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Turning to Acupuncture to Treat Your Headaches and Migraines

Turning to Acupuncture to Treat Your Headaches and Migraines

About 40 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, with symptoms that can take a dramatic toll on everyday activities and quality of life. In fact, there are more than 200 distinct types of headaches, and finding a solution for chronic pain can be very challenging.

Some headaches respond to over-the-counter pain medicines but chronic and recurrent headaches can be stubborn. Frequently, these headaches require a more holistic approach that focuses on the underlying cause of symptoms and taps into your body’s natural ability to heal and soothe.

At Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness, our team helps patients find meaningful, long-lasting symptoms relief with acupuncture therapy designed to relieve and even prevent chronic headaches. Here, learn the basics about acupuncture and how it helps relieve stubborn and often debilitating headache symptoms.

Quick facts about acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used medicinally for thousands of years, beginning about 3,000 years ago in China. But despite its long history, acupuncture remained underutilized in the United States until just a few decades ago. Today, more than 10 million acupuncture treatments are performed each year in the US.

When most of us hear the word acupuncture, we think of needles. But if you’ve been avoiding acupuncture because you’re worried about pain, it’s time to rethink those concerns. 

Acupuncture uses needles that are extremely thin, much thinner than needles used to deliver medicine. Acupuncture needles use very shallow insertion points — so shallow, most people report very little discomfort, but instead find the experience relaxing and rejuvenating.

Each needle insertion point is carefully selected and based on data associating those points with specific health benefits. Prior to your treatment, our team reviews your symptoms, your headache history, and your anatomy to optimize your results.

Acupuncture for headache relief

Even though medical researchers know acupuncture is effective in relieving pain, they’re not entirely sure how it works. They do know that optimal needle placement stimulates nerve pathways, including pathways associated with chronic pain signaling.

Acupuncture also appears to trigger increased production of chemicals called endogenous opiates, natural substances produced by your body to help relieve pain. The therapy also stimulates release of other chemicals that can help reduce inflammation for better healing responses over time.

Finally, acupuncture can be helpful in optimizing blood flow, delivering plenty of oxygen and nutrients to the brain for optimal function. For tension headaches, needle placement induces muscle relaxation, relieving stress and tightness that contribute to headache symptoms.

Studies show acupuncture can be especially beneficial for fighting chronic headaches. In fact, one large study of multiple acupuncture trials reported that acupuncture not only relieved headache pain at the time of treatment, but yielded results that lasted a year or more in nearly all study participants. 

Find a solution for your headaches

Acupuncture holds lots of promise for people suffering from chronic headaches, especially those who don’t want to be tied to constant medication use. 

To find out more about acupuncture and whether it’s a good option for you, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness in Pompton Plains and Jersey City, New Jersey, today.

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