Acupuncture for Headaches and Migraines
Acupuncture seeks to restore the flow of positive energy throughout your body. It also claims to remove negative energy that is causing you pain. From a modern medical perspective, acupuncture stimulates various systems of your body. This may trigger a healing response. Acupuncture divides your body into a series of zones and pressure points. Acupuncture needles are inserted into different pressure points, depending on your symptoms. These needle points are usually near nerves in your body. The needle stimulates the nerves to release hormones, such as endorphins , that trigger a response from your body. This immune and circulation system stimulation is what proponents of acupuncture claim relieves migraines and tension headaches.
Can acupuncture help with headaches? acupuncture for migraines has been endorsed by the world health organization (who) since 1979. So, it must help… right? but what about the studies that prove “sham” acupuncture works just as well as real acupuncture? there are other studies that affirm acupuncture provides relief to chronic headache sufferers. The medical community’s research and opinion on acupuncture seems to be somewhat mixed. But in my experience researching over the years, mixed research findings are not unusual for the medical community.
If you get migraines, you may know that acupuncture is often cited as a treatment that can help. A study reported in the journal of the american medical association adds to the positive buzz for the alternative therapy. Chinese researchers say that when acupuncture is given properly along with electrical stimulation, it may reduce the number of migraine attacks in people who get the most common or episodic form of the painful headaches. Acupuncture is controversial, says neurologist richard kim, md, of the clinical neuroscience institute. There are many positive and negative studies about the effectiveness of the treatment for treating migraines and headaches.
Acupuncture benefits for headaches
Wondering whether acupuncture for tension headaches or other types of headaches is safe? the answer is yes — it is perfectly safe when performed by licensed and skilled professionals. In fact, one of the benefits of acupuncture for migraines and headaches is the fact that patients do not experience the side effects that are associated with drug therapy. You should always let your doctor know if you are using acupuncture or other alternative therapies.
A metanalysis of acupuncture for tension headache was published by the cochrane database, an organization that performs metananalyses of treatments. ( linde, allais et al. 2009 ). They reported “slightly better results” for some outcomes than control groups, for tension-type headache, and that “acupuncture could be a valuable non-pharmacological tool in patients with frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches”. With respect to technique, they suggested “small but statistically significant benefits of acupuncture over sham were found for response as well as for several other outcomes. “.
Acupuncture may provide benefits for easing migraine headaches, researchers report. A randomized trial, published in bmj, included 147 patients who had episodic migraines without aura, and who had never had acupuncture. Half the patients were assigned to 20 sessions of manual acupuncture. The other half got either a sham acupuncture procedure using non-penetrating needles or the usual migraine care alone. Participants received eight weeks of treatment, and 12 weeks of follow-up. At 17 to 20 weeks, those who had received true acupuncture had, on average, 3. 9 fewer days in which they had a migraine per four-week cycle, compared with 2. 2 fewer days for those who had gotten the sham procedure. Patients who had true acupuncture also had fewer total migraine attacks: an average of 2. 3 fewer per four-week period, compared with 1. 6 fewer for the sham group. True acupuncture was superior to usual care; sham acupuncture was not.
How can acupuncture help in the treatment of migraines
According to the migraine trust, migraine is the third most common disease in the world, affecting about one in seven people ( steiner et al, 2013). A chronic migraine affects approximately 2% of the world population and three times as many women as men get migraines. Research suggests that there are more than 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the uk. ( steiner et al, 2003 ) acupuncture is a therapy in which thin needles are inserted into the skin at particular points. It originated in china and is now used in many countries to treat people with a migraine. There is a large body of evidence to suggest that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of a migraine.
Acupuncture treatment for migraine headaches tim h. Tanaka, ph. D. Director, visiting research fellow, school of health sciences, tsukuba university of technology, ibaragi, japan (original version published in june 2003, updated in august 2006) there are two different categories of headaches: primary and secondary. A primary headache is an actual clinical condition and not a symptom caused by another disorder. Primary headaches include tension-type headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by other medical conditions such as sinus disease, allergies, dental disorders, head injury, or brain tumors.
Jan. 12, 2012 — acupuncture helps reduce days with migraines and may have lasting effects, according to a new study published in the canadian medical association journal. In the study, almost 500 adults were treated with either traditional chinese acupuncture or a sham treatment in which acupuncture needles were inserted in nonspecific points. The acupuncture treatment points were previously used to study migraine. Participants did not know which type of acupuncture treatment they were receiving during the four-week study. After completing the study, all of the participants — including those in the sham group — reported fewer days with migraines than before the study began. Prior to the study, most suffered monthly migraines , on average six days of migraines a month. After the completing the study, they reported migraines on an average of three days in the month.
Acupuncture is considered a very safe treatment
The results of this meta-analysis showed that acupuncture is more effective and safer than medication for migraine. Acupuncture can be considered a treatment option for patients willing to undergo this treatment. But more high-quality studies, based on standardized, comprehensive and objective evaluation, are required to enhance the reliability of the conclusion.
The vast majority of treatments mentioned are poorly tolerated and frequently discontinued due to unpalatable side-effects. Many are not considered safe during pregnancy. Acupuncture is considered a very safe treatment. Some of the included treatments have only the flimsiest of evidence supporting a recommendation, for example the combination of simvastatin plus vitamin d. On the other hand, the most recent cochrane systematic review of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis includes 4,985 participants in 25 randomised controlled trials, firmly placing it amongst the most well studied treatments.
Almost everyone has had a headache once in their life. After puberty, migraines are much more common in women than in men and are related to an imbalance in the hormone levels. Science shows that almost 60% of migraines in women are associated with the menstrual cycle. Also a recent study shows that painkillers are causing more headaches, when used on a long term basis. Acupuncture is proven to be a safe and a very effective therapy in treating numerous types of headaches, and is also used to prevent recurrent headaches in case of chronic conditions. Although still considered complementary therapy, acupuncture is increasingly viewed as a mainstream treatment for certain conditions, such as chronic pain. The world health organisation endorses acupuncture for migraines headaches.
A guide to acupuncture for migraine patients
We performed a multicentre, single-blind, randomized controlled trial with four arms: three acupuncture groups (shaoyang-specific, shaoyang-nonspecific and yangming-specific acupuncture) and one sham acupuncture (control) group. We followed the guidelines of the international headache society for clinical trials involving patients with migraines. 17 our trial was carried out in nine hospitals in china from april 2008 to december 2009, with a four-week baseline period followed by randomization.
Headaches can really ruin your day. Whether they’re migraines, tension-type or sinus headaches – they’re the absolute worst. Our oakville acupuncture teams sees so many of our patients who suffer from chronic headaches and don’t seek treatment. That is over 15 headaches a month for more than 6 months. That’s crazy! spinal manipulation , adjustments , specific exercise and massage therapy are all part of the guidelines for the treatment of headaches, but did you know acupuncture in oakville can also help? acupuncture has been proven to help reduce the intensity, duration and frequency of headaches. Acupuncture treatment can also decrease the number of painkillers that headache sufferers have to take, and that is always a good thing. Wondering what happens during an acupuncture visit at our clinic ?.
A total of 160 patients affected by migraine without aura, with or without tension‐type symptoms, were enrolled in the study; the frequency of migraine attacks was 3–8 per month and all the patients had previously received at least one prophylactic treatment for migraine with no improvement. The diagnosis was performed according to the icd‐10 guide for headaches. 21 the exclusion criteria were: (1) onset of headache or acupuncture treatment less than 1‐year before; (2) headache caused by other diseases. All the patients were allowed to take rizatriptan to treat the attacks, during the prophylactic treatment with acupuncture or placebo. Rizatriptan wafer was administered at a dose of 10 mg; a second dose was allowed after 2 hours if pain persisted.
The role of acupuncture in the treatment of migraine
While enhanced calcitonin gene-related peptide (cgrp) and spontaneous cortical spreading depression are regarded as causative in triggering migraine, 15 the pathophysiology of migraine is attributed to multiple factors, many of which remain unclear. Recently, an increasing number of studies have confirmed that acupuncture activates the release of opioid peptides in the central nervous system (cns). Release of these peptides corresponds to long-lasting activation of ascending sensory tracks, thereby relieving an array of pain conditions. 16–19 furthermore, zhao et al confirmed in a migraine rat model that electro-acupuncture treatment can depress cgrp expression in the trigeminal ganglion, which plays a key role in inducing migraine attack. 20 li et al also found that acupuncture restores the impaired descending pain modulatory system in migraine patients by decreasing the resting state functional connectivity between the periaqueductal grey and rostral anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex, which directly correlated with the intensity of pain during the migraine attack.
Acupuncture is tied to a persistent reduction in headache frequency, but the placebo effect may still play a role in outcomes, according to results of a study published in jama internal medicine. According to the us national center for health statistics, approximately 1 out of 7 americans is affected by migraine headaches, and migraine treatment is a leading cause of emergency department and outpatient visits. Pharmacological preventive therapy for migraine can be accompanied by fatigue, sleep interference, gastrointestinal effects, weight gain, and medication overuse headaches. While research is inconsistent, acupuncture is a common treatment for acute treatment and prevention of migraines in china.
Acupuncture is a safe natural therapy for migraine prevention. The first study to compare “true acupuncture” (ta) treatment to mock acupuncture for the treatment of migraine without aura was published in the journal headache in 2008 ( 1 ). During the study, all participants were allowed to treat migraine attacks with rizatriptan. The study concluded that true acupuncture plus rizatriptan was more effective for relieving an attack than rizatriptan plus ritualized mock acupuncture, rizatriptan plus standard mock acupuncture, and rizatriptan alone. The study data, the authors conclude, supports the use of traditional acupuncture as an effective tool for migraine prevention. Selecting the right acupoints may play a key role in the effectiveness of acupuncture, they explain.
Acupressure for Pain and Headaches
This information explains how to use acupressure to reduce pain and headaches. Acupressure is an ancient healing art that’s based on the traditional chinese medicine practice of acupuncture. With acupressure, you put pressure on specific places on your body. These places are called acupoints. Pressing these points can help release muscle tension and promote blood circulation. It can also relieve many common side effects of chemotherapy. You can do acupressure at home by using your fingers to apply pressure to different acupoints. Watch this video or follow the steps below to learn how to do acupressure to reduce pain and headaches.
You may’ve heard people raving about the benefits of acupuncture treatment for all kinds of health issues, from back pain to chronic migraine headaches, but did you know that acupressure works the same way— without all those scary needles? like acupuncture, acupressure is an alternative medicine technique based on the traditional chinese concept of qi, life energy that flows through the body in pathways called meridians. This tradition attributes various ailments and illnesses to blockages in the flow of qi. The purpose of acupuncture and acupressure is to clear those blockages and return your body to its natural state.
Acupuncture May Be Effective for Migraines
Nicely illustrates many of the reasons i find the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for migraines (or anything else, really) very unconvincing. Acupuncture is the practice of sticking needles into acupuncture points for various symptoms and disease modification. While often touted as an “ancient” therapy, what currently passes for acupuncture is a very modern (20th century) reinvention. But still, it is based on the prescientific notions of life force (chi) occurring in two different flavors (yin and yang) and flowing through meridians in the body. There is no scientific basis for any of this.
A study published earlier this year in the journal of pain research used brain imaging to draw a positive correlation between acupuncture and brain metabolites—which identifies a possible mechanism for the impact of acupuncture on migraines and potentially indicates an effective way to measure the impact of acupuncture on other central nervous system (cns) disorders. The researchers in the study, which was conducted in beijing, used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (mrsi) to look at the levels of brain metabolites in regions of the brain associated with pain after five days of acupuncture treatments in patients suffering from migraines. The design of the study was interesting—45 subjects participated in the study and were broken into three groups: patients suffering from migraine without aura, patients suffering from cervicogenic headache, and a healthy control group of patients who didn’t suffer from headache. However, the cervicogenic group also acted as a type of control or “reference condition” by receiving a verum acupuncture treatment for migraine—not for cervicogenic headache.
Admin 0 comments acupuncture is a high-quality technique that was developed in china some decades back. It is therapeutic that is done by piercing the body with some treated and sterilized solid needles. A migraine is a state where one suffers a headache of varying intensity and is always associated with the sensitivity of both light and sound and nausea. Acupuncture for migraines is a very suitable method that will effectively recover from such conditions. This is the reason why acupuncture is the leading and most reliable solution for treating migraines.
Migraine & Headaches Guide
Several dietary supplements have been studied for headaches, particularly for migraine prevention. In 2012, the american academy of neurology and the american headache society issued evidence-based guidelines that classified certain dietary supplements as “effective,” “probably effective,” or “possibly effective” in preventing migraines. Their findings regarding effectiveness of specific supplements are summarized in the next sections. Also included are brief summaries of evidence on the safety and side effects of each supplement.
Related to Migraine & Headaches
Although the causes are not completely understood or identified, genetic and environmental factors play a role. Under normal conditions, our nervous system adjusts to adapt to the changes around to us that we knowingly or unknowingly expose it to. When a part of the nervous system can’t react properly to these changes, that’s when a migraine or cluster headaches can occur. Some of these changes can be related to some of the following: diet, alcohol or medications stress and changes in environment hormone imbalance (e. G. Serotonin).
Migraine is a disorder of the body’s pain modulatory system in which underlying neural networks are disrupted, particularly in the trigeminovascular system [ 22 ]. Four main phases have been described to characterize the progression of a migraine: premonitory phase, aura phase, headache phase, and postdrome phase [ 23 ]. Migraines do not always follow this linear pattern, and not all migraines have these distinct phases. In the premonitory phase, positron emission tomography and fmri studies show evidence of hypothalamic, thalamic, and cortical activation during this phase which correlates with symptoms such as yawning, polyuria, irritability, photophobia, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, and neck pain [ 23 , 24 ]. Important hypothalamic neurotransmitters, including dopamine, have been identified to play a role in the modulation of migraine and thus serve as a potential therapeutic target [ 23 ]. The aura phase involves disruptive changes in the sensorium in which visual auras, such as scotomas, are the most common type, but these can also present as olfactory, sensory, or language changes [ 24 ].
Traditional chinese medicine (tcm) has a very consistent and philosophically-based framework for headache etiology, physiology, diagnosis and treatment strategy. Acupuncture, as an effective treatment modality, has been applied to headaches from the earliest beginnings of tcm. Acupuncture is not only effective for migraine headaches, but also works very well with tension headaches, cluster headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches that might be due to sinus problems, high blood pressure or sleeping disorders. The greatest advantage of acupuncture.
Alternative Ways to Relieve Migraine Pain
For people dealing with the effects of chronic head pain, such as migraines , acupuncture can be an excellent alternative to medications or invasive treatments. It may also work in conjunction to traditional medicine. Research in the early part of the new century indicated that head pain was extremely susceptive to the relief provided by acupuncture. The results showed that patients who were given acupuncture treatments: had fewer days of head pain used less medication required fewer visits to their doctors based on this evidence, the consensus of the medical community is that acupuncture treatments won’t hurt in addition to traditional care and may, in fact, enhance the overall experience and relieve more pain than would be eliminated by medical methods. You may not be able to stop taking prescribed medications, but you could cut back which would always be considered desirable.
Acupuncture for Pain Relief
Western medical acupuncture is the use of acupuncture following a medical diagnosis. It involves stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles. This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It’s likely that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture. A course of acupuncture usually creates longer lasting pain relief than when a single treatment is used. Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or “life force”, flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as qi (pronounced “chee”).
If the idea of needling yourself freaks you out, virtual acupressure or energy healing is another option, jill blakeway , dacm, lac, a doctor of acupuncture and chinese medicine and the founder of the yinova center in new york, told me. Energy healing is based on the belief that trained healers have the ability to use their own energetic footprint to influence their patients’. Through words and small movements, energy healers aim to change the recipient’s flow of energy to promote pain relief, stress reduction and more. Unlike diy acupuncture, this practice is more easily translated over a video call. Still, i had no expectation of experiencing anything transcendent, with someone vacuuming in the other room and the dog scratching at the door.
Individual large-scale clinical studies have consistently demonstrated that acupuncture provided better pain relief compared with usual care. However, most studies also showed little difference between real and sham (fake) acupuncture. In order to address this concern, a 2012 meta-analysis combined data from roughly 18,000 individual patients in 23 high-quality randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for common pain conditions. This analysis conclusively demonstrated that acupuncture is superior to sham for low back pain, headache, and osteoarthritis, and improvements seen were similar to that of other widely used non-opiate pain relievers.
Migraine or Sinus Headache?
i have been seeing heather for almost 2 years for migraine headaches. I was having a migraine 2 to 3 times a week before i saw her for treatment. In the beginning i was going once a week. Now the acupuncture treatments are on an average 5 to 6 weeks. Heather is very easy to talk to because she always listens to how i am feeling with my aches and pains and is very caring with her acupuncture treatment. My migraine headaches have been considerably reduced on an average of 1 headache per 5 to 6 weeks. She also treats me for sinus problems. I would usually get a sinus infection once a year. Since the acupuncture treatments, i haven’t had a sinus infection since i have been seeing her. Also, the acupuncture treatment is a very relaxing experience for me. .
There are four main types of headache: tension, cluster, sinus and migraine. And, there are varying triggers for these headaches, such as food, stress, hormones, dehydration and weather. Fortunately, eliminating the triggers and finding natural ways to prevent and help an ongoing headache are possible. One of the most natural, pain free, drug free, and effective ways is through acupuncture. Tension: tension headaches are the most common and are the result of impinged blood flow due to muscle tightness and contraction. Tension headaches are mild to moderate and are most commonly found behind the neck, on the forehead, behind the eyes and the top of the shoulders. Causes of tension headaches are stress, fatigue, cold, poor posture, skipping meals, and dehydration. Acupuncture is most effective in treating tension headaches with virtually no side effects at all. If you’d like to see if our acupuncturists are near you please call our encino office and one of our acupuncture specialists would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Ten years ago the national institute of health wrote that acupuncture was a promising treatment for chronic headaches but warned that more studies were needed to draw firm conclusions. Those studies have now been done and the results support the early promise. A review of 25 clinical trials was published in the december issue of anesthesia and analgesia and showed that acupuncture was an effective headache treatment. Many of our yinova patients would agree. At our center, we treat people who suffer from migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches as well as headaches related to trauma, sinus problems, hormonal imbalances, and high blood pressure.
5 Lifestyle Changes to Manage Migraine
Registered dietitian centracare weight management for as long as i can remember i have had “headaches. ” as a kid, i remember a couple times they were so bad i would get sick and end up vomiting. I always just thought that i was reacting badly to the ibuprofen my mom would give me to help with the pain. My mom, brother and sister also had these “headaches. ” we just never called them what they were. Ugh, the light and sound sensitivity, the auras, the throbbing pain. For me, migraines were just something i dealt with. My treatment plan included going to the chiropractor regularly, taking excedrin migraine, laying down in a dark room, and hoping and praying it didn’t get so bad i would vomit. It worked ok most of the time. I never missed work and i rarely missed out on any activities because — most of the time — i knew what triggered them and was able to adjust my lifestyle accordingly.
Acupuncture has a long track record of helping people like you manage migraines. As a migraine sufferer, i rely on regular acupuncture treatments and lifestyle changes to help keep me functional and pain free, and i enjoy helping people keep their migraines under control with acupuncture, herbal medicine and lifestyle changes. Do you have a migraine right now? then come get a treatment! i have a specific room with lots of pillows to treat you in, away from windows, so you can rest in total darkness without sounds to help ease your symptoms right now.
In general, the harder a medical problem is to treat, the more treatment strategies exist. This observation is certainly true for migraine. Patients and physicians are constantly looking for alternatives to drug therapy, which is effective in the short term but may have severe unwanted effects in the long term. Nonpharmacologic treatments begin with common-sense advice, such as educating patients about headache and its management, identifying and managing triggers (e. G. , keeping a headache diary) and modifying lifestyle. Some evidence exists for the benefit of behavioural treatment (e. G. , relaxation, biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioural therapy). 1 riboflavin and coenzyme q10 significantly decreased the frequency of migraine attacks, and the prophylactic efficacy of magnesium, particularly for children and migraines related to menstruation, has been substantiated. 2 alpha lipoic acid has not been shown to reduce the frequency of migraine, and there is no clear evidence to support or refute homeopathy.
Is It a Migraine or a Stroke?
Apart from the aching and throbbing pain that migraineurs and other chronic pain sufferers experience, these disorders can also be fairly disabling. They are the third leading cause of disability, and migraine attacks alone are the sixth highest cause of disability. Chronic pain can lower a person’s quality of life, cause significant suffering, interfere with relationships, affect employment opportunities and add financial burdens. In the long-term, chronic pain can also increase the risk of certain other health problems. Migraineurs, for example, are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from depression and stroke.
In the u. S, more than 39 million people suffer from migraines. Ninety-one percent (91%) of migraine sufferers miss work or can’t function normally during migraine attacks, and 59 percent missed family or social events. 1 whether you experience minor head pain or severe migraines can take valuable time out of your day and your life, and leave you searching for relief. According to the oct 28, 2009 report of the british medical journal, migraine is associated with a two-fold higher risk of ischemic stroke among people who have migraine with aura. 4.
Chronic headaches and migraines can be extremely debilitating and disrupt everyday life. There are two types of headaches : primary and secondary headaches. A primary headache results from problems involving the structures of the head and neck. This headache occurs when the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and brain chemicals are overactive. A secondary headache is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as pregnancy, systemic conditions, stroke, or brain tumor. Both types of headaches can range from mild to severe and may have a throbbing or stabbing sensation.
How Migraine Affects Your Health
Individuals suffering with migraine often use complementary and integrative therapies to treat migraine symptoms. Acupuncture has moderate evidence in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. Neuromodulation is a promising treatment on the horizon for those suffering with migraine. Migraine is a common recurrent neurological disorder that affects 36 million americans and is estimated to cost $13 billion a year because of decreased productivity and increased healthcare utilization. 1 the estimated one-year prevalence of migraine is 18% for women and 6% for men in the united states,2,3 and migraine is the sixth most common diagnosis worldwide. 4.
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.
Acupuncture on the NHS
Thursday, march 26, 2020 — a new clinical trial supports acupuncture as an option for reducing migraine headaches, and researchers believe doctors should inform patients it is a possible treatment. The chinese study “helps to move acupuncture from having an unproven status in complementary medicine to an acceptable evidence-based treatment,” said dr. Heather angus-leppan, a neurologist who wrote an editorial that was published with the study in the bmj on march 25. “we now have good evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for episodic migraine,” said angus-leppan, a consultant neurologist at the royal free london nhs foundation trust in the united kingdom.
The chinese study “helps to move acupuncture from having an unproven status in complementary medicine to an acceptable evidence-based treatment,” said dr heather angus-leppan, a neurologist who wrote an editorial that was published with the study in the bmj on 25 march. “we now have good evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for episodic migraine,” said angus-leppan, a consultant neurologist at the royal free london nhs foundation trust in the united kingdom. The new study was led by wei wang, a neurologist at tongji hospital and the huazhong university of science and technology in wuhan, china. Wang’s team noted that there are preventive medicines to help people with frequent migraines, but not all patients respond well to drugs and many don’t want to use them.
A policy of using a local acupuncture service in addition to standard care results in persisting, clinically relevant benefits for primary care patients with chronic headache, particularly migraine. Expansion of nhs acupuncture services for headache should be considered. What is already known on this topic acupuncture is widely used to treat chronic pain several small trials indicate that acupuncture may be of benefit for chronic headache disorders the methodological quality of these studies has been questioned what this study adds acupuncture led to persisting, clinically relevant reduction in headache scores.
How acupuncture is performed
During the 20-week treatment period, a total of 16 treatment sessions were delivered to participants. This occurred twice per week for four weeks (eight sessions) followed by once per week for another four weeks (four sessions), then once every two weeks for four weeks (two sessions), then once per month for another two months (two sessions). The location of acupoints adopted in the present study followed the standard acupuncture nomenclature published by the world health organization [ 18 ]. The same acupuncturist, who completed a five-year bachelor degree in acupuncture, had more than three years of clinical experience, and was registered with the chinese medicine registration board of victoria, australia, performed all ra and sa treatment consistently throughout the trial. Besides the use of relief medications, no other concurrent interventions were permitted during the trial period.
The study was a 24 week clinical trial. 249 participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: acupuncture, fake acupuncture, or a waitlist. The participants in the acupuncture and fake acupuncture groups were given treatments 5 times per week for 4 weeks and then followed for a further 20 weeks. During this time the number and severity of migraine headaches were documented. Real acupuncture was performed on specific acupuncture points while fake acupuncture was performed on random points on the body.
This study is to date the first systematic review performed to evaluate clinical trials on the use of acupuncture to treat women with mm. Our study found that acupuncture was unlikely to cause greater reductions in migraine attack frequency/duration, pain intensity or drug use than sham control. Nevertheless, current evidence demonstrated that acupuncture is superior to analgesic medications in alleviating average headache intensity. Unlike analgesic medications, acupuncture was rather safe and only associated with minor aes and required no additional treatment. The quality of evidence was generally low. All included studies were underpowered.
Real Treatment or Placebo Effect?
Evidence for the benefit of acupuncture on migraine prevention has been mixed, according to the study. For the findings, published in the journal the bmj, researchers set out to compare the effectiveness of manual (real) acupuncture with sham (placebo) acupuncture or usual care. Their findings are based on 147 patients (average age 37) with a history of migraine without aura who were recruited from seven hospitals in china from june 2016 to november 2018. None of the patients had received acupuncture before, and all were instructed not to take any painkillers or start any other treatments during the trial.
Acupuncture has been increasingly used as an integrative or complementary therapy for pain. It is well-tolerated with little risk of serious adverse effects. Traditional acupuncture and nontraditional techniques, such as electroacupuncture and dry needling, often result in reported pain improvement. Multiple factors may contribute to variability in acupuncture’s therapeutic effects, including needling technique, number of needles used, duration of needle retention, acupuncture point specificity, number of treatments, and numerous subjective (psychological) factors. Controlled trials have been published on pain syndromes, such as acupuncture for acute and chronic low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, headache, myofascial pain, neck pain, and fibromyalgia. For some conditions, enough data are available for systematic evaluations or meta-analyses. Acupuncture may provide modest benefits in the treatment of chronic low back pain, tension headache and chronic headache, migraine headache prophylaxis, and myofascial pain. Although patients receiving acupuncture for acute low back pain and knee osteoarthritis report less pain, the improvement with true (verum) acupuncture over sham acupuncture is not clinically significant for these conditions.
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