A basic overview of acupuncture for treating headaches, how it works and the benefits of acupuncture and Eastern medicine over Western medicine for headache relief.

When someone suffers from headaches, the small daily tasks in life become mountainous; the normal nuisances become huge annoyances. Headaches are hard to live with and hard to control. Though medication can stop them once they start, it not only takes a while for the headache to dissipate, but it also isn’t always the best thing for one’s health to medicate, especially if the headaches are often. This is where Chinese Medicine, primarily acupuncture, comes into play. Acupuncture can be extremely beneficial to headache relief, if not removing them permanently, at the least, the frequency and intensity will be decreased (as long as the acupuncture is done correctly).

Acupuncture is the insertion of small needles into certain points of the body. When done by a trained practitioner, this is a painless procedure. According to practitioners, the needles allow the chi, the body’s energy, to flow more freely, therefore eliminating the problems that cause discomfort or pain, such as headaches. Often patients report feeling a better flow while they are receiving acupuncture.
Depending on what type of headache the patient is exhibiting, the placement of the acupuncture needles will differ. The practitioner will examine the patient, including taking the pulse and looking at the tongue for a reading of where the problem lies. The different headache causes and readings can tell the practitioner where the needles must go for relief. Surprisingly, the condition of the tongue can tell a lot about the type of headache and the effect it has on the system. Once the needles are in place, the patient will lie relaxed for several minutes (usually 20 to 30) and then the needles are removed.

Again depending on the severity and the cause, the acupuncture sessions may need to be repeated a few times. Relief may be felt after the first session, or after subsequent ones. Also, after the initial sessions, acupuncture may need to be repeated every few months or years to keep headaches at bay.
Some practitioners recommend that receiving acupuncture while experiencing a headache is the most effective time. This may be easier said then done, but if headaches are predictable, it may be beneficial to time sessions when the patient believes he or she may be more prone to headaches.

Acupuncture is a noninvasive, viable alternative to Western treatment for headaches. It is virtually painless, non addictive and can afford consistent relief without medication. Acupuncture is a cure for headaches; however, it is important for the patient to make sure that headaches are not a symptom of a more serious condition.

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Submited By: Heather Legg

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