Migraine and headache sufferers, acupuncture can help!
The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Acupuncture has been used to relieve headaches and their underlying causes for thousands of years and is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches in our society.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin, flexible, stainless-steel, single-use, filaments into the surface of the body for the alleviation of pain. Early practitioners of acupuncture discovered a network of pathways on the surface of the body called meridians. These channels contain acupuncture points where the acupuncture needles are most commonly inserted. It was believed that the bioenergy or “qi” that runs our musculo-skeletal systems, nervous systems, and organs could be influenced by needling various combinations of acupuncture points. By unblocking, increasing, or decreasing the flow of qi through the channels, one may restore balance and health to the body.
The Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture “points” that treat headaches are located all over the body. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles will be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your big toe!
There is often little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. They are so thin that several acupuncture needles can fit into the middle of a hypodermic needle. Occasionally, there is a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, but once the needles are in place, most people relax and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment. The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.
These pictures show two typical acupuncture treatments. The first is common for tension headaches and migraines involving the points of the upper back, shoulder, and neck. This treatment is very similar to treatments for neck and shoulder pain, stress, anxiety, and upper respiratory conditions.
The second acupuncture treatment involves points solely found in the ear. Auricular (ear) acupuncture uses points that correlate to different areas of the body. This particular type of treatment is called Battlefield Acupuncture. This treatment is only for pain and uses an embedded gold needle stud that stays in the ear for several days. This allows for the continuous stimulation of the acupuncture points over the course of the treatment. When compared to traditional treatments, battlefield acupuncture provides a stronger and longer treatment of pain conditions.
Through numerous studies conducted, we know that acupuncture has both local effects and reflex effects on the entire nervous system.
Locally acupuncture causes muscles to return to a normal relaxed state and triggers dilation of blood vessels both close to the skin surface and deep within the body. This triggers improved circulation, which sets the stage for triggering a local healing response.
Acupuncture works reflexively by sending a message in the sensory nerves back to the spinal cord and brain much like tapping on a keyboard creates an effect on the hard drive of a computer. Once neurochemicals in the brain are modified, many changes may occur including stress reduction, changes in organ function, hormonal balancing, pain reduction, sleep enhancement, etc. Many people first come to acupuncture for painful conditions and then find out that it is a whole-body approach.
Besides headaches, other typical conditions treated include:
- Back and Neck Pain
- Acute and Chronic Spinal Disc Injuries
- Upper and Lower Extremity Pain and Injuries
- Sinus Conditions / Allergies
- Digestive / Respiratory / Genitourinary Conditions
- Sports Injuries
- Infertility / Menstrual Disorders/ Menopause
- Stress / Anxiety / Depression
- & More
Acupuncture has many uses, and the benefits frequently surprise patients. If you would like to experience the healthy results of an acupuncture treatment, speak with our staff about appointment availability. We look forward to helping you become healthier than you have ever been!
This week only: Purchase three acupuncture sessions for $115 (originally $135). We have Christmas gift certificates available for family and friends.
Daryl C. Rich, D.C., C.S.C.S.