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Acupuncture for Migraine Headaches


By Dr. Jeannette “Jett” Kerns, AP, DOM, MSAOM, L.Ac.

According to a study, in the British Medical Journal, acupuncture can provide lasting relief for those suffering from migraines and other types of chronic headaches.

Researchers found that compared with standard medical care, acupuncture offers substantial benefits in preventing headaches and migraines and improving the quality of life for people who suffer from frequent headaches, especially migraines.

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat other types of chronic pain, but researchers say this is the first large-scale study to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture under real-life conditions. They say the astounding results could account for recent health insurance coverage of acupuncture services being expanded to include the treatment of chronic headaches and migraines on many insurance plans.

Acupuncture involves inserting tiny, hair-like needles into the body to stimulate the body’s natural painkilling chemicals in the brain, increase blood flow, regulate hormones, relax tense muscles, reduce the effect of stress and stimulate nerves. Acupuncture is surprisingly painless and is a safe and effective alternative to harmful and toxic medications. It’s safe for small children, the elderly and even pregnant women.

When treating migraines, I generally start with lab work to help identify potential causes such as hormone imbalance or nutritional deficiencies and from there create a customized treatment plan incorporating acupuncture, nutritional counseling, herbal remedies and even physical therapy to help restore balance to the body. The average course of treatment is about ten sessions, twice a week. Most insurance plans offer some type of coverage, which may include office visits, acupuncture and physical therapy modalities. Because insurance companies require diagnosis and procedure codes to determine benefits, we recommend having your provider call your insurance to verify benefits for the most accurate information.