Acupuncture is an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to alleviate various health conditions, including migraines. While the exact mechanisms behind how acupuncture works for migraines are not fully understood, several theories help to explain its potential benefits:
- Neurotransmitter and hormone regulation: Acupuncture influences the release and balance of neurotransmitters and hormones, such as serotonin and endorphins, that play a role in pain modulation and mood regulation.
- Blood flow and circulation: Acupuncture improves blood flow and circulation, helping to reduce inflammation and tension in the blood vessels that contribute to migraines.
- Nervous system modulation: Acupuncture affects the autonomic nervous system. By shifting our bodies from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘relax, digest, and heal’, our pain perception is modified.
- Pain gate theory: According to this theory, acupuncture stimulates nerves that block pain signals from reaching the brain, essentially “closing the gate” on pain sensations.
- Central nervous system effects: Acupuncture influences brain activity and alters the way the brain processes pain signals.
Here are some online resources where you can find more information about acupuncture and its potential benefits for migraines:
Given that there are virtually no harmful side effects resulting from acupuncture for pain by a Licensed Acupuncturist (except for rare instances of bruising or a few drops of blood with needle withdrawal), acupuncture should be at the top of the list of things to try if you are experiencing pain and don’t have an immediate need for surgery. Click her to learn more about how acupuncture works.
This is in stark contrast to the use of pharmaceutical drugs, which surprisingly for some, have made Adverse Drug Reactions the 4th leading cause of death in the United States!
While we do occasionally hit it out of the park on the first try and patients’ pain is gone, in fairness it is best to try a series of 3-6 sessions to see how well acupuncture for pain can help, and especially before you do drugs or surgery. (However acupuncture also complements conventional medical treatments because it helps the body to heal). Here is a large meta-study on the effectiveness of acupuncture.
Keep in mind that there are stages of healing and treatment: Stage 1 deals with putting out the fire and getting rid of aches and pains. Stage 2 involves treating the underlying conditions that allowed the aches and pains to develop. And Stage 3 is a maintenance program for those who would like to be proactive and prevent the imbalances and resulting symptoms from returning.
As every journey begins with the first step, schedule an appointment for acupuncture for pain with the link below: