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3 Types of Headaches
At some point in your life, you have probably experienced at least one of these three common types of headaches. Acupuncture offers a very effective way to reduce the pain and frequency of these headaches.
Tension headaches are also called "hatband headaches" because you may feel as if you are wearing a hat that is too tight when you have one of these headaches. Symptoms of tension headaches include tightness or pressure that extends from your forehead to the back of your head, and sore shoulder, scalp and neck muscles. Stress can often cause this common type of headache.
Migraine headaches cause severe throbbing pain, usually on just one side of your head. The pain is so severe that you may not be able to go to work or school. Migraine headaches can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people have warning signs, called auras, that occur before the migraine develops. Common auras include temporary vision loss, speech problems, pins and needles sensation in the arms and legs, or flashing lights and shapes in your field of vision. Migraines may last for a few hours or as long as three days.
Sinus headaches occur when your sinuses become inflamed due to a cold, infection or allergy. Increased pressure in the forehead, eyes, cheekbones and nose is one of the most common symptoms of the headaches. Other symptoms may include nasal congestion, fever, yellow or green discharge, post-nasal drip or pain in the upper teeth. Sinus headaches can be chronic in some cases.
Do you suffer from frequent headaches? Headache pain can affect the quality of your life and your ability to enjoy your favorite activities particularly if your headaches are chronic. Acupuncture, an ancient healing technique first practiced in China, can relieve your symptoms naturally.
What is Acupuncture?
A life force called "Qi" runs through your body. If that life force becomes blocked at some point, a variety of unpleasant symptoms can occur, such as headache, backache, depression, nausea and insomnia. Acupuncturists clear the blockages by placing very thin needles in your body. Once the flow is restored, symptoms tend to decrease.
How Can Acupuncture Help My Headaches?
Acupuncture treatments reduce headache pain in several ways. An acupuncture session can:
Does Acupuncture Really Work?
Multiple research studies have proven that acupuncture is effective in treating tension headaches. In one study of people who suffered from tension headaches, participants either received real acupuncture treatment or fake treatment. The frequency of headaches decreased by half when the participants received actual acupuncture treatment. In another study, people who received acupuncture treatments experienced fewer migraine days, less severe migraines and increased pressure pain thresholds.
What Happens During Acupuncture Treatment?
During treatment, your acupuncturist places needles in your body at the site of blockages. Needles may not necessarily be placed in the head, depending on the type of headaches you experience. For example, during a migraine, the arteries in the brain dilate and stretch, causing pain. Practitioners often use acupuncture points in the lower body, rather than the head or neck, to prevent dilation of these arteries.
When Will I Notice Results?
You will probably begin to feel better after your first visit to an acupuncturist, although it may take several weeks or months to receive the full benefits of treatment. Once your condition has improved, occasional follow-up visits will help you maintain your results.
Are you interested in learning how acupuncture can help you deal with headache pain? Call us today and schedule a visit.
Cochrane: Acupuncture for Tension-Type Headache, 4/19/16
Neurological Sciences: Acupuncture in Primary Headache Treatment, 5/11
University of North Carolina: UNC study: Acupuncture is Helpful When Added to Standard Medical Treatment for Headache, 10/6/05
Livescience: What is Acupuncture, 3/5/15
American Headache Society: Types of Headaches
University of Michigan: Chinese acupuncture affects brain's ability to regulate pain
Headache: Traditional Acupuncture in Migraine: a Controlled, Randomized Study
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture for Frequent Migraine, 3/23/15