Stubborn Headaches? Try Acupuncture
Headaches can get in the way of your everyday life. It is hard to enjoy anything, let alone get your work done, when your head is pounding. If you are dealing with frequent headaches, you should certainly see your doctor for a diagnosis. In the meantime, however, acupuncture is one therapy that can give you profound and lasting relief. Here's a closer look.
What is acupuncture, and is it safe?
Most people have heard of acupuncture, but it is often mischaracterized. It's a therapy that originated in Chinese medicine and that involves inserting very thin needles into the skin. Contrary to popular belief, this does not hurt. You will barely feel a thing when the needles are inserted because they are so thin. Acupuncture is performed by practitioners called acupuncturists, who have received formal training and know how to perform the procedure in a safe, sanitary way. As long as you seek treatment by a licensed acupuncturist, you should have no serious concerns side effects like infection and pain.
How does acupuncture help treat headaches?
Acupuncturists have known for years that the treatment can help ease headaches, but scientists are just figuring out now why it works. Traditionally, the Chinese would say that acupuncture helped rebalance the energy that runs through the body. More modern thought is that it helps redirect and calm pain-related nerve impulses in a way that promotes relaxation and stress relief.
Since many headaches are due to tension and stress and acupuncture can relieve tension and stress, acupuncture often causes headaches to become less severe and less frequent.
Can you combine acupuncture with other treatments?
Yes. In fact, in most cases, it is recommended to use acupuncture as a supportive therapy, which means you would use it in addition to whatever prescription medications and other treatments your doctor has already recommended. Since acupuncture is not a medication, you can combine it with pain relievers, anti-depressants, and basically any other drug. Just check with your doctor first to ensure this advice applies to your case.
How often should you seek treatment?
This depends on how serious your headaches are and on your budget. Patients can often benefit from once-a-week treatments, at least at first. You can probably work your way down to once-a-month treatments once you start seeing relief. Your acupuncturist can give you more personalized guidance on this matter.
Acupuncture is a great choice for many patients with headaches. It's safe, effective, and relaxing.