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Treating Migraine Naturally

Elias Lu, DTCM,

Acupuncture Physician

Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine in Tampa Bay, Florida

Woman rubbing her temples due to headache
  • Millions of people suffer from migraine headaches
  • Natural drug-free alternative acupuncture offers a safe and gentle approach to managing pain
  • Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine offers an array of therapies for migraines, including electroacupuncture, herbs, injections, nerve blocks, and medication iontophoresis

DO YOU SUFFER FROM MIGRAINES?

Millions of people do! Migraine is a type of headache characterized by intense pain that can be felt on one side of the head, accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, feeling cold or sweaty, neck or scalp tenderness, and even dizziness. The pain can be throbbing, dull, sharp, or piercing. It can be felt in or behind the eyes, temples, or neck. Each patient presents with their own unique constellation of symptoms. Regardless of the individual symptoms, migraine sucks. It has a significant impact on quality of life.

 

WHAT CAUSES MIGRAINE?

The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to changes in blood flow through the head, the overactivation of the trigeminal nerve, and the release of brain neurotransmitters. Many people with migraines also have a family history of the condition, suggesting a genetic component.

 

Migraine often flares up during periods of stress, fever, and hormonal changes. Other migraine triggers may include strong odors, bright lights or loud noises, certain foods, sleep disruptions (over- or under-sleeping), weather or altitude changes, hunger, dehydration, and many other factors. Each person has unique triggers and sensitivities. Regardless, migraine sucks!

 

WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR MIGRAINES?

While migraines are hard to cure, they can be managed. Conventional treatment for migraines typically includes medication, behavioral therapy, and nerve blocks. Avoiding known migraine triggers, maintaining a healthy diet, and a regular sleep schedule can also decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.

 

WHY ACUPUNCTURE?

Drugs and other conventional therapies have many side effects and may not work for everyone. Acupuncture offers a natural, drug-free alternative for managing pain.

 

WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body's innate healing mechanisms. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of conditions, including migraines.

 

One of the advantages of acupuncture is that it can be tailored to the individual patient. Different acupoints may be used depending on the specific symptoms of the migraine, and the doctor of acupuncture may also consider the patient's overall constitutional makeup. Acupuncture may be combined with other therapies, such as herbal medicine and nerve blocks, to provide a comprehensive treatment plan.

HOW CAN ACUPUNCTURISTS TREAT MIGRAINES?

One of the key principles of acupuncture is the balance of Qi (Energy) and Xue (Blood) in the body. In the case of migraine, it is believed that Qi and Blood become stagnant in the head and neck, leading to the characteristic symptoms of migraines. Acupuncture aims to restore balance, which can help to relieve pain and, hopefully, prevent future migraines.

 

Regardless of the underlying cause for the migraine, acupuncture may be able to abort the attack at the aura stage by “drawing” Qi away from the head. In this case, points on the extremities are frequently used. Likewise, acupuncture can be quite effective for controlling the pain of a full-blown migraine attack. By stimulating points on the scalp, it is possible to increase the tonus of the extracranial blood vessels, decrease vascular permeability, and lessen the amount and the duration of the headache.

 

Finally, acupuncture is effective in preventing migraines from occurring in the first place. Regular maintenance treatments, such as weekly or bi-weekly sessions, have been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines. By addressing the underlying imbalances in the body, acupuncture works to prevent future attacks.

 

DOES ACUPUNCTURE REALLY WORK?

There have been numerous studies investigating the effectiveness of acupuncture. Several systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials support the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines, as well as improving quality of life.

 

IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?

Regardless of what conventional medicine thinks about acupuncture, everyone agrees that it is pretty safe. The worst thing that can happen is a couple of pinpoint bruises at the needling sites. The risk of serious adverse events is miniscule. This makes acupuncture a suitable option for people who cannot tolerate or do not respond to conventional medications.

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you are suffering from migraines and looking for a natural treatment option, it may be worth trying acupuncture. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Lu, DTCM, AP by calling 727-252-6060.

References

Liu, Y., Wang, Y., Mi, C., Wang, Z., Han, Y., Qi, X., & Ding, X. (2024). Efficacy of Acupuncture-Related Therapy for Migraine: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis. Journal of pain research, 17, 1107–1132. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S452971

 

Urits, I., Patel, M., Putz, M. E., Monteferrante, N. R., Nguyen, D., An, D., Cornett, E. M., Hasoon, J., Kaye, A. D., & Viswanath, O. (2020). Acupuncture and Its Role in the Treatment of Migraine Headaches. Neurology and therapy, 9(2), 375–394. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40120-020-00216-1

 

Zhao, L., Chen, J., Li, Y., Sun, X., Chang, X., Zheng, H., Gong, B., Huang, Y., Yang, M., Wu, X., Li, X., & Liang, F. (2017). The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA internal medicine, 177(4), 508–515. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9378

doctor's picture

Dr. Elias Lu, DTCM is an acupuncture physician with Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine. In practice for over 25 years, he integrates traditional Chinese medicine with modern functional therapies to help people with chronic pain, trauma, neurodegenerative disorders, anxiety, depression, and many other life's challenges.

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