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Acupuncture For Headaches

If you’re a chronic sufferer, Acupuncture For Headaches can provide an excellent alternative to complement your medical treatments. Acupuncture is a well-known component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM has been practiced for thousands of years and includes the use of herbal medicines and mind-body practices.

In the U.S., acupuncture is generally perceived as complementary to Western medical treatment. This alternative treatment may be effective in managing certain pain conditions, including migraine headaches. The Path To Wellness offers acupuncture for headaches to help patients find their own balance between lifestyle adjustments, medical therapies, and alternative treatments. If you have been struggling, acupuncture for headaches may provide an excellent supplement to the existing medical therapies you have tried.

What Is Acupuncture?

Using acupuncture for headache relief is a relatively simple procedure. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific pressure points on the body. After insertion, the needles are manually or electrically stimulated to increase blood flow, and thus circulation, in the areas around the needles.

Acupuncture Treatment for Headache Relief

Since headaches affect the head, many people assume that acupuncture points for headaches will be located in the head and neck. This is not the case for headaches and in fact, using these points for headaches may cause the problem to worsen.

Because headache pain may be associated with the dilation of blood vessels in the head, increasing circulation in the head may increase the pain felt. For this reason, knowledgeable acupuncturists avoid insertion points in the head, neck and upper body; instead, needles are inserted only into points on the lower body. To further minimize the dilation of blood vessels in the head, this procedure is performed with the patient in a reclining position rather than lying face downward.

Acupuncture For Headaches Prevention

Acupuncture treatment for headache prevention is based on stress reduction. The parasympathetic nervous system (relaxed state) is activated while muscle tension is relieved. The needles are placed into insertion points on the forearms and lower legs to increase blood flow to sore and tense muscles. The goal is to reduce tension in the neck and upper back.

How does it work?

Science can trace the development of a baby from the union of sperm and egg, but it cannot explain exactly how the miracle of life begins. Science can study what happens when bones mend or wounds heal, but cannot explain why this happens. Acupuncture works with the life force behind these processes.

This life force (or Ki) is the vital energy, which created the body originally and continues to keep it alive and functioning properly. As such, it has the perfect knowledge to repair it should any damage or disease occur. Disease manifests and is not cured when this life force becomes weakened to such an extent that it can no longer heal. This shows as an imbalance in the energy currents (called meridians), the pathways through which the Ki passes. The ancient masters traced these pathways and located points along them at which life energy communicates with the surface of the body. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge a these points, thus corroborating the locations of the life energy channels mapped by the ancients. These are the points, which are used for traditional acupuncture, moxabustion, and hand treatment.

The ancients also developed a system for determining the quality and mobility of life energy in each person. This system, which involves palpation of the six pulses on each wrist, is still used today in Oriental medical diagnosis. By means of the pulse diagnosis, the practitioner knows which channels of life energy are weak or over strong and can also monitor the effects of the treatment.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Wondering whether acupuncture for tension headaches or other types of headaches is safe? The answer is yes — it is perfectly safe when performed by licensed and skilled professionals. In fact, one of the benefits of acupuncture for headaches and headaches is the fact that patients do not experience the side effects that are associated with drug therapy. You should always let your doctor know if you are using acupuncture or other alternative therapies.

Does Acupuncture primarily effect the nervous system to relieve pain?

Some of the most dramatic news about acupuncture in the West has publicized its ability to relieve chronic and acute pain. Although it is indeed effective in such situations, acupuncture and Oriental medicine are more than painkilling techniques. Although the nervous system relays pain signals due to physical trauma, pain is often a signal from the body that energy is not flowing smoothly due to stress, improper diet, emotional strain, etc. When the current of life energy is balanced through acupuncture, the nerves, muscles, bones, blood vessels and organs are revitalized and the condition that created the pain sensation is relieved.

How do most people respond to acupuncture?

Some patients feel progressively better after each treatment. Some illnesses do dull the senses that the full severity of the symptoms is no longer clearly felt. As the life force returns, sensitivity also returns, so that a patient may temporarily feel worse. This passes in a short time. Other illnesses are of a complicated nature, it is possible for symptoms to return that were present years ago, as treatment progresses. This is because the course of the sickness is being reversed. Oriental medicine describes this process symbolically as having several conditions, one on top of the other, like sheets of paper. The top condition is taken off, exposing the one beneath. They must all be taken off one at a time and this will often recreate the symptoms temporarily while healing is taking place. When the last sheet is removed the healing is complete.

How many treatments are necessary?

The duration of a disease, the amount of deterioration, and the constitution of each patient must be taken into account when determining the number of treatments necessary. Most chronic conditions require a minimum of ten treatments to alleviate symptoms and balance the energy so that symptoms are not likely to reoccur.

Is Acupuncture Effective?

While not a proven remedy for headache pain by itself, acupuncture treatment for headaches helps some gain more control over their pain and improve their condition. It is not intended as a substitute for your pharmaceutical therapy, but rather as a supplement to your acute and preventive medication regimen, providing additional relief as needed. Alternative therapies like acupuncture help patients gain personal power over their headache conditions. If you are interested in more information about acupuncture and migraines or other headache conditions, contact The Path To Wellness today.

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