Headaches can be debilitating and are one of the most common complaints in both general practice surgeries and neurology clinics. Headaches occur for many reasons, including tension, injury, withdrawal of medication, and vascular problems – and they account for many lost days of work.
It’s widely accepted that acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic headaches, but there are many myths surrounding this ancient practice that can put potential patients off. Time to separate the myths from the facts.
Myth: Acupuncture is Painful
It’s natural to assume any treatment involving sticking needles into you is going to be painful. But actually, this isn’t the case. Acupuncture needles are very fine and have a rounded point, unlike traditional needles. Individuals may feel a tiny prick when the needle is inserted, but many feel nothing at all.
Myth: Acupuncture can be Dangerous
In fact, it’s perfectly safe. Needles are individually packaged and sterilized, and licensed acupuncturists only use disposable needles, meaning there’s no risk of cross-infection.
Myth: Acupuncture May Conflict with More Mainstream Medical Treatments
On the contrary, acupuncture can complement other treatments perfectly, and many medical doctors recommend this course of treatment. It’s even recognised by the World Health Organisation as a valid treatment for a wide range of conditions.
Myth: Acupuncture Only Works if You Believe in It
A positive attitude towards any treatment always helps, but clinical studies have proven that acupuncture really does affect the body’s nervous and glandular systems, decreasing the inflammation that causes pain. And MRI scans show it causes our brains to release natural painkillers (endorphins), as well as feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Plus, it’s used to great effect on animals – and they have no pre-conceived ideas about it!