Acupuncture For Migraines: How It Works

acupuncture, Dr. Spiegel

When it comes to acupuncture, people often have predictable reactions. You may think, “Needles? No, thank you!” or you may think acupuncture is some kind of new age woo and not really a medical treatment. But if you have migraine pain, you should investigate acupuncture, like many of our patients who live in and around Rockville, Maryland, and come to the Osteopathic Center for Healing for treatment.

First, you should know that acupuncture has been around for more than 2,000 years, giving it a long track record of success. Second, you should know that acupuncture is not painful. You may feel some slight discomfort, but it’s generally not a painful experience. In fact, the idea is to eliminate pain!

Modern research supports acupuncture as a migraine treatment

Several clinical trials and other scientific investigations into using acupuncture as a migraine treatment have concluded that it’s safe and that it works for some people. In other words, there’s very little risk involved, and acupuncture may well help you have fewer headaches.

One study included 249 patients and concluded that acupuncture reduced the number of migraine attacks. The participants who received acupuncture had fewer migraines and the intensity of the migraines they did have was lower.

Another study examined the results of 14 previous investigations looking at acupuncture as a treatment for migraine. That analysis concluded that acupuncture is safer than medication to prevent migraine.

There are many other modern scientific studies published about using acupuncture for migraine treatment. The very fact that so many researchers are investigating acupuncture is evidence that the treatment is viable.

The problems with using meds for migraines

The medications that are prescribed to prevent migraines can have some serious side effects, including:

If your goal is to live your life unimpeded by migraine pain, you probably don’t want to trade the pain for feeling exhausted, gaining weight, or having gastrointestinal problems. And with the well-documented and widespread issues surround opioids, you may have valid concerns about using pain relievers when you do have migraines. Fewer migraines would means less need for pain relievers.

What to expect when you have acupuncture

If you decide to see if acupuncture can help you have fewer migraines, you may feel nervous -- but you shouldn’t! First, Dr. Spiegel examines you and discusses your medical history with you. Then, he’ll probably look more closely at specific parts of your body, such as your tongue, face, or feet.

Because you’re an individual, your treatment plan is devised just for you. Acupuncture is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. The number of sessions you need, the frequency of those treatments, and many other factors depend on your situation.

Acupuncture is a treatment that changes the flow of energy through your body. The needles promote better circulation and stimulate your body to release certain hormones. Overall, acupuncture encourages a healing response and helps your bodily systems work better.

If you’d like to learn more about acupuncture and how it might be used to help you have fewer migraines, book your appointment with Dr. Spiegel. Scheduling is easy and quick, either online or by phone.

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