Acupuncture is a Chinese medicinal treatment approach that has been in use for thousands of years. It is commonly used to treat pain and involves inserting thin needles into one’s skin at predetermined points on the body. It has been deemed by the National Institute of Health to be of considerable value and worth establishing into conventional medicine.

    In headache care, acupuncture has the potential to alleviate pain. According to the World Health Organization recommendations; acupuncture should be used to treat migraine headache. A 2009 Cochrane Review has shown that acupunctural therapy can provide treatment in patients that suffer from tension and migraine headaches. At the Manhattan Headache Center acupunctural specialists through a number of sessions strive to offer headache pain relief.

    Benefits:

  • May decrease headache pain intensity
  • May decrease number of headaches
  • May result in reduced medication use for migraine and headache pain
  • The Future of Acupuncture and Migraine

    Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that acupuncture works by regulating the flow of energy in one’s body. According to this view, certain points, called acupoints, are sites of disease and relate closely with specific internal organs. Western physicians add their own interpretation based on empirical evidence. They suggest that inserting needles stimulate nerves all along the body. These nerves transmit impulses which are sent to various regions in the brain and potentially may reduce pain.

    There has not been enough research to support conclusive data of how acupuncture helps with migraine treatment. However, results suggest that acupuncture alters various components in the pain matrix of cranial regions, blocking pain pathways associated with migraine. With continued research and increased awareness, more information on how acupuncture is used will become more available for the benefit of patients and physicians alike.