Acupuncture for headache at Seattle Acupuncture Center



In a recent study, Duke researchers found that acupuncture is more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches after reviewing the results of 31 studies. Of the studies comparing acupuncture to medication, the researchers found that 62 percent of the acupuncture patients reported headache relief compared to only 45 percent of people taking medication. Correct technique is important as well. Sham acupuncture, which was done on parts of the body not associated with the ancient Chinese principles, was less effective than traditional acupuncture.

In a multi-center, single-blinded, randomized, controlled trial involving 140 patients with migraine headaches (without aura), treatment with acupuncture was found to be more effective than treatment with flunarizine (pharmacological agent used in the treatment of migraines) in reducing the number of days of migraine attacks. Patients were randomized to receive one of two interventions: a) real acupuncture (3 times/week) plus a placebo given orally daily; b) sham acupuncture plus flunarizine daily. Subjects who received real acupuncture had better responder rates and fewer migraine days, as compared to those who received the drug therapy. No significant difference in VAS scores for pain and SF-36 scores for physical and mental health components were found. These results suggest that acupuncture may be a safe and effective method used to help prevent migraine headaches.

“Efficacy of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis: a single-blinded, double-dummy, randomized controlled trial,” Wang LP, Zhang XZ, et al, Pain, 2011 May 24