Acupuncture and Headaches

headache acupuncture

Acupuncture can be a really effective treatment for headaches and migraines. A recent study showed that acupuncture outperformed valproic acid in treating migraine without aura http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23511357. What's more, as acupuncture now appears in the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Guidelines as a treatment for tension headaches and migraines, doctors are now able to advise acupuncture as an effective treatment for this debilitating condition . This is brilliant news for everyone who suffers from headaches of any sort, as acupuncture has no side-effects, and many people find that other aspects of their health and well-being improve too.

So how does this work? For a start traditional acupuncture doesn't treat all headaches in the same way. Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the underlying cause rather than the symptoms.  This means that two people with exactly the same symptoms and diagnoses from a Western doctor may get two entirely different diagnoses from an acupuncturist.

In my practice I spend a lot of time getting to the root cause of a person's imbalance. Patients find they may spend an hour or more being quizzed on their lifestyle: what they eat; how much tea, coffee, water, alcohol they drink; patterns of sleep, exercise, work and play. I will then spend some time taking pulses, looking at the tongue and feeling for patterns of heat and cold in the body.  When all this is done, I may still ask more questions before I begin to stick any needles in.

So why is this? Well, headaches can have many root causes.  Sometimes the cause is embedded in a persons diet or lifestyle; they may not drink enough water;  they may have too much damp food (processed sugar, dairy, refined carbohydrates, meat), which causes things not to move freely and get all blocked and cause pain.  sometimes it is a yin deficiency headache, ie the person works and plays really hard, has a lot of nervous energy, and doesn't really sleep.

Whatever the cause, the needles often support lifestyle changes.  For some, the results can be really quick.  Others may have to have ongoing treatment.

For any questions about this post or for further information about using acupuncture to treat headaches and migraines, please contact me n 07515 128248.