People with migraine would try just about anything to rid themselves of their intense debilitating headaches. Women are thrice likely to develop this condition than men. One peculiar thing about this type of headache is that some sufferers experience warning symptoms just before the headache begins. According to a recent study, using acupuncture to treat migraine headaches in New York can lead to a decrease of days with migraines as well a significant decrease of migraine pain.
A new double – blind clinical study involved 500 patients who were randomly treated with real acupuncture or sham acupuncture. Being a double-blind trial, the subjects weren’t aware what treatment they were getting during the four week study.
After the study, all the subjects reported a substantial improvement of their migraines compared to their state of health before the trial began. At the start of the trial, they were experiencing at least one migraine headache six days a week; when the study ended, the migraines dropped to an average of three days in a month.
Four weeks after the treatment, all subjects reported less frequent and less severe headaches than they were experiencing before the trial started.
However, one important thing to note was that truly long-term benefits were observed only among the subjects who were treated with real acupuncture; those given sham treatment experienced no such benefits. Three months after the end of the study, those treated with real acupuncture were still receiving benefits in terms of a decrease in the frequency and intensity of migraines and the number of days with migraine. No such benefits were reported on the patients treated with sham acupuncture.
One thing to note about the study was that the difference in benefits between real and sham acupuncture was small; nevertheless, the researchers said that in an earlier study it was discovered that migraine patients who have tried other treatments with no success responded more positively to sham or real acupuncture than those who never had any type of treatment before they participated in the study.
One of the oldest healing practices in the world, acupuncture aims to maintain and/or bring back health by activating acupuncture points located on the surface of the skin to help bring balance to the energetic systems of the body. In the United States, there are currently more than 150,000 children and 3 million adults who were treated with acupuncture the past year.
The regulation of the use of acupuncture needles in the US is done by the U.S. Food and Drug Authority. This is to make sure that only nontoxic, sterile needles labeled and produced in accordance to federal standards are used by qualified acupuncturists throughout the United States.
One other large-scale study involved 800 participants all with migraine headaches. After eight weeks, those who were treated with acupuncture for six weeks found that the improvement of their condition was more or less equal to those who were given medications (beta blockers) used to prevent migraine for eight weeks.
To alleviate extremely severe headaches, practitioners recommend a combination of non-drug alternative treatments and acupuncture. Medical researchers from the National Headache Foundation advice migraine patients to first try rescue and preventative drugs first before they avail themselves of acupuncture.
To effectively address migraine headaches, acupuncturists need to create an individualized type of treatment for each of their patient. If you think that you are suffering from migraines, consult with your acupuncturist and have yourself examined. Your acupuncturist will do a thorough physical examination of your condition and review your medical history along with a review of any CT scan or MRI you may have. There is really no test that can specifically diagnose migraine; also, there is no specific cure for it.
The objective of acupuncture migraine treatment is to prevent migraines from recurring by avoiding anything that may trigger them. Owning a journal that can keep track of your migraine can help identify symptoms that appear before the headache starts and also help identify patterns. The best way to treat migraines is to treat it promptly before the pain starts to severely affect your life.