Headaches and Migraines Overview
According to the Migraine Research Foundation more than 39 million Americans have had migraines. That is 18% of women, 6% of men and 10% of children. The chronic crippling headaches, the throbbing pain on the side of the head, keeps people from working and the healthcare costs for a family of someone who suffers from migraines are often times 70% higher.
Acupuncture helps treat headaches and migraines by releasing endorphins and dynorphins that help block pain. Among the many acupuncture points that help treat migraines and headaches, one that stands out is called Large Intestine 4. This point is called the command point of the face in Chinese Medicine, and can help treat any problem above the neck. True acupuncture treatments, inserting needles into these specific points, would reduce the number of migraines someone has even more than pharmacology options. According to the 2016 Cochran review acupuncture would reduce the frequency of migraines by more than 50% in up to 57% of patients. This means that for someone suffering from 6 migraines a month on average a series of acupuncture treatments would reduce the number of migraines down to 3.5 migraines a month on average. All of this is with fewer side effects than currently prescribed prophylactic drugs that are used to handle severe chronic migraines. Acupuncture is a much less invasive treatment with almost no side effects. In fact, studies looked at in the Cochran review noted that about 98% patients completed their acupuncture treatments of 6 visits, and 70% fewer patients dropped out of the studies compared to those on prophylactics.
What more to do?
Over the past few years there has been more and more evidence that acupuncture is just as effective that pharmaceuticals, if not more effective, at treating migraines all with fewer side effects. Not just that, there have been additional studies that continued to take it one more step further by following acupuncture appointments with tuina, or cupping. In the Journal of Chinese Medicine tuina plus acupuncture had shown an even higher percent of patients with markedly improvement than with acupuncture alone. Overall there has been more and more evidence showing that acupuncture is more effective at treating migraines than pharmacological alternatives that are currently being used. New York Acupuncture and Chiropractics keeps up with all the current information and has 3 locations in NYC and 1 in Englewood, NJ that can provide any of these services to help reduce you headache and migraine pains. In the meantime, you can start to get a handle on your headaches yourself by following Dr. Chen’s 3 Point Relief for Headaches.