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Acupuncture for Headache and Migraine Cambridge

Chronic Migraine affects 1 in 7 people in the World and is more common that Diabetes, affects women : men 3:1. Chronic migraineurs usually suffer an attack on average once a month and most suffer some kind of impairment.

 

The female predominance suggests some kind of hormonal link and migraines usually begin in puberty and there appears to be some kind of genetic link. It used to be thought that migraines were as a result of vascular changes in the brain but now it appears that evidence is emerging to show that it is more about brain function.  Migraine is ranked as the 7th most disabling disease and accounts for many lost man hours.

 

There are many forms of migraine such as migraine with aura (70-90%), numbness, pain, nausea, loss of speech etc - and many people have specific triggers that will lead to a migraine attack.  Please click on this link to find out more: https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/types-of-migraine/

 

headache

 Acupuncture researchers have conducted numerous trials to try and demonstrate acupuncture as an effective treatment for migraine headaches.  

 

There are many difficulties with acupuncture research because the benchmark type of trial that scientists require are double blind randomised control studies - ie two groups of subjects one which does receive acupuncture and a one that does not and where the person giving the acupuncture does not know they are giving it.  For obvious reasons this is hard to achieve!

 

In spite of this there have been some good studies that have been able to demonstrate a reduction in frequency and severity of headaches.

 

Acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment for migraine and headaches.  Acupuncture can relieve pain during an actual headache and uses carefully selected acupuncture points that aim to restore the flow of Qi in the acupuncture channels.  Typically patients will have between 8 and 12 needles.

 

Acupuncture theory suggests that headaches are mostly caused by poor flow of Qi or Yang rising to the head.  Since headaches are different for different people, it stands to reason that acupuncture treatments will vary from individual to individual.  

 

The great thing about acupuncture is that you may also experience adjunctive benefits such as improved energy, sleep and wellbeing.

 

In order to find the best acupuncture treatment for the patient a detailed medical, social, family and lifestyle history is taken and a thorough investigation on how and when the headaches manifest will be discussed.

 

Patients can choose to come and see either Alan Longcroft on Saturdays at the Affordable Acupuncture Clinic or weekdays to see Leah Claydon.

 

For more information on acupuncture for headaches and migraine:

 

https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/acupuncture/

 

http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/arrc/public-review-papers/migraine-and-acupuncture-the-evidence-for-effectiveness.html

 

http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/migraines.html

 

The Cochrane database is widely considered to be the authority on efficacy of medical research: http://www.cochrane.org/CD001218/SYMPT_acupuncture-preventing-migraine-attacks

 

LEAH SMAALWP 20160804 002

Leah Claydon, BSc(Hons), LicAc         Alan Longcroft BSc(Hons), Lic Ac                        Treatment Room

 

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