Chronic headaches and headache disorders are one of the most common disorders of the nervous system, and acupuncture can help! And unlike taking a medication for your headache, acupuncture seeks to relieve pain naturally, get to the root of the problem and help to fix it once and for all.
What is a headache disorder?
Headache disorders include migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches and medication overuse headaches. About 30% of the population in the United States suffers from chronic headaches. Headaches are painful, and they can be debilitating, robbing the sufferer of quality of life, and the ability to concentrate, work and enjoy their families.
There are many causes of chronic and recurrent headaches. There may be food triggers, emotional triggers or environmental triggers. They may result from under or overeating, overworking, changes in weather or barometric pressure, lack of sleep, or hormonal changes. Headaches can occur after accidents, a blow to the head, or even after an illness.
How does acupuncture help headaches?
All of these factors can lead to a disruption in the way the body regulates itself. At the heart of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is the concept of proper balance of the body’s energies, and the smooth flow of life-force (qi). When there is pain in the head, it is an indication that there is either too much or too little energy in the head, and that the flow is somehow disrupted.
A good acupuncturist is trained to differentiate the many causes of headache and correct the imbalance. We ask many questions to determine the exact location of the pain and the possible causes so that we know how to treat it. Unlike taking medication, an acupuncturist will seek to identify each person’s unique makeup and headache situation to offer the most complete way to deal with recurrent pain.
What to expect from your acupuncture treatments
In addition to receiving acupuncture, you may receive dietary and lifestyle advice. Herbs may be prescribed. You may be asked to rest more, you may be asked to exercise differently.
How long you should receive acupuncture for your headaches can vary. If you have been a long-term sufferer, it could take many months of regular treatment to achieve lasting results. Many patients are motivated to keep coming when they see an improvement in the frequency, intensity and duration of pain, which can occur quite quickly. Each situation is unique, and your experienced acupuncturist can give a best guess estimate once they understand your particular headache profile.