Acupuncture for Headaches

More often than not, people will use painkilling medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for their headache pain. What they need to know is that there are alternative therapies available that can help with their headaches, and they may find incredible result from those therapies.

One such powerful alternative therapy is acupuncture which is a Chinese healing modality that has been utilized for tens of hundreds of years. More and more headache sufferers have been utilizing it due to its long-term effectiveness in dealing with headache pain.  Individuals who have developed chronic headaches surely know how difficult it is to cope with the pain each and everyday of their lives. The pain virtually affects ever facet of their life; addressing the problem may not be quite that easy for them.

Availing of over-the-counter painkillers can only bring about short-term relief and in the course of time, regular use of these drugs can eventually lead to a resistance to them and cause ‘rebound headache’ that their medications are unable to treat. Due to the medication’s lessened potency over time, individuals who are faced with chronic headache pain have turned to natural and alternative modalities, such as acupuncture.

The idea of getting acupuncture, however, may trigger frightening thoughts of needles inserted into the skin. The needles used by acupuncturists are extremely thin that a tingling or numbing sensation may be all that one feels when the needles are inserted into the skin in order to treat various types of medical conditions.

Recent studies regarding acupuncture therapy have shown that it is often more potent than analgesics in the treatment of headaches.  Some of these studies, done in Germany, involved the use of acupuncture to treat both tension headaches and migraines — the two most common forms of headache. The results were included in the Journal of the American Medical Association validating acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating headache and migraine.

Acupuncture adherents state that the therapy’s effects are greater than that of medications in treating headaches. They also say that acupuncture has no side effects compared to headache medications that bring about serious side effects which are oftentimes as worse as the headaches they treat.

More clinical studies are needed to fully validate the effectiveness of acupuncture and please the establishment naysayers although in truth, tons of anecdotal evidence can be provided to show how acupuncture really helps to treat migraine and headache pain.

One should also consider the gateway theory when seriously thinking about getting acupuncture treatment. The gateway theory means that the body can only feel a limited amount of sensations all at once. When the body is overloaded with sensations, it starts to exclude some of them.  One can realize this sensation when imagining, for example, that a person have just been bit by a mosquito. The scratching of the site of the bite can relieve the itch. This is an example of the gateway theory. This is important to note since acupuncture therapy works the same way.  The body may simply be excluding the pain signals from the headache, and focuses on the pain caused by the needles instead.