Acupuncture is a form of ancient Oriental medicine. It focuses on the Qi in the body. Qi is the term used to describes the energy that flows through the human body. The Chinese believe that illnesses can be linked to a disturbance in how the energy flows through the body. Acupuncture can be used as a remedy to improve the meridians (channels) in the body to improve the way energy flows within the body. It is believed to alter physical conditions and improve its overall functioning. This form of ancient medicine has the ability to stimulate the nervous system is why many migraine sufferers experience relief with such treatments.
During the first visit
Just as with any other medical procedure, the person will have to fill out a questionnaire about his or her medical background. The practitioner may perform a preliminary physical screening where the tongue and the pulse are examined. This is commonly referred to as palpation. Once all of the preliminary information has been collected, the practitioner will make an attempt to identify the underlying causes for the person’s condition.
How treatment is administered
It can be used to treat any part of the body. It is also becoming a popular way to treat pain associated with headaches. The treatment itself involves the placement of tiny needles on the body. The needles used during this procedure are hair thin and approximately half an inch in length. When the needles are initially inserted into the skin, there may be a brief period of discomfort.
How many sessions required to see experience improvement in symptoms
Although the initial treatment can last up to 90 minutes; some treatments can be as short as 5 minutes. Other subsequent visits may last 60 minutes or less. The treatment plan for a condition may require 10 or more visits. Some individuals can experience tremendous success during the first few office visits. The course of treatment largely depends on the severity of the condition.
In cases of migraines, some individuals report immediate relief during the initial treatment. The frequency of headaches and the severity of the migraines have been proven to be reduced among patients who received acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture migraine research
Among patients who struggled with migraines in a study, 47 percent of the group began experiencing less headaches when administered acupuncture treatments. The number of days the individuals experienced headaches were cut in half in many cases.
In a 2002 clinical study, 50 patients were treated with a form of acupuncture in their scalp. Ninety-eight percent of the patients that received the scalp acupuncture reported experiencing mild headaches; or no headaches at all after six months of treatment.
Another case study in 2003 showed a reduction in the severity and number of headaches was reduced as a result of acupuncture. Some patients saw a decrease in the number of medications needed to treat the conditions. Others were able to cease medication altogether for severe headaches.
A study published in 2009 in China followed 75 migraine sufferers admitted into several hospitals in Sichuan, China. The patients were divided into three groups. The initial group received acupuncture at the targeted points for the purpose of treating migraines. The remaining groups received an acupuncture session that treated the entire body. In the initial hours after the acupuncture treatment, all members of the groups reported less pain. The individuals in the first group, who received the targeted acupuncture, reported experiencing less pain. Within in a day after receiving the treatment, 41% of the first group reported complete migraine relief. Of the remaining groups, 17% and 16% of the second and third groups reported complete relief from migraines respectively.
Most acupuncturists will make suggestions regarding potential lifestyle or dietary changes that individuals should consider implementing. Such changes could help prevent migraines and headaches altogether in some individuals. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in some studies in eliminating and reducing the number of occurrences of migraines in individuals. It is widely used in the treatment of other chronic and pain conditions.