Acupuncture for Migraine: Is It Effective?

Updated on December 16th, 2019
Acupuncture for Migraines

A throbbing headache, vomiting, and nausea might be the names of nightmarish symptoms that migraine may behold. But all that you do is pop-in medicines to get an instant relief that carries side–effects. There is one therapy that has been accredited as a promising treatment for pain by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1979, and that is acupuncture for migraines!

Isn’t this something new for you? It might be as many people rely just on medications as they are unaware of the incredible benefits of acupuncture, but not anymore. You are on the right page as it can transform the way you have been looking at acupuncture all your life. Read ahead as we’ll tell you all about acupuncture, its techniques, points, short-comings and much more.

    1. How Does It Treat
    2. Acupuncture Points
    3. Benefits
    4. Side Effects

Can Acupuncture Actually Help to Cure Migraines?

Acupuncture Cure Migraines

Acupuncture for migraines works wonders in healing the pain. Acupuncture is a type of conventional Chinese medication that includes the embedding of needles at specific acupoints on the body. It is regularly used to lessen or soothe all kinds of pain and physiological disorders.

Acupuncture is profoundly beneficial for the treatment of migraines. In a clinical study(1), it got formulated that people with throbbing headaches due to migraines got reduced by 50-59% by practicing acupuncture for approximately six months.

It decreases the recurrence and intensity of the pain by establishing a balance of blood and energy or qi in the body. By the administration of acupuncture needles at specific acupoints on these meridians, it is believed that the body’s regular energy stream will be re-balanced and side effects of the migraines can be soothed.

How Does the Acupuncture Treat Migraine?

Acupuncture for headaches therapy helps to make the flow of energy (called “qi”) adhere to a balance along the meridians. The expert acupuncturist will insert the needles at precise acupuncture points for migraines, on an individual’s back or neck where they can slow down the transmission of pain. At times, an excellent head knead goes with the position of the needles.

Treatment takes around 60 minutes, and patients are encouraged to experience something like six sessions, for the most part once per week. The acupuncturist may likewise recommend dietary changes. For instance: caffeine can worsen headache, and some acupuncturists trust it upsets the stream of the body.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Treating Migraine]

Acupuncture Points for Migraines

This method can effectively alleviate the pain of migraines through a mix of chosen localized points on the scalp joined with distal acupoints of the affected acupuncture meridians. Acupuncture for migraine headaches can direct yin and yang, reinforce qi and expel the pathogenic elements.

acupuncture points for migraines

Customary Chinese Medicine sorts headache as a Shaoyang (acupoint of the temporal region) cerebral pain, a breeze disorder of the head. ‘Headwind’ in acupuncture for migraines alludes to extreme, and recurrent cerebral pain. The blend of pathogenic factors, including wind, coldness, warmth, and moisture irritates the reasonable Yang in the head and causes stagnation of blood flow, thereby bringing about a severe migraine.

Acupuncture points for migraine:

    1. Feng Chi (GB20)
    2. Hegu (LI4)
    3. Sanyinjiao (SP6)
    4. Zusanli (ST36)
    5. Shuai Gu (GB 8)
    6. Taiyang (Extra 1)
    7. Waiguan (SJ 5)
    8. San Jiao (SJ-17)
  • Feng Chi (GB20)

It is the most useful head acupuncture point for curing headache that occurs due to migraine. It is located below the skull in the depression present on the side of the spine in the neck region near the ear and it is the touch point of the gallbladder and the triple energizer channel. Stimulating this point helps to curb the heat, open the head portals and clear the blockages present in the head. Along with harmonizing the blood and Qi, it also helps to clear the eye vessels and veins.

  • Hegu (LI4)

This acupoint is present at the center of the ridge of the thumb, directly over the end of the wrinkle of thumb and index finger. Acupuncture at this point helps with the large intestinal region.  On stimulating this acupoint, the blocked wind gets a release, and it also helps to strengthen body immunity, subside pain, regulate and tonify Qi of the face and head area.

  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)

This acupoint is present on the tip of the internal ankle bone, behind the shinbone. This point is in focus with acupoint ST-36. Acupuncture at this point is for the Spleen. When this point gets stimulated, it triggers the brain to release anti-inflammatory cells that helps to reduce the pain and swelling caused due to migraine. These cells are abundant in cytokines and interleukins that play a significant role in immune responses.

[Also Read: Massage to Treat Migraine]

  • Zusanli (ST36)

This acupuncture point is underneath the base edge of the kneecap, in between the leg muscle and shin bone. This point is useful for most issues that cause pain in the waist, particularly when in focus with acupoint SJ-17. It connects with the stomach and is present on the earth meridian. Stimulating this point energizes Yang Qi that in turn helps to curb the uneasiness caused in the stomach due to migraine.

  • Shuai Gu (GB 8)

It is the acupuncture point that is present in the temporal area. Acupuncture at this point is helpful in the treatment of migraine which occurs due to stagnation of Qi. In acupuncture for migraines treatment, the meridian of the gallbladder is present along the edge of the head. Migraines of the Shaoyang type pursue the course of the GB meridian. That is why the acupuncture points for treating migraines on the GB meridian are perfect for treatment and have the impact of disposing of uneven or one-sided migraine, headwind, and agony.

  • Taiyang (Extra 1)

The administration of acupuncture at the Taiyang or the Extra 1 acupoint is useful for the dissemination of qi or energy that fights against pathogens in the locally affected region and scatters the external pathogenic elements that cause Shaoyang disorders. The administration of acupuncture treatment for migraines in a blend with the extra localized acupuncture points, Taiyang can debilitate the pathogenic qi and ward off the wind issue.

  • Waiguan (SJ 5)

It is a distal acupuncture point on the appendage which gets selected for the treatment of migraines through the Sanjiao channel. This channel keeps running at the edge of the head notwithstanding the GB meridian. The distal acupuncture points for headaches present on the afflicted meridian are viable in invigorating blood and qi and moving the meridian qi to the unhealthy parts of the body. This treatment is traditionally effective for a wide range of various types of migraines, including transient cerebral pain.

  • San Jiao (SJ-17)

This acupoint is one of the most crucial ear acupuncture points for migraine. It is present behind the jawbone, just underneath the ear. This ear acupuncture for migraines point corresponds to the Triple Warmer. Stimulating this point helps to clear the wind and alleviate pain from the face, head, and ears.

[Read: Acupressure for Migraine]

Benefits of Acupuncture for Migraine

Benefits of Acupuncture
Image: ShutterStock

These are some of the benefits of taking acupuncture therapy for migraines.

  • Acupuncture seeks to reestablish the flow and balance of positive vitality all through your body.
  • It additionally claims to evacuate negative energies that cause pain and torment.
  • From a cutting edge therapeutic point of view, acupuncture for curing migraines invigorates different frameworks of the body. The administration of acupuncture triggers a curative reaction.
  • Acupuncture for migraine relief energizes the nerves to discharge hormones, for example, endorphins, that trigger a response from your body.
  • Acupuncture helps to stimulate the immune system and improves the blood circulation to calm the headaches and heal migraines.

[Also Read: Simple Tips to Cure Migraine]

Side Effects & Precautions

Acupuncture for migraines side effects is negligible when performed by an authorized specialist.

  • In some cases, bruising, weakness, and pain are accompanied by an acupuncture therapy session, particularly after the first time.
  • As per the National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health(2) (NCCIH), acupuncture with unacceptable or unclean hardware can cause severe health hazards. The needles should be of single-use only.
  • Get a background check done on the acupuncturist before booking the first session.
  • Observe the acupuncturist to ensure that the needles of acupuncture are new and sterile.
  • Try not to be reluctant to make inquiries about what is happening and about to happen. An expert acupuncturist will give you the details of the method and ensure that it is a painless and safe experience.

[Read: Yoga for Migraine]

Recommended Number of Sittings for Acupuncture

It does not take any extra preparation to get ready for the acupuncture for migraines therapy treatment sessions. However, if it is the first session, you might need to make a list of inquiries for the acupuncturist. Your specialist will recommend you about the number of sessions you ought to attend, and how frequently you may need the treatment to attain relief from the side effects.

A clinical investigation of acupuncture therapy for curing migraines suggested a treatment plan for at least two times a week for about fourteen days, trailed by one session for each week for about two months, and checkup and maintenance session once in subsequent weeks.

Acupuncture for migraines is not only excellent for the complete treatment of migraines but also aid in the prevention of the same. It follows a holistic approach of treatment and addresses several other health complications besides curing migraines.

The needles stimulate the nervous system and enhance the body immunity to ward off all kinds of diseases and get proper rest and repose. Remember to visit only a professional acupuncturist that too after doing a thorough homework on the treatment and about the specialist as well.

So ditch the toxic and cancerous pain-killers and embrace the wholesome benefits of acupuncture. Let the natural techniques of the treatment heal you completely without any side effects whatsoever.

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