As one of the oldest methods of medical treatment for pain relief, acupuncture promotes healing by focusing on stimulating specific body points. Practiced for thousands of years in Asian countries, it is used to treat migraines and many other bodily complaints. During the procedure, a trained acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles up to two inches into specific points on the body. The points are selected based on the ailment being treated. The needles remain in the body for at least 20 minutes. Acupuncture has been considered a conventional medical technique by the United States National Institutes of Health since 1997 and is used for treating labor pain, neck pain, back pain, anxiety, muscle pain, insomnia, dental pain, and pain from fibromyalgia. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the needles which must be sterile, nontoxic, and used only once and only by qualified practitioners.
The theory behind acupuncture is that the thin, metallic, solid needles inserted into the body release the body’s natural painkillers, stimulates nerves, muscles, and tissues, and increases blood flow. The goal is to balance the body’s energy which is called the body’s life force called qi (or chi).
Relieving Migraine Pain
It is not very clear that how acupuncture works to ease migraine pain and symptoms. Acupuncture seems to release the body’s natural painkillers called endorphins. It may also block the neurotransmitters and may even prevent pain messages from being delivered to the brain. It is a safe, effective natural treatment for the relief of migraine headaches. Researchers have determined that acupuncture reduced the intensity and frequency of migraines. A study conducted by The Royal Melbourne Hospital and RMIT University researchers concluded that the total number of days with a migraine was reduced for patients receiving acupuncture plus a significant reduction in the need for migraine medication.
The side effects are minimal and include soreness, bleeding or bruising at needle sites. To reduce the chance of side effects, ensure that you receive acupuncture treatments only from a licensed and qualified practitioner.