Headaches generally fall into two (2) distinct categories which we will call ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’.
Acupuncture can effectively treat ‘primary’ headaches, such as tension and migraine, which are the most common types of headaches.
A ‘primary’ headache is a clinical condition, not a symptom of another health issue. ‘Primary’ headaches include tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches.
‘Secondary’ headaches are often caused by other medical conditions.
‘Secondary’ headaches are often caused by other medical conditions, such as sinus disease, allergies, dental disorders, head injury, head trauma, a blow to the head, or brain tumors. These are typically health issues which may often require additional medical intervention. Some symptoms of ‘secondary’ headaches may often include: vomiting without nausea, severe dizziness, fever, extreme neck pain, sudden onset pain, or hypertension.
Acupuncture has been successfully used to treat headaches for thousands of years.
The greatest advantage of Acupuncture is that it does virtually no harm. Unlike some drugs, Acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches is non-invasive.
Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique which will release a body’s own natural painkillers. A report from Reuters, reviewed some studies showing that Acupuncture has shown to be more effective for headaches than taking medications.
In one study of 4,000 people with chronic migraine, tension, and other similar headaches, the Reuters study showed that 62% of Acupuncture patients reported relief, as compared to only 45% of people who were taking medications for the same issues.
People often ask how many treatments it will require for them to get relief. While everyone is different, various studies on this topic have found that while even one (1) visit will bring about some immediate improvement, it can generally take on average five (5) to six (6) Acupuncture treatment visits for patients to report ongoing headache relief.
Lifestyle and headaches
Lifestyle can play an important role for the person prone to tension and migraine headaches. Here are some of the things a person who is prone to headaches can be aware of and try and self-manage.
- Sleep adequately (7-8 hours per day)
- Avoid physical or mental fatigue
- Avoid alcohol (especially red wine)
- Avoid caffeine
- Eliminate foods that trigger migraines: ie dairy, chocolate, spices, wheat and corn
- Avoid any triggers that cause your headaches
If you find you are getting frequent migraine, tension, or cluster headaches and want to explore how Acupuncture can help you get a handle on the headache pain, we invite you to contact our office for an appointment.