Worldwide, it is estimated that 1 billion men, women, and even children suffer from migraine disease.
Only someone who suffers from migraine headaches can really understand how debilitating these attacks can be. Maybe the attacks are triggered by stress or a change in the weather, but if you’ve ever had to deal with one, you know that the rest of your day will be affected, and it likely will not be in a good way. For many people, it requires them to cancel plans they made weeks or months ago, taking away from time with family or friends. Headaches and migraine syndrome can affect job performance, often leading to more stress because of difficulties with managers and co-workers or a reduced capacity to hold down meaningful work. All of these consequences affect quality of life and can lead to isolation, anxiety or depression.
Many migraine sufferers turn to medication for relief, and of course, this is sometimes a great option. But if you’re keen to minimize the amount of medication you need to use and would prefer to try other remedies, acupuncture for migraines is an excellent idea!
There are at least three benefits to using acupuncture in the management of your migraine headaches.
- Prevention: Patients who receive acupuncture for migraine report it has been effective in reducing the number of migraine headaches experienced on a monthly basis. It has also been shown to reduce the duration and intensity of pain when a headache does occur.
- Cost saving: Many of the new migraine treatments are exceedingly expensive, and while insurance companies will sometimes cover the cost of these treatments, co-pays and co-insurance can still prevent a patient from taking advantage of these treatments. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company to see if you have an acupuncture benefit or contact me and I’ll check for you!. In addition, if you have a flexible spending account or a health savings account, that money can be used to cover the cost.
- Side effects: Many of the medications used to treat migraine headaches/syndrome can have very uncomfortable side effects. Patients diagnosed with migraines, in my experience, have a tendency to be even more sensitive to medications than the general population, so taking a daily medication is not an attractive option for them. Acupuncture has practically no adverse effects and can be an opportunity to allow the nervous system to relax and reset, not only helping to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of migraine attacks, but also adding to a sense of calm and an increased ability to focus in day-to-day activities.