Chinese medicine has been successfully using acupuncture for headaches for thousands of years but its use in Western countries has yet to be fully accepted. Regardless of how common you have them, headaches are certainly a common malady. Because of their common place many different cultures have developed treatment protocols for headaches. Until recently acupuncture for headaches was the preferred treatment method in China and is now gaining popularity in Western countries.
Western influence has brought prescription medications to China but acupuncture is still commonly used there for headaches. Acupuncture for headaches has an advantage by providing significant analgesia without the side effects of their prescription drug counterpart. Instead, acupuncture is usually combined with natural Chinese herbal medicine to provide a more comprehensive and long lasting effect on the headache. Together this treatment program relieves the underlying problems and not just the symptoms.
How Acupuncture for Headaches Works
The concept of Qi (pronounced Chi) is the foundation of Chinese medicine. Its fundamental premise is that life energy flows through the body in channels known as meridians. This energy flow regulates all bodily functions. An imbalance in this energy flow manifests itself as illness or symptom.
For good health, it is essential that these meridians remain unblocked and balanced. Many external factors can block these meridians at specific points causing an overabundance of Qi in one area and a deficiency in another. In acupuncture therapy, extremely fine needles are inserted into various meridians to stimulate or move the Qi. The result is the acupuncturists eliminates the blockage or deficiency allowing the free and balanced flow of Qi. For headache treatment the acupuncturists focuses on mvement of QI, often along the gall bladder meridian.
The actual acupuncture for headaches treatment is intended to produce a stress reducing and calming effect. The first step is inserting needles into an acupuncture points. This procedure is not at all painful although a slight pressure is sometimes felt by the patient. More usually, you will feel various sensations of warmth, numbness or heaviness at the point of insertion. This first step is known as obtaining the Qi as the acupuncturists finds the correctly placement of the needle. Additional needles are inserted at strategic points across the body in a similar fashion. Once insertion of the needles is complete, the patient is left alone to relax and recuperate. Many patients fall asleep at this stage of the procedure.
A typical acupuncture for headaches session will last 40 - 60 minutes and be administered once or twice per week. As in all medical treatments, efficacy varies. Symptoms are sometimes relieved after one treatment with more stubborn headache patterns requiring weeks or months of treatment.
Because of its great efficacy and minimum side effects, the use of acupuncture for headaches is gaining wide interest in the West. The treatment is recognized as fast acting, safe, effective, and long lasting.