Amanda Cox | Acupuncture


 
Headache / Migraine
 
     
 
   

Headache / Migraine and Acupuncture
According to the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) Clinical Guidelines issued September 2012, acupuncture is the only proven method to prevent tension-type headaches and migraine. NICE recommend that GPs refer patients suffering from these conditions for acupuncture treatment.
 

Acupuncture can help in the treatment of migraine by:

  • Providing pain relief - by stimulating nerves leading to release of endorphins and other neurochumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Zhao 2008, Zijlstra 2003, Pomeranz, 1987).

  • Reducing inflammation - by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).

  • Reducing the degree of cortical spreading depression (an electrical wave in the brain associated with migraine) and plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P (both implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine) (Shi 2010).

  • Modulating extracranial and intracranial blood flow (Park 2009). Affecting serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine) levels in the brain (Zhong 2007). (Serotonin may be linked to the initiation of migraines; 5-HT agonists (triptans) are used against acute attacks.)