Archive for May, 2012

Acupuncture for Headaches-no side effects

Posted on May 16, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How can Acupuncture remedy headaches?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a very consistent and philosophically-based framework for headache diagnosis and treatment.  Acupuncture, as an effective treatment modality, has been applied to headaches from the earliest beginnings of TCM.

Acupuncture is not just only effective for migraine headaches, but also works very well for tension headaches, cluster headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches that may be due to sinus problems, high blood pressure or sleeping disorders. The greatest advantage of acupuncture over Western medicine is that it causes virtually no harm.  Some medications can have serious side effects and can (in some instances) actually lead to patients experiencing a “rebound” headache. Unlike synthetic medications, acupuncture has essentially no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches are less invasive with acupuncture than with surgery.

Who gets headaches?

Nearly everyone will suffer a headache at some point in time.  Headaches are one of the most common physical complaints that prompt people to treat themselves or seek professional help. It has been estimated that up to 50 million Americans suffer from severe, long-lasting, reacurring headaches.  While most headaches are not necessarily symptomatic of another condition, they can be very distracting and account for significant amounts of time lost from work.

What are the different types of headaches?

Headaches fall into three main categories: tension-type, migraine and cervicogenic. Tension-type headaches are the most common.  Many patients who endure tension-type headaches usually feel mild to moderate pain on both sides of their head. The pain is usually described as tight, stiff or constricting, almost as though there is a vice squeezing the head.

While migraines affect far fewer people than the tension-type headaches, they have a much shorter duration, but their symptoms are much more severe. They typically affect women more than men, with pain that usually occurs on one side of the head.  Migraines can be so debilitating that they can cause loss of appetite, blurred vision, nausea and even vomiting.

Cervicogenic headaches are the most recently diagnosed type of headache and are musculoskeletal in nature. They may be caused by pain in the neck or spine that migrates to the head.  Many times, cervicogenic headaches are undiagnosed because of their recent classification.

What are the results of Treatment? 

Web M.D. wrote that people who received acupuncture were nearly four times as likely to report less suffering than those who received standard medical treatment alone, such as pain relievers.

“The results showed that patients who received acupuncture reported significant improvement in many quality of life measures,” says researcher Remy Coeytaux, MD, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in a news release. “The patients felt better, and the vast majority who got acupuncture reported that their headaches had improved during the six weeks of treatment

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