Acupuncture has enjoyed a long and successful history of treating various pains, including migraines. Migraine headaches currently affect around 5 million Americans, mostly women, and the causes of migraines are still unclear. The lack of clear answers and solutions leaves many migraine sufferers hopeless on the journey to find relief.
Approximately half the women with recurrent migraines report that they occur in concert with their menstrual cycle, typically within a few days of the onset of their menses. This type of migraine is known as menstrual or hormonal migraines. The cause may be related to a sudden drop in estrogen levels just before the onset of the menstrual cycle. Some women begin having these migraines as teenagers, while others see the onset occurring well after puberty, often after an initial pregnancy.
The standard pharmaceutical approach to managing menstrual migraines is generally estrogen regulation via oral contraceptives, although this may worsen the symptoms in many cases. These hormonal options carry risks of other side effects unrelated to migraines, such as blood clots and stroke.
In addition to estrogen regulation, patients with recurrent migraines are prescribed pharmaceuticals in the triptan family and also opioids. While this can help with pain, the approach can be habit-forming with long-term issues.
Acupuncture effectively treats migraines as it stimulates nerves and pressure points in the body to relieve pain and symptoms. The thin, tiny needles are placed in precise body areas, alleviating headaches, muscle tension and reducing stress.
- Reduce tightness in the neck by placing the needles along trigger points where muscles are constricted.
- Stimulate the release of endorphins, which reduces pain, improves mood, and creates a feeling of well-being.
- Promote healthy blood circulation by reducing inflammation and modulating the chemicals in the brain that control the constriction and dilation of blood vessels. When blood vessels relax, migraine symptoms are alleviated.
- Reduce stress levels and encourage relaxation by regulating hormone levels. The hormones cortisol, serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine are involved in how the body responds to stress; when these hormones are balanced, your body will adapt to stress more efficiently.
- Improve immune function to regulate inflammation and limit the production of prostaglandins (pain-promoting hormones).
Acupuncture is usually a deeply relaxing experience that optimizes one’s overall level of health.
Using Acupuncture for the treatment of menstrual migraines can be very beneficial. The number of acupuncture sessions depends on each unique patient, medical history, the severity and occurrence of your migraines and how quickly your body responds to the acupuncture treatment.
If you want to manage your menstrual migraines naturally, visit your local Modern Acupuncture clinic and speak to our experienced Licensed Acupuncturists today.
With the right combination of treatments and a strong commitment to improved health, most patients respond positively to the treatment of menstrual migraines.
You may feel a little sensation or tingle at the point, but most patients don’t feel anything at all and often fall asleep during their treatment because of how comfortable they are. Keep in mind that the acupuncture needles are extremely tiny, often smaller than a strand of human hair. Your acupuncturist will make sure that you are comfortable and adjust any point during your acupuncture session that causes discomfort. Most migraine and headache points are along the major pathways, not necessarily on your head.
Modern Acupuncture® is a natural stress relief solution and the leading provider of Acupuncture in the U.S. The most studied theories show that Acupuncture stimulates the body to release naturally produced “feel good” endorphins and stimulate the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response in our body, alleviating symptoms associated with stress.