Acupuncture vs. HeadachesDecember 4, 2008 Written by JP [Font too small?]
We all get an occasional headache. But for some people, headaches are a regular part of life. And while taking pain relievers every once in awhile may be reasonably safe, taking them on a long-term basis may not be.
Recently, Duke University published a review of thirty-one studies that examined the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic headaches. Their results could very well change the way that many people cope with this painful condition.
Before we go any further, I’d like to briefly explain exactly what acupuncture is. Acupuncture is a technique whereby very fine needles are placed in specific spots on your body. Practitioners of acupuncture believe that certain points on your body correlate to particular health conditions and symptoms.
In the Duke University review, most of the studies compared real acupuncture against “sham” acupuncture. In other words, some people in these studies had needles placed in real acupuncture points that have been traditionally used to treat headaches. Another group of people also had needles applied to them, but in areas of the body that had no traditional association with headache treatment. The review also compared the effects of acupuncture versus medication therapy.
The results of the review revealed the following important findings:
- 62% of acupuncture patients found an improvement in headache relief vs. only 45% of those taking medications. The patients who received acupuncture also reported “better physical well-being”.
- More patients benefited from real acupuncture as opposed to “sham” acupuncture. But get this! Even those receiving sham acupuncture found positive results 45% of the time.
- Only 5 or 6 acupuncture treatments were required for most patients to start seeing an improvement in their headache symptoms.
According to the lead researcher of the study, Dr. Tong Joo Gan, “Acupuncture is becoming a favorable option … because people experience significantly fewer side effects and it can be less expensive than other options.”
So now you know. There’s an affordable, more effective, safer option to medication for chronic headache pain. Let’s spread the word!
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Tags: Acupuncture, Headache, Pain
Posted in Alternative Therapies