American researchers have reviewed studies involving nearly 4000 patients with migraine, tension headache and other chronic headaches and reported that acupuncture works better than drugs like aspirin to reduce the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.
The researchers found that 62% of patients receiving acupuncture treatment reported headache relief compared to only 45% of people taking medications.
"Acupuncture is becoming a favorable option for a variety of purposes, ranging from enhancing fertility to decreasing post-operative pain, because people experience significantly fewer side effects and it can be less expensive than other options. This analysis reinforces that acupuncture also is a successful source of relief from chronic headaches." Dr. Tong Joo Gan, who led the study, said in a statement.
Acupuncture therapy considers each patient individually based on their health history and current symptoms. This allows the acupuncturist to develop a personalised acupuncture treatment which will aim to reach both the cause of the headache as well as relieving symptoms. For example, a headache caused by neck tension may include treatment to relax the neck and additional points to relieve the headache.
An acupuncture treatment is generally painless and may involve the insertion of several fine needles to acupoints on the body. It is usually a relaxing and enjoyable form of therapy.