Acupuncture: A treatment option for chronic headache and migraine
Acupuncture is a system of medical treatment and ideology based on the principle of applying small needles or pressure to specific points in the body. The origins of this treatment system are grounded in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), with underlying philosophical principles associated with Confucianism and Taoism. Under this ideology, health stems from the alignment of qi, which means “vital energy” and encompasses the yin/yang dichotomy that flows through all of the physical worlds. A blockage or excess of any disrupts this vital energy. Acupuncture aims to open the blockage or reduce the excess of qi flowing through specific channels in the body, known as meridians.
If you are someone who often gets headaches or migraines, you understand how seriously they can impact your quality of life. It can often be difficult to think beyond the pounding in your head! When a headache strikes, finding treatments that bring relief becomes a top priority.
acupuncture can be an option for the first-line treatment of migraine to supplement other non-pharmacologic treatment options. It is at least as effective as prophylactic drug therapy, has longer-lasting effects, is safe, seems to be cost-effective, and reduces drug intake with possibly severe unwanted effects.
This treatment is generally recognized as safe during pregnancy, a time where most oral drugs are better avoided. It can be an option for pregnant women with migraine. Like other preventive treatments (for example Botox), acupuncture has to be used regularly to be effective. Treatments should be performed once per week or every two weeks.