ask: Acupuncture for migraines?

By Cyndi November 11, 2008 - 10:42am
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I'm just wondering if anyone out there has ever tried acupuncture to help with their migraines?

I sometimes get migraines 4 or 5 times a month. It is rare if I go 10 days without one. I have tried different therapies and medications,

and about all my doctors have been successful in doing so far is (mostly) helping me control the pain once the headaches start.

Has anyone tried acupuncture for migraines? How long did you go, and did you get any relief from it?

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Dr. Susan

You can find a directory of Board-Certified Acupuncturists at

Dr. Susan

November 12, 2008 - 10:23am

Dr. Susan and Alison, thank you so much for your explanations and information. It's very exciting to think that this might help.

My hesitations have been (a) not knowing where to start, or how to find a practitioner, and (b) just not knowing what to expect. I also wasn't sure if to begin acupuncture I would need to stop other medications that I take, or if it works together with the medicine.

It helps to know that it would take quite a few treatments over several months. I plan to look into it more. Is there a reputable source available to help find acupuncturists?

Thank you again.

November 12, 2008 - 10:14am
Dr. Susan

I have treated many migraine patients (approximately 80% of my patients were headache or migraines sufferers when I was practicing in Phoenix).

Acupuncture is a wonderful therapy for treating migraines and not only does it reduce or eliminate the pain when you actually have a migraine, but it also will help balance your body to prevent future migraines from occuring. Everyones migraine is different and acupuncture allows you to treat the patient as an individual versus just treating the migraine. Acupuncture treatment is time consuming is a cummulative treatment and each treatment builds on the last. For this reason, in the beginning you must have treatments at least 2 times per week for 2-3 weeks and then taper down. I also always prescribe a chinese herbal formula that helps to re-enoforce the acupuncture treatments (to be taken at home on a daily basis).

The general rule of thumb for acupuncture is that you should expect 1 month of treatment for each year you have had the disorder..for example, if you have had migraines for 2 years, you most likely will be looking at 2 months of treatment.

Dr. Susan

November 12, 2008 - 8:45am
Alison Beaver

I have not personally, but over the past 6 months of working at, I have seen many stories about acupuncture, and how successful the treatment was for many women.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an article about this very topic, and in their research, found, "Patients receiving acupuncture had 22 fewer days of headaches a year, used 15% less medication, made 25% fewer visits to their family doctors and took 15% fewer days off sick than the other group."

Acupuncture was also said to have little or no side-effects and is cost-effective.


More Journal articles:

Are you thinking about trying acupuncture? What are the pros and cons for you trying this treatment?

November 11, 2008 - 3:24pm
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