Headaches are one of the most common ailments that acupuncturists are accustomed to treating. Acupuncture has been found to be effective in healing headaches from migraines to chronic mild headaches. Acupuncture is known for correcting energy imbalances in the body, and headaches occur when this flow of energy, or “chi”, is interrupted. When your “chi” is flowing easily, your physical, mental and emotional health is in balance and your immune system can accomplish its healing powers.
As in the acupuncture treatment for other ailments, the needles are strategically placed in your body stimulating the nerves and leading to the release of endorphins (chemicals in the brain). The needles are so fine that almost everyone will agree that they experience no pain as they are inserted. This reduces inflammation and increases blood flow in your brain, allowing your muscles to relax. The pain is lessened and you experience a feeling of overall well being. Usually treatments are prescribed for a few weeks, especially in the case of migraines or recurring headaches.
Studies show that patients who undergo regular acupuncture over a period of months have fewer and less intense headaches. And in the case of severe headaches, they need to take less or no medication. Acupuncture also has no side effects and its benefits are longer lasting. The World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, and The American Headache Society all recognize the benefit of acupuncture in the treatment of headaches, keeping in mind you should usually combine it with the treatment of traditional medicine and work together with your doctor.
However, you must realize that conditions such as chronic headaches or severe migraines cannot be cured overnight. Acupuncture treatment takes time and patience. Maybe you might need to slow down or maybe change your approach to life. Your acupuncturist physician, Carolyn Cook, will take the time to help you and discuss how you can improve your overall health and maintain your “chi” and achieve a healthy balance in your body. Her goal will be to first reduce the acute pain and then to prevent future occurrences.