Migraine is a primary headache disorder manifesting as recurring attacks, usually lasting for 4 to 72 hours and involving pain of moderate to severe intensity. Typical characteristics of the headache are unilateral location, pulsating quality, moderate or severe intensity, and aggravation by routine physical activity. Sufferers may also experience auras, photophobia, phonophobia, nausea and vomiting.
Migraine is a common disorder ; a UK follow - up study found the migraine incidence rate to be 3.69 cases per 1,000 person - years, and to be around 2.5 times higher in women than men. Many people with migraine can be adequately treated when the attacks occur, but some need prophylactic interventions, as their attacks are either too frequent or are insufficiently controlled in this way. Several drugs, such as beta-blockers, amitriptyline or sodium valproate, are used in the prophylaxis of migraine in an attempt to reduce attack frequency, but all these drugs are associated with adverse effects.
There have now been many controlled trials of acupuncture for migraine, with some large, high-quality ones in recent years. The results of the latest reviews are quite consistent: acupuncture is least as effective as prophylactic drug therapy, with few contraindications or unpleasant side effects. Acupuncture has been found to be cost-effective. As well as prevention it may also be used to alleviate symptoms during acute attacks. There is preliminary qualitative evidence from patients that acupuncture can increase coping mechanisms as well as relieve migraine symptoms. I have helped many people suffering from migraines.
About acupuncture for migraine relief
Pain relief is now the most common complaint that most acupuncturists treat today. Acupuncture is so good at relieving pain that physiotherapists also used it, but unfortunately after just doing a weekend course in acupuncture.