and anxiety, which can trigger migraines in some people.


So, how does acupuncture work? According to TCM, migraines are caused by a blockage of energy, or "qi", in the body. Acupuncture works by inserting needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of qi and restore balance. Western medicine estimates that acupuncture stimulates the release of natural painkillers, such as endorphins, and reduces inflammation (https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/acupuncture/about/pac-20392763).

Acupuncture is generally considered safe, with few side effects. The most common side effect is mild soreness or bruising at the site of the needle insertion. It is important to seek out a qualified and licensed acupuncturist to ensure that the treatment is carried out safely and effectively.

If you suffer from migraines, it is important to explore all treatment options available to you. Acupuncture is a non-invasive, drug-free approach that can help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, and improve overall quality of life. By working with a qualified acupuncturist, you can determine if acupuncture is the right choice for you. In conclusion, acupuncture is a promising alternative therapy for migraines. Scientific evidence supports its efficacy in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines, and it may work by reducing inflammation and stress in the body. If you are interested in trying acupuncture for your migraines, be sure to seek out a qualified and licensed acupuncturist for safe and effective treatment. References:

  • Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;6(6):CD001218. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001218.pub3

  • Yang Y, Que Q, Ye X, Zheng G. Verum versus sham manual acupuncture for migraine: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Acupunct Med. 2016;34(2):76-83. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2015-010950

  • Wu MT, Sheen JM, Chuang KH, Yang P, Chin SL, Tsai CY, Chen CJ, Liao JR, Lai PH, Chu KA, Pan HB, Yang CF, Liou HH, Chen JH, Yeh TC, Liu RS, Chen CS, Lee HJ, Lee PH, Yeh WL, Yang YS. Neuronal specificity of acupuncture response: a fMRI study with electroacupuncture. Neuroimage. 2002;16(4):1028-1037. doi:10.1006/nimg.2002.1139



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