Acupuncture For Headache Relief
As the most common disorder of the human nervous system, it is estimated that around 15% of the U.S. population suffer from migraines or other severe forms of headaches. A Statista survey from 2017 found that 18 percent of respondents suffered multiple times a month from headaches. Headache disorders, which are characterized by recurrent headaches, are associated with personal and societal burdens of pain, disability, damaged quality of life, and financial cost. For some, headaches can be quite disabling.
Fortunately, there is a safe, natural and effective therapy for headache relief – acupuncture. Acupuncture can help by alleviating symptoms of the headache (i.e. pain, nausea, light-sensitivity, lethargy, etc.) as well as by helping to reduce the number of future headaches, the severity of the symptoms that accompany the headaches and the number of symptoms themselves. Again, this is due to acupuncture being holistic and looking at the functioning of the entire body system as well as outside factors that could all be triggers.
The use of acupuncture triggers a biophysiological reaction in the body, in which the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) is activated. In this state, the body can pursue repair and immunity activities that it’s unable to do when the body is stressed or busy. This includes the release of immune cells, neurotransmitters (like endorphins and GABA), hormones (like serotonin) and other chemicals that all help the body to repair itself and feel good. These chemicals help to alleviate current symptoms and continual treatments help lead to better functioning and release of these chemicals that will hopefully lead to the end of headaches, or at least a lessening of the number and severity of them.
Acupuncture can also help with resolving some of the common triggers of headaches – including poor sleep, stress, allergies, medication use and emotional health. Just as the needles help to release various neurotransmitters, chemicals and hormones that help with pain relief, needles inserted into specific points can help release substances that address the triggers in addition to stopping the production of substances that may aggravate headaches, such as cortisol and adrenaline. It is this holistic approach that leads to not only temporary headache relief following a treatment but prolonged headache relief and better overall wellbeing after a series of consistent treatments.