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9 recliners in a semi-circle, each with a patient resting under red blankets. Practioner seated on a small black stool giving a treatment to one patient.

Community Acupuncture for Headaches and Migraines

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

by Stef Cordes and Lisa Baird

We treat headaches almost every day. For some folks headaches are mild and infrequent. For others headaches happen often and significantly interfere with their ability to get through the day. We have seen acupuncture help with all kinds of headaches; people sometimes get immediate relief in our chairs and are able to take a nap while the needles do their work. We regularly successfully treat headaches for people who “have tried everything.”

There are a number of different types of headaches:

Tension (also called “stress headaches”) is probably the most common type and is usually a pain that can feel like a band around the head or at the temples, often accompanied by neck and shoulder tension.

Inflamed sinuses can also cause sinus headaches, which usually manifests as throbbing face pain that tends to be worse in the morning and with bending over.

Migraines are fairly common and are often described as throbbing pain on one side of the head. Light and sound usually aggravate a migraine and nausea and vomiting are frequent symptoms.

There are still more types of headaches, such as cluster headaches (one of the more painful types that occur in or around one eye and appear in clusters), and hormonal headaches (when they occur before or during menstruation), and headaches as a lingering symptom of concussion. We regularly see acupuncture reduce the frequency and intensity of all types of headaches, and we often see acupuncture resolve the headaches completely.

How often should people come for long-term headache relief? This very much depends on the person, but we usually recommend about 6-8 treatments for someone who has recently started to suffer from headaches, while 10-12 treatments is more appropriate for those who have been suffering from headaches from 6 months or more.

Acupuncture can also treat some of the common causes of headaches. We use acupuncture to help with stress, body tension, poor sleep, chronic sinusitis, and hormonal imbalances. But even if your health team can’t figure out why your head hurts, acupuncture can help.

If you have questions about how acupuncture can help with your headaches, please get in touch.

8 recliners in a semi-circle, each with a patient resting under red blankets. Practioner seated on a small black stool giving a treatment to one patient.

photo by Vanessa Tignanelli

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