Acupuncture is among the oldest healing methods for treating pain and other ailments. It’s a traditional Chinese healing method that involves stimulating certain body parts and has been used for a thousand of years in various countries and Asia. In 1997, however, the United States National Institutes of Health or NIH considered it a conventional medical therapy. Headaches are among the most common ailments that could be treated with acupuncture. The question is, does it work?
Acupuncture and Headaches
During an acupuncture session, the therapist would insert needles in the body and leave it there for 20 minutes to balance or restore the “chi” or “qi,” which according to the Chinese healing philosophy is the body’s life force, explains an experienced acupuncture specialist in Boise.
It’s believed to be highly capable of stimulating the natural painkillers of the body, tissues, muscles, and nerves, as well as increasing or regulating blood flow. According to studies, it could likewise block neurotransmitters to block the transmission of “pain messages” from being transmitted to your brain.
Acupuncture in Study
According to a study by the Chapel Hill School of Medicine in the University of Carolina, the 70 participants who suffered from chronic headaches experienced less pain after being treated with acupuncture for six weeks as a complement to their existing medical treatment.
In another study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, in which they treated about 500 adults who suffer from migraines with either a mock treatment (but with the use of acupuncture needles in nonspecific pressure points) or genuine acupuncture treatment, they found that all participants experienced lesser bouts of migraines.
The participants weren’t told which group they belonged to during the study that lasted four weeks. Before participating in the study, most patients experienced six migraine episodes in a month. Following the study, the number went down to three episodes monthly. The participants likewise reported significant improvement in the severity of their migraines.
Yes, acupuncture works to alleviate different types of headaches as evidenced by these studies and other similar studies out there. However, it’s still best to consult with your doctor to determine the best treatment option for you. It’s also important to note that you should acupuncture if you’re pregnant, have a pacemaker, or are suffering from blood disorders.