Acupuncture for Migraines

If you suffer from chronic migraines, chances are someone has recommended acupuncture to you. Basic research will tell you that the practice is considered safe and effective for a variety of ailments, but you may be confused about how it helps migraines in particular.

Opening Up Pathways

Acupuncture’s success in both treating existing migraine pain and reducing future occurrences appears to come from precision needle placement. This placement increases blood circulation, while also stimulating the neuromuscular system. Acupuncture also releases natural endorphins, which act as painkillers.

For migraine sufferers, increased blood flow is crucial, because narrowing blood vessels are thought to contribute to migraine severity. Of course, stimulating the body’s natural pain-fighting endorphins is also key.

Preventative Visits

For preventative migraine treatment, patients often visit the acupuncturist regularly — perhaps once a month, or more frequently in the beginning. Needles may be inserted into the upper back and neck, where muscle tension can contribute to the problem, as well as at the points in the head where the patient experiences pain.

In addition, several points on the body believed to be “pathways” for healing to the head will be used. These might be the hands, lower legs and forearms, for example.

Pain Relief Sessions

Many people experience warning signs, such as auras, before a migraine strikes. This enables them to get to their regular acupuncture specialist before the worst of it strikes. It is likely that in this case the acupuncturist would not place needles near the points of pain, because that might worsen the pain — though not because the needles themselves hurt.

Instead, it is thought that because the dilation action that acupuncture needles stimulate might make the pain from increased blood flow to the head and neck temporarily worse. For that reason, the needle placement might focus simply on other body points, which opens up pathways for the body’s natural chemicals to do their work. For more information, Contact Us Today at Freehold, NJ Center.