Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medical practice based on the notion of regulation of flow and balance of energy, known as “chi” in Chinese, in the body. It is performed using very small needles to stimulate points on the body in Chinese medicine known as acupuncture points and meridians which correspond to different organs in the body.
In western medical practice, it is believed that acupuncture causes therapeutic effects in the body through micro-injury that temporarily causes an increase bloodflow. Also, some studies have shown that acupuncture increases endorphins in the body that lead to decreased pain levels.
Acupuncture has been found to be helpful in decreasing pain associated with headaches. A large-scale study done in 2012 looked at the effects of acupuncture in several pain conditions including headache and found that it was effective in treating headaches and had effects similar to non-opiate pain medications. Additionally, it is beneficial in helping to treat anxiety, sleep problems, and muscular tightness.
It may be utilized along with medications, massage, and stress-reduction techniques to treat migraines or headaches.
To find out if acupuncture is right for you, speak to your healthcare provider.
By: Brooke Steiger, NP