So, can acupuncture help? As a headache sufferer myself (since adolescence), I know firsthand the power of acupuncture to lessen the severity of headaches as well as the frequency. I also know it can often take away a headache that is already in progress. As a practitioner of acupuncture, I've seen it work very well for many of my patients.
When I assess a headache patient it is always important for me to differentiate that patient's particular symptoms. Some questions to think about before you come in for acupuncture include:
- Where on the head is my headache?
- What triggers my headache?
- Does it feel better with pressure applied to it, or does pressure make it worse?
- Is it dull or sharp and stabbing?
- If female, where in my menstrual cycle do my headaches tend to come?
- Does my headache come on with weather shifts, like cold and wet weather?
- Do my headaches come with tight neck and shoulder muscles?
- Do my headaches come with a spike in blood pressure?
- Do I have digestive symptoms when I get a migraine, like nausea, poor appetite or vomiting?
The answers to these questions are all very important and they all influence how I will treat a headache or migraine patient.
Acupuncture can be used as a great tool to relieve headaches. A series of treatments will usually be needed, especially for chronic headaches. Lifestyle changes can also be useful to relieve headaches, here are some suggestions:
- Identify and eliminate trigger foods
- Limit time on computers and mobile devices, or use a blue light filter if eye strain is an issue
- Use stretching, epsom salt baths and other measures to keep neck and shoulder muscles supple (acupuncture helps with this too)
- Lavender and peppermint essential oils applied by the drop to the area of the headache can sometimes be helpful
- Eliminate allergens in the household, as sometimes this can be a trigger
What is the most popular or important acupuncture point for headaches? I use many points for headaches. Points that are located on the head, face, neck, shoulders, legs and feet are often used. However, the most famous point for headaches is called Large Intestine 4. This can be used for any headache, but it is especially awesome for sinus headaches.