HeadacheHead is one of the most common areas of pain inside body. Pain can arise from the head or upper neck and present from mild dull aching to constant throbbing or sharp pain. It can be classified as primary, secondary and other headaches. Generally, secondary or other headache could indicate many different conditions and need to be treated according to underlying etiology or cause. Primary headache, on the other hand, can be the result from chemical activity in the brain, or the nerve, blood vessels and muscles problem nearby. The most common types of primary headache include tension headache, migraine and cluster, and are commonly treated by analgesics, such as Panadol.
Acupuncture’s effect in pain management is recognized worldwide. It is believed that acupuncture can stimulate the nervous system and influence the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. With increased activity of natural pain-killing biochemical like endorphins by acupuncture, it reduces body’s sensitivity to pain and stress. Therefore, acupuncture is frequently involved in the treatment of headache. In fact, the American Headache Society already recommends acupuncture for migraines treatment.
According to a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in July 2012, acupuncture helps to reduce the attack of migraines and may have lasting effects.  After one month treatments, 500 participants reported fewer days with migraines than before, from average 6 days to 3 days in a month. People who received traditional Chinese acupuncture continued to report a reduction in migraine days, frequency, and intensity three months after the completion of the treatments. Another study of nearly 800 people showed that acupuncture was at least as effective as the blood pressure drugs called beta-blockers which is often used for migraine prevention.
Other benefits from acupuncture during headache treatment of include:
* balancing the female hormones which believed to be a factor relate to female migraine.
* significantly reducing muscle tension in the neck and upper back which can be the triggers for headache.
* supporting immune system by increasing the activity of immune cells. It helps to prevent other illnesses for long term.
MigraineTraditional Chinese medicine holds that brain is “sea of marrow” that is nourished by all essences from internal organs. Head is the place where meridians are met on the top of the body. When the headache happens, it indicates underlying dysfunction of organs as well as blockage of meridian system by pathogenic factors. Traditional acupuncturists also consider the lifestyle and environmental factors for the headache from holistic concept of the disease. After unique syndrome differentiation for the individual, several needles will be inserted into body points on “meridians” to clear the blockages on the headache. Treatment also focus to regulate function of organs, such as liver, kidney, and spleen based on the theory of Chinese Medicine. Clients’ experience of the relief varies, but can be shown as early as the completion of first treatment. Most clients will have 1-2 treatments per week for about a month. However, more intensive treatments will be needed for migraine. Usually it is advises two to three visits per week for a month for severe and frequent attacks, and then reduced to once a week for another month. Follow up treatment are needed especially important for the headache prevention.
Headache, especially migraine can be severe and affect people’s daily life. A series of acupuncture treatments with individually plan can balance the whole body and benefit for the long term relief.
For more inquiry, please contact Auckland eastMED acupuncture.