Acupuncture and migraines
*In the UK 5.85 million adults suffer with migraines and 190,000 people at any one time experience a migraine attack.
A migraine is a headache involving recurrent attacks that can last up to three days and sufferers may also experience double vision, nausea and vomiting. Migraines are often thought to be caused by emotional strain, stress, hormonal imbalances, and lack of food and/or sleep or by a reaction to some foods or medications.
Research has shown that acupuncture can be very beneficial in the treatment of migraines as it tends to lessen the frequency and severity of attacks. Migraines can manifest in very different ways and a fully qualified acupuncture practitioner will want to know, among other things exactly where the pain is located, what the nature of the pain is and whether the patient has any accompanying symptoms. An individual diagnosis and treatment plan is then tailored to the patient based on this information and on their general health history.
Amanda Rothwell, acupuncturist and British Acupuncture Council member says: “As a traditional acupuncturist I recognise the same approach is not always appropriate for each individual as symptoms differ from person to person. Certain foods may be associated with headaches or patients may find that headaches occur during their menstrual cycle, emotional issues may also be an important component in the evaluation of migraine.
A typical acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points on the body followed by gentle manipulation of the needles. This action stimulates nerves located in muscles and other tissues to provide pain relief and increase blood flow in and around the brain. This process also alleviates individual underlying imbalances which are contributing long term to the person’s condition”.
Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of traditional medicine, which has been used in China and other eastern cultures for thousands of years to restore, promote and maintain good health. It aims to treat the root cause of a condition and promote long-term wellness, rather than just alleviating symptoms. Its benefits are now widely acknowledged all over the world and, in the past decade, traditional acupuncture has begun to feature more prominently in mainstream healthcare in the UK.