There are few things worse then suffering through a migraine headache. For those who suffer from these devastating pains, relief can be nearly impossible to find. Many times medications will not fully help with the pain. Or, they will not help alleviate the other symptoms associated with migraine head aches. Acupuncture has been found to lesson symptoms in migraine sufferers in a recent study on this ancient science.
In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal nearly 500 hundred adult sufferers of migraine were treated with either traditional Chinese acupuncture or a ‘sham’ session. In the sham session, needles were placed randomly on the body, not in specific pressure points. During the four week study the participants were not told which treatment they were receiving.
Before the study the participants suffered at least one major migraine episode a month. Many suffered migraines much more regularly. The average number of migraine days for each participant was six per month.
Right after the study, all participants reported fewer and less severe migraines. At first the researches were inclined to write off the use of acupuncture as yet another sham science. But then the data started to change. In the months following the experiment, only those who had received genuine acupuncture treatments continued to feel better. The participants who had received the sham treatments lost whatever placebo effect had made them feel better for a short period of time.
The receivers of actual acupuncture suffered from an average of three migraine days a month long after the treatments were conducted. This is a reduction of half from before the study. Receiving treatments over time may improve the rates still further.
Experts believe that those who would benefit most from acupuncture treatments are sufferers who have had little or no luck with medication. They suggest that a series of treatments from a licensed chiropractor or acupuncturist may help alleviate some of the tension and strain that many find a part of the migraine process.
While the study has yet to be repeated, it raises a number of interesting questions. Why would a body not respond in the same way to random needles as it does to needles placed according to tradition? If, as some medical professionals are so fond of touting, that acupuncture is just a placebo treatment why would the results over time be so different? While the exact mechanisms behind the effectiveness of traditional pain and stress treatments such as acupuncture may not be fully understood as of yet, what is clear is that they offer a relief from suffering for many people.
If you are a sufferer in the greater NYC area, a treatment from a qualified NYC chiropractor or acupuncturist may help alleviate your suffering in ways that just mediation cannot. New treatments are sometimes the oldest treatments available.