Migraine and Acupuncture

By June 1, 2018May 23rd, 2023Acupuncture, migraine

Migraines are severe headaches that usually begin on one
side of the head (often behind the eye) and spread to the
whole head. Migraines can last from two hours to a few days.

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Migraine pain can be throbbing, pulsing or squeezing
and it gets worse with movement and normal activities.
Other symptoms include:
• a warning sign (aura) such as blurred vision,
flashing lights, numbness, tingling and funny smells
• nausea and vomiting
• a dislike for bright lights
• a dislike for loud noises


Migraines vary between people and so does the treatment.
There are many new treatments that can be used for an attack.
If a migraine is in the early stages, simple medications such
as aspirin  and anti-nausea medication may be enough to provide relief.

Acupuncture  Treatment can help by:

  • Providing pain relief – by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurochumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord
  • Reducing inflammation – by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
  • Reducing the degree of cortical spreading depression (an electrical wave in the brain associated with migraine) and plasma  levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P (both implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine) .
  • Modulating extracranial and intracranial blood flow .
  • Affecting serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine) levels in the brain . Serotonin may be linked to the initiation of migraines; 5-HT agonists (triptans) are used against acute attacks.

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