Can Acupuncture help migraine sufferers?

Anyone that regularly suffers from migraines knows how debilitating it is and more importantly how you would do anything to subside the pain. Therefore, as a result of typical Western pain medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen having little to no effect on severe migraines, many people have turned to Acupuncture. As with any medical treatment, there are studies that oppose and support the effect of Acupuncture but over the past decade, there has been an increase in research evidencing the relief it has provided sufferers of chronic migraines. This is also further substantiated by The World Health Organisation who have in fact endorsed acupuncture as a viable and promising treatment for pain relief since the late 1970’s.

So, how exactly does Acupuncture subside migraine pain?

Acupuncture theory is based on the idea that the body is comprised of energy or ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chi’) that is in a continuous flow. If there is a blockage in your body this flow of Qi is stopped causing pain or illness to the correspondent area of the body. Acupuncture seeks to help restore this flow of energy by targeting and stimulating specific points on the body with hair-thin needles. In terms of the pain relief aspect, because the Acu-points are usually located close to nerves, when stimulated they will release hormones such as endorphins into the body. In turn, this is what will help relieve any chronic migraine pain and promote relief and relaxation in the brain.

Are there any side effects?

Acupuncture comes with very little side effects when carried out by a licensed and trained practitioner. The only minor side effects that you may experience during your first session is slight bruising and fatigue as your body internally and externally adjusts to the new treatment. With that in mind, it is extremely important to research your acupuncturist before booking your first appointment. One of the best ways to do this is to visit their website and look for customer testimonials, particularly for the reason you are seeking out the treatment. This should give you a clear and honest idea of how the acupuncturist works and how effective the treatment is. When you do arrive at your appointment don’t be afraid to ask questions and watch to see the way in which the practitioner stores and uses the needles. One of the biggest health risks in any medical field is the use of equipment that is not sterile as it poses a serious health risk.


Whilst acupuncture is a safer alternative to traditional medication with little to no side effects, it ultimately cannot wholly take the place of being treated with medication. Often Acupuncture works best when coupled with medication as it can help subdue any unpleasant side effects of the treatment. Some headaches and migraines will require more immediate medical attention and it is important that you seek out this help instead of waiting to receive acupuncture. If you are experiencing symptoms such as being light-headed, dizziness or nausea, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible as sometimes there can be more severe underlying issues such as allergic reactions, blood clots or blood pressure spikes.

How Acupuncture may help with Weight Loss

Weight loss is an issue that affects most people and with the average clothing size in the UK now being a 16, many people are eager to shed the pounds. However, losing weight can be extremely tough not only on your body physically but also mentally.

There are so many fad diets, exercise regimes and everything in between it can be hard to know what is best for you without harming yourself, but this is where acupuncture comes in.

back-acapunctureAcupuncture works as a complementary therapy with your diet plan, helping to ensure you stay on track and stay healthy.

There have been many studies carried out which have produced results suggesting that combining acupuncture with a standard diet helps individuals to lose more weight overall. That being said, many people have misconceptions of what acupuncture is, based on dramatised Hollywood versions with large painful needles which look like a method of torture.

In reality, acupuncture is a very gentle process which involves inserting hair fine sterilised needles into specific acupressure points on your body. In doing so the needles will then stimulate a reaction in your body to release hormones such as endorphins.

It is hormones such as these which promote relaxation, reduce feelings of stress and generally bring about physical and mental calm. It is this calm that can help you on your weight loss journey instead of stress eating or turning to unnecessary medication.

This derives from Traditional Chinese Medicine and within this, there is the belief that weight gain, particularly large weight gains in a short period of time is caused by an imbalance in the body.

In all acupuncture theory, when something is wrong it is derivative of an imbalance but in terms of weight gain, it is thought to be a problem with the spleen, kidneys, and liver. To counteract this imbalance, acupuncturists will stimulate the point on the body which correlates to the affected area.

The kidneys, in particular, are in charge of the water in your body and therefore any water retention issues will lead back to this area. By addressing areas such as these you will begin to see a big difference in your physical appearance provided you are also sticking to a traditional diet.

Auricular AcupunctureMost people find that they only require acupuncture once a week or once every two weeks to maintain their diet and continue with a healthy lifestyle. Many patients also report that actively seeking out this support gives them the added motivation to keep going as each week they want to see results.

Despite the importance of the physical side of acupuncture, the individual’s mental state is equally as important as without a positive attitude and motivation you will quickly slip back into bad habits.

To continuously lose weight you must be in the correct mental state which is why acupuncture seeks to maintain healthy hormonal balance in the brain. By releasing endorphins, the brain begins to destress which puts you in a much better mindset to stay on track.

If you find keeping a balance in your life something of a struggle, why not try acupuncture and see what it could do for you? Call us today on 0800 051 76 88 and book an appointment at your nearest clinic.

Disclaimer

The ASA has upheld complaints about ads that refer to acupuncture but where it was not made clear that any relief achieved was temporary or “short-term” (Eileen Mannion Acupuncture, 18 October 2017). The ASA is likely to accept advertising claims about the sensory effects of acupuncture including claims about well-being or references to “feeling revitalised”, “more positive” or “relaxed”.