Why Use Acupuncture For Migraines?

Acupuncture Health and Wellness

Posted by julia

Intense pain & throbbing in one area of the head, nausea, & extreme sensitivity to light & sound is not a fun way to live. Yet over 32 million Americans suffer from migraines, mostly whom are women. I’ve heard many stories from patients of how severe these symptoms can be, often sending people into a dark room for hours or days, home from work, or even into the hospital.

Migraines are caused partly by the dilation of blood vessels in the brain. There are no Western medicine drugs that cure migraines. Western medications provide temporary pain relief with anti-inflammatories, over-the-counter analgesics such as ibiprofen, to prescription narcotics, anti-depressants, or barbiturates. All of these options can have side effects such as sleepiness, nausea, and yes even more headaches!

What is the alternative? Acupuncture! In my experience, migraines are one of those conditions that are always responsive. I have had a patient who would literally be in the hospital every month due to severe migraine episodes. It would affect his work, travel, and family life. Since treating him once per week for two months, followed by maintenance treatments once per month, he is yet to have even a headache in the three years since I have been treating him.

Herbal medicine is also a great adjunct to acupuncture treatments. Herbs are the best way to get treated daily even though you are not in the office. I often prescribe custom herbal medicine formulas specific to each person. I’ve also had patients have success with herbs such as Butterbur or Feverfew.

Top 3 reasons why acupuncture is great for migraines:

1) It acts as a pain reliever: Patients report the worse part of a migraine is the mind-numbing pain. A ton of research has been done that supports the claim that endogenous opiods, or pain-relieving substances similar to narcotics but produced by the body, are released during acupuncture. This means that the same effect you are trying to get from a pain pill is actually achieved simply by getting acupuncture.

2) It both treats & prevents migraines: Many people ask when they should come in for migraine treatments: either during or after an episode. The answer is both. Acupuncture can treat the immediate symptoms of an episode by relieving pain & inflammation and reducing nausea & vomiting. There are specific acupuncture points and point prescriptions that have been clinically effective for nausea, headaches, and pain in specific regions of the face and head. Acupuncture prevents migraines by restoring balance and proper functioning of all the channels and organ systems in your body. The idea is that if everything is in balance, you wouldn’t be having headaches or pain.

3) There are no side effects: One of the greatest aspects of acupuncture is the lack of side effects that are often present when consuming prescription medications. Chinese medicine looks at the whole body during treatment, so not only will your headaches improve both in severity and quantity, you will probably sleep better, have less stress, and feel more balanced overall.

Acupuncture for migraines is definitely a win-win. Less pain, quicker recovery, less episodes overall, no side effects, and overall better health are what you can expect. Life is short, the sun is bright, and you should be outside and with loved ones enjoying it.

Best in Health,


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2 Replies to “Why Use Acupuncture For Migraines?”

  1. Trace says:

    Great article, thank you and love the look of the new website Julz 🙂

    1. Julia says:

      Ha I just saw this! Thank YOU for the new website! xo

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