Acupuncture for Headaches/Migraines
Many suffer from chronic headaches and migraines stemming from all different sources. Acupuncture offers a safe and prescription-free remedy for pain and symptoms associated with headaches and migraines. Developed in ancient China, acupuncture is known to alleviate pain by keeping the energy flow (called “qi”) balanced along the meridians within the body. Anyone experiencing frequent migraines knows that this disease can be life altering. Other treatment methods are not as effective as acupuncture and may cause even more side effects that could disrupt your everyday life. With acupuncture, one receives a more holistic and pain free solution that can offer those who are suffering from migraines control over their lives again.
Acupuncture regulates and redirects the body's Qi (the energy flow in the body) to relieve various body discomforts, including chronic migraines. This traditional practice stimulates systems in the body which can set off healing responses to target the causes of migraines and prevent them in the future. The recognized causes of migraines include inflammation, serotonin levels, and lack of proper blood flow and circulation. Acupuncture works against inflammation in the body by releasing vascular and immune-mediating factors. As for serotonin, a chemical produced by the human body, it has been linked to the initiation of migraines. This treatment is effective in balancing serotonin levels on a long-term basis, which eliminates the initiation of migraines altogether in the future. Additionally, lack of blood circulation and oxygen can be a big contributor to chronic migraines. Acupuncture brings more oxygen and blood flow to the tissue which promotes faster healing.
Migraines come with numerous extreme symptoms other than the regularly experienced head pain. Some of these symptoms include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, or sensitivity to sound or smell. Acupuncture is effective in treating these symptoms through regular and continuous sessions. With chronic symptoms, the body eventually stops working to heal these areas and accepts them as a constant part of how the body functions. By inserting tiny acupuncture needles into specific areas, the body receives a signal that something has penetrated the skin. When this happens, the body sends a healing response to the area since it is recognized as a new problem. The body no longer ignores the existing symptoms and acknowledges them as pain or discomfort that needs to be relieved.
When treating headaches and migraines, sometimes a combination of treatments can be an effective method when used all together. As no two patients or migraines are exactly the same, the idea of mixing treatments can many times convoy the best results in treating headache or migraine pain. For example, accompanying acupuncture with massage therapy, cupping, or chiropractic care can help resolve all possible sources of discomfort. Chiropractic care specifically has been proven successful in assisting with blood flow and circulation to the head. By reducing nerve irritation in the spinal bones or neck, blood flow is increased which reduces painful sensations in the head. The overall effects of acupuncture can be elevated when these other treatments are incorporated.
When arriving at Total Health for your first acupuncture treatment for headaches or migraines, there is no necessary prior preparation. At the beginning of your session, you will explain your symptoms and personal experience with migraines to your acupuncturist. This will help the acupuncturist understand your lifestyle, pain, symptoms, and where they should direct their attention during the session. Once assessed, your acupuncturist will begin inserting small acupuncture needles into specific points on your body. It is common for them to use several pressure points when focusing on chronic headaches. You can expect needles to be inserted in your “Third eye” which is between your eyebrows, the inner eyebrow, several points behind your ears, behind your neck, the crown point of your head, your upper lip, your temples, and more. If you are uncomfortable with having a specific area on the body being needled, make sure to notify your acupuncturist and they will avoid that area. Depending on the patient and location of where the needles are inserted, they can feel similar to a quick pinch, but most patients report feeling nothing at all. Once the needles are inserted in the correct spots, your acupuncturist will leave them in anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. During this time, our acupuncturists will leave calm music on and dim the lights to give their patients a relaxing experience. It is important to remain still and composed during your session to receive the best results. Depending on the patient and their symptoms, the amount of acupuncture sessions needed may vary, but usually 1 to 2 sessions per week for 3 months at minimum are recommended to experience relief and long-term results.
Quotes from our patients:
“The acupuncture treatment at Total Health was very relaxing and enjoyable. After explaining my headaches to my acupuncturist, she assessed where the needles will be inserted and after that I got to relax for about 45 minutes while the needles worked their magic! Right away my body felt the results, I will definitely be back for more acupuncture sessions!” -Claire
“I am not comfortable with needles, but the acupuncture needles were very bearable. The acupuncturist was very patient with me and listened to my concerns. Not only did my acupuncture session ease my migraine pain but it also released a lot of emotional stress for me.” -Jennifer .
If you are someone that is suffering with headache and migraines and are looking for a real solution, please reach out to our Total Health team to learn how acupuncture can help you.
*Total Health offers Acupuncture in Florham Park and Berkeley Heights.
*Acupuncture is covered by most insurances.
Matthew Winke, LAc
Matthew specializes in Acupuncture Orthopedics & Pain Management, Cupping, and Chinese Herbal Medicine to restore health and well-being to his patients.
April Zhang, LAc
April blends her training in acupuncture with Chinese herbal medicine to naturally heal her patients’ wide range of health concerns at Total Health.
Shumin Liu, L.Ac
Shumin has been practicing acupuncture since 2013 in New Jersey as a licensed acupuncturist. She is well-loved by her patients and analyzes the underlying causes of the patients’ symptoms. Shumin uses holistic treatments tailoring each individual patient and specializes in treating migraines, anxiety, depression, frozen shoulders, lower back pain, and cervicalgia (neck pain).