Did you know that Migraines are ranked as the 3rd most common disease in the world? If you don’t suffer from them, there’s a strong chance you know someone who does. Acupuncture has been clinically proven to reduce the effect and frequency of Migraines. In this blog we’ll explain how Acupuncture can help.

What Are Migraines

Reports suggest they affect at least 12% of the world’s population. That’s about 1 billion people suffering from Migraines on a regular basis! Migraines are painful attacks on both sides of the head and can often be accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, blackouts, dizziness and intense over-sensitivity to stimuli such as light & sound.

Women are also around 3 times more likely to suffer from migraines than men due to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle or menopause.

Women are 3x more likely to suffer from Migraines than men

Migraines can vary wildly in their severity depending on the person and their situation & medical history. Some people may only suffer migraines for short periods of time, a few hours at most; while others report being completely bedridden for days due to intense migraines.

What Causes Migraines?

The exact cause of migraines is actually unknown, as are many diseases relating to the brain. However, they are thought to be the result of sudden or temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves and blood vessels in the brain.
Approximately 50% of migraine sufferers report having a relative who also suffers from the condition, suggesting that there is a hereditary element to migraines.

Various triggers such as period, menopause, stress, fatigue, over-stimulation and even certain foods and drinks have all been shown to be causes of migraines – although there is no one single trigger which affects all people.

Most common causes of migraines

Unfortunately, as of 2022 at least, there is no known cure for migraines. Although there are a number of treatments available to limit and ease the effects. Painkillers are the most commonly used option – with over-the-counter medicines like Paracetamol at least offering a fast relief from the headache pain, if not always the other symptoms like dizziness and nausea.
While suffering a migraine, it is recommended you limit stimulations such as screens and loud noises until the symptoms subsite – resting or sleeping in a dark, quiet room can be effective for many people.

Acupuncture for Migraines

There are also some options for “preventative medication”, although many patients choose to avoid these as they frequently come with adverse side effects such as vomiting and weakness – which are not always a viable alternative to the initial migraine.

This is where Acupuncture has proven to be hugely helpful, since there are no such side effects. According to a Cochrane review of about 20 different independent studies, it was found that Acupuncture is at least as effective as prophylactic drug therapy for migraines, and it is a safe, long-lasting and cost-effective alternative; while other studies still have shown acupuncture to be even more effective than standard medicines.

Acupuncture can be very effective in limiting and reducing the frequency and severity of migraines

Acupuncture, through the strategic application of fine needles at various points on the body, has been shown to have positive effects on parts of the nervous system which control cardiovascular and disgestive functions. Specifically for migraines, Acupuncture can also help with the levels of certain neurotransmitters, hormones and the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers). Acupuncture has also been shown to have an effect on the recovery of the body’s neuronal mitochondrial function of the pain pathway – reducing muscle and nerve pain.

These effects all combine to ease the effect and frequency of migraines.

If you or someone you know suffers from regular and painful migraines, contact Zing True Health Clinic today and book your first Acupuncture session with us in our clinics in Kildare or Athlone.