Results of latest clinical trials have proved that acupuncture can be very helpful in fighting headaches. More and more people are considering alternative therapies. While many just want to take pills prescribed by their doctor, there is an increasing problem with the traditional treatment of headaches.
The problem with traditional medicine
The fact is that conventional medications are ineffective at treating headaches. Some are believed to become effective at treating migraine headaches and others work well with tension headaches. The major problem with these medications is that they convert a migraine into a Chronic Daily Headache – or CDH that is far difficult to treat.
CDH is on the rise. The present definition of CDH is the one that occurs at least 15 days a month. It is an irony that a medication meant to treat one type of headache is believed to help the development of another type. Due to this strange situation, both doctors and patients have been motivated to consider alternative therapies.
Many types of headaches have certain triggers like lack of sleep and certain types of foods. Normally the headache sufferer can stay away from these triggers, but at times, it is difficult. So if medications do not help but instead aggravate the problem, what is the solution?
Acupuncture is a type of therapy in China and other Eastern civilizations, used for more than 5,000 years. It operates by inserting very small needles into certain points of the body. They are then allowed to stay for some minutes or at times even hours. Oriental medicine assumes that the energy force of the body, or Qi (chee), can be disturbed. By keeping needles at certain places where the energy lines first come close to the skin’s surface, the Qi can be rebalanced, thus curing the patient. Though acupuncture has been used for healing people for ages, it is only now its effectiveness for treating headaches has been studied deeply.
Is it effective?
A study of sufferers in the UK showed that those who stayed off work because of headaches took fewer sick days on receiving acupuncture for 3 months. Another study performed at the University of North Carolina showed that patients suffering from CDH showed clear improvements in their headaches.
Studies showed an interesting result. Acupuncture eased tension and migraine headaches in the patients who underwent acupuncture as compared to those who received no acupuncture. But there was no noticeable difference in results between ‘real’ acupuncture and placebo acupuncture where needles were simply inserted into areas that did not have any benefit.
Whatever the cause for the results, acupuncture is a safe method of headache treatment, with no adverse effects. Due to this, many GP Practices today provide acupuncture as an alternative therapy.