The “Point” of Acupuncture: Migraine Medicine

Feb 26, 2019 | Blog

Headache disorders are one of the common health concerns worldwide. Migraine is more than a bad headache which attacks often in puberty and often affects people between 35 and 45 years. However, it is not restricted to age.

According to the American Headache Society (AHS), there are approximately 28 million people in America who suffer from migraine over the age of 12.

Have you ever experienced persistent headaches? Or are stuck in a vicious cycle of irritability which makes you feel guilty later on? Chances are that you are suffering from migraines.

Suffering from a migraine is not pleasing. Migraines may cause different symptoms such as mood changes, lack of participation in daily activities and limited interactions with loved ones.

So, what is a migraine?

Migraines are not typical headaches. Migraine is a neurological disease affecting nerve alleyway and brain chemicals. Unlike typical headaches, migraines are a painful and relentless headaches. These symptoms can predate or be followed by sensory warnings. Migraines can occur as a pattern of sensory disruptions followed by a severe headache that often appears on one side of the head. Sometimes, migraineurs understand the pain before they experience it.

Migraines, however, can affect many areas of your life. The medical condition carries a lot of emotional and physical burden with it. Migraines can affect the lives of people around you. Due to your debilitating condition, you are more likely to –

  • be depressed
  • experience anxiety
  • be obese
  • have a lower income
  • have less education

Migraine is a lonely struggle! Before migraines penetrate deep into your life, it is best to take preventive measures. There are some treatments that can minimize symptoms associated with migraines and prevent future attacks. Such treatments include acupuncture, herbs, relaxation techniques, supplements, and ice packs.

Acupuncture treatment for migraine headaches is an effective method. It is a form of traditional Chinese treatment that does not involve the use of drugs.

Over 2500 years ago, acupuncture was practiced in China to diagnose and treat diseases as well as improve overall health.

The treatment process involves the insertion of needles at specific points of the body to ease and relieve pain. On insertion of needles, some people may experience a sharp sensation momentarily. The depth and placement of the needles, however, depends on the treatment and the practitioner.

As acupuncture can give relief to various health conditions and treat chronic headache pain, it has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a promising treatment for pain since 1979.

During the acupuncture session, various needles are inserted over the patient’s body for 10-30 minutes until the patient relaxes.

Acupuncture treatment comes from Chinese culture. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that qi or chi, is the energy or life force. By applying the correct pressure of needles with the right placements, it is believed that the body’s natural flow of energy is re-balanced and symptoms of diseases can be relieved.

It may trigger a positive response. Acupuncture restores positive energy in the body by removing negative energy that causes pain.

During the course of acupuncture treatments, the body’s natural painkillers, also known as endorphins are released. They increase the blood flow and stimulate nerves and tissues which result in pain relief.

Stimulating pressure points – treatment for migraine

First of all, acupuncture divides your body into a series of zones and pressure points.

After understanding the body’s situation and the symptoms, acupuncture needles are inserted in multiple pressure points. These points are usually near the nerves of the body.

This might make you think, why are needles inserted near the nerves? The reason is there are certain points in a human body, pressure which stimulates the nerves to release endorphins, which are nothing but a group of hormones that generate a psychological response from the body. Moreover, the stimulation of pressure points charges the immunity and circulation system that relieves tension headaches and even migraines.

Surprisingly, acupuncture has also been implemented as a treatment to prevent acute migraine attacks. However, it is essential to be conducted by a qualified acupuncturist. When performed by an expert, acupuncture treatment for migraine delivers great results and is safe at the same time. Also, the treatment does not include any serious complications.


Pericardium or PC6 – Pressure point to treat migraine

The acupressure point P6 or Pericardium 6 is an effective point that works for headache disorders and are a cure for vertigo. It aids in relieving symptoms associated with migraines such as nausea, motion sickness, and headaches. This pressure point is located three finger-breaths below the wrist, exactly on the inner forearm. Inserting pressure on the point may reduce the symptoms of migraine, especially nausea.

Acupuncture and Migraine Prevention

Acupuncture is often considered appropriate for migraine prevention and opted especially by people who want to avoid the side effects of drugs and medications.

The stimulation of hormones and an increase in the blood flow calm down the symptoms of migraine and relax the patient. However, it can also induce a placebo effect that impels people to believe a false notion that a benefit is going to happen. But this may be the case with practitioners of less experience who may place needles in ineffective areas or the areas that do not relieve symptoms of migraines. So, always ensure that you make an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist. He/She may also suggest you use wristbands such as Sea-Bands to accelerate pain relief.

Duration of Acupuncture

For migraine prevention, acupuncture sessions are performed consistently for several days. Usually, migraine sessions are performed for 5 to 10 weeks. A clinical study of acupuncture recommends sessions twice a week for two weeks, along with one treatment per week for eight weeks and a maintenance session every week after that.

Fortunately, you will feel a reduction in your migraine when you cross 20 sessions of acupuncture. However, it remains unclear when the migraine will be completely cured and how long the pain relief is sustained. It depends on the age and the severity of pain.

Migraine treatment may get hampered if you skip or discontinue regular acupuncture sessions. Migraines may be trigger due to different things such as-

  • consumption of processed foods, alcohol, caffeinated drinks.
  • medications
  • changes in weather
  • health conditions and changes in hormones
  • lack of sleep or excess of sleep
  • bright light or loud sounds
  • intense physical activity
  • stress
  • having a family history also makes you prone to getting a migraine

Before Considering Acupuncture For Your Migraine

Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique that has since been a known treatment worldwide. It has proved effective in the treatment for many medical conditions.

However, the technique requires training and experience and depends on the skill of the practitioner. So, ensure to find a qualified and knowledgeable practitioner who can guide you in your journey to pain relief and answer all your queries.

Migraines are common but not every headache is a migraine. Bad headaches could be a sign of serious illness like a brain tumor. They may also be a result of other illnesses. To resolve your confusions, consult your doctor and get a medical diagnosis. On the basis of which you can discuss with your doctor further treatment.

Following are some changes that you have to make to help treat your migraine-

  • Avoid migraine triggers that are discussed above. Migraine triggers vary from person to person. Identify your triggers and prevent it as much as possible.
  • After studying your triggers, make some changes in your diet.
  • Reduce medications and include meditation and relaxation techniques in your life.
  • Migraines do occur in case of sleep disturbances. Adjust your sleep schedule in a proper manner.
  • Practice stress management

The results with acupuncture are seen slowly and gradually. However, to control immediate symptoms, your doctor might prescribe you painkillers. They may prescribe you some pain medication to control the frequency and shorten the length of the pain. However, acupuncture is a safe and low-risk method to treat migraines, it is advisable to consult your doctor to start any alternative therapies at-home treatments. Under the guidance of an expert, you will be able to determine what changes and alternative therapies will fetch you the utmost relief.

We, at Kennedy Health Pain Relief & Wellness, treat our patients with advanced treatments to cure acute and severe pain. Our experts implement a safe and non-surgical, drug-free approach to help patients live pain-free. If you are looking for a drug-free solution, contact us today!