Acupuncture for Migraines
Acupuncture for Migraines
Migraines can be incredibly disruptive to your quality of life.
Most migraine sufferers find themselves needing to be in a dark quiet room for 24 hours before they feel better. Not to mention, the side effects from migraine medications often leave you feeling fuzzy and hungover.
There’s a better way! Acupuncture for migraines reduces the risks associated with conventional treatment and prevents migraines from occurring in the first place.
Migraines are usually treated with symptom-management, but acupuncture and functional medicine seeks to address the underlying cause.
Common root causes of Migraines:
- Histamine intolerance
- Hormone imbalance (especially high or low estrogen levels)
- Hormonal birth control
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Low nitric oxide
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Biotoxin exposure such as air pollution, mycotoxins,
- Chronic muscular tension in the upper neck, back, & jaw
Acupuncture works as a vasodilator, enhancing nitric oxide levels, which in turn reduces migraine frequency. Acupuncture needles can target specific areas of muscle tension to release the muscle and bring blood flow back to the tissues, improving circulation to the spine and brain. Acupuncture has a natural anti-histamine effect, lowering IgE levels which reduces histamine-triggered migraines (these are very common). Our skilled practitioners will assess you for the most common nutritional, electrolyte, and hormonal imbalances that may be triggering your migraines and make personalized recommendations for supplement, herb, and diet changes to help.
Research supports Acupuncture for migraines as clinically effective
A study of 401 migraine sufferers found that acupuncture leads to persisting, clinically relevant benefits for primary care patients with chronic headache, particularly migraine.
New research demonstrates that acupuncture exerts medically significant benefits and does so, in part, by regulating brain chemistry. Acupuncture research has also demonstrated that the specific choice of acupuncture points affects both brain chemistry and clinical outcomes.
It was discovered that acupuncture “induce(s) different cerebral glucose metabolism changes in pain-related brain regions and reduce(s) intensity of pain” for patients with migraines. In this randomized controlled study using PET-CT (positron emission tomography – computed tomography), acupuncture effectively reduced migraine pain.
How often do I need acupuncture for migraines?
Frequency of acupuncture treatment is dictated by how frequently you’re getting migraines and the underlying cause. For hormonally triggered migraines 1-2x month, we recommend weekly acupuncture for 2-3 menstrual cycles to resolve them. For weekly migraines triggered by stress, muscle tension, or histamine sensitivity, we recommend acupuncture 2x week for the first 2 weeks, then weekly for a total of 8-10 sessions. Acupuncture sessions are cumulative and consistency is important. The good news is all the side effects are positive: improved sleep, energy, mood, and digestion!