The American Migraine Foundation estimates that about 39 million Americans have migraine. Migraine is a complex neurological disorder, and many people struggle to get a diagnosis. Even with a diagnosis, finding a treatment that works and doesn’t carry the risk of unacceptable side effects can be challenging.
At Osteopathic Center for Healing, our practitioners, Neil Spiegel, DO and Jennifer Gularson, NP, understand that migraine can disrupt your life in myriad ways. Each episode can include a prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome, and those phases can last more than a day. We know that finding the right treatment can be challenging, which is one reason we offer acupuncture.
Dr. Spiegel is a licensed medical acupuncturist and has experience in treating patients with migraine. If you’re curious about acupuncture for migraine, he can answer your questions and provide safe and effective treatment.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of treatment that seems to be steadily gaining modern acceptance. The World Health Organization has endorsed acupuncture as a method for treating pain since 1979.
In some medical practices, a treatment very similar to acupuncture but called “dry needling” is used to address various pain syndromes. And, the scientific literature regarding acupuncture is promising.
There are many theories about how and why acupuncture works, but in the end, the most important thing is that it eases your pain with few, if any, side effects. It’s safe, and it works.
A recent systematic review -- which is a type of study that looks at all of the research published on a particular topic -- found that acupuncture is as effective as some preventive medications in reducing migraine episodes. The review, which looked at 22 clinical trials, also found that acupuncture was consistently beneficial in treating acute migraines.
Further research is necessary to determine whether the reduction in migraine episodes can be continued with additional acupuncture treatments.
One benefit of having acupuncture treatments administered by a medically licensed acupuncturist who is also a physician is that you can rest assured that all safety protocols are followed precisely. There’s very little risk associated with acupuncture, particularly if the treatment is provided by a qualified and skilled physician.
It’s not a cure
Acupuncture doesn’t cure you so that you never have migraine episodes again. It may reduce the number of episodes you have each month, and serve as an important element in your overall treatment plan. Understanding what you might expect prior to treatment is helpful.
The fact is, if you have migraine to the degree it disrupts your day-to-day activities, you have little to lose by trying acupuncture. It’s safe, and it may work for you.
If you’d like to learn more, schedule an appointment with us at Osteopathic Center for Healing at our office in Rockville, Maryland.