A great deal of evidence now supports acupuncture as a valid treatment for migraine and headache prevention and treatment. Read more below to learn how we can help reduce your migraine flares!
Acupuncture for Migraine Treatment? The basics
If you are one of the many migraine sufferers out there, know that there is hope for relief!
Acupuncture is a therapeutic tool that has been proven to be an effective and long-term solution to end the migraine flare cycle. Most people tend to seek alternative treatments once they are not responding to standard medications or are missing work due to frequent and debilitating episodes.
How acupuncture can help enhance migraine treatment
The use of acupuncture as a form of medicine has been around for about 2,500 years and has been used in China to treat a wide variety of conditions. Acupuncture may be a relatively new concept to some in the Western world, but in recent years it has made quite a name for itself and is now recognized as a safe and effective treatment for migraines, pain, and many other health conditions.
A great deal of evidence now supports acupuncture as a migraine treatment and headache prevention. Acupuncture is also a good alternative for those individuals who don’t want to take drugs for pain relief or those who want a different approach to their care. Acupuncture, compared to many pharmaceutical drugs, has very few side effects and, if done by a licensed and trained professional, is a safe and effective form of medicine.
How does acupuncture treat the underlying issue?
When you visit an acupuncturist, we will listen to your concerns and ask specific questions about your symptoms, do any necessary physical exam as well as analyze your pulse and tongue. Tongue and pulse diagnosis is an exam that allows an acupuncturist to identify what pathways are out of balance and provides information on exactly what points to use in treatment to get the desired result.
What does the pulse say?
Acupuncturists not only analyze your pulse rate, what the Western world calls “taking your pulse”—yes, it can give us great data on whether your pulse is too fast or too slow—but acupuncturists actually analyze the pulse quality as well as the rate at three positions along the radial pulse on both wrists. We look for patterns and ask questions, such as is the pulse deep or hard to find; is the pulse too fast or too slow; and does the pulse feel like a tightrope, wiry, or like pearls? Each factor plays into identifying patterns of imbalance that are happening in the body.
What the pulse patterns reveal
Interestingly, the patterns of imbalance felt in the pulse often match the patterns that we see when analyzing the tongue. The tongue is the only muscle that can be seen outside of the body, making it a perfect scan for health or imbalance. The organ systems are actually represented on different areas on the tongue: heart at the tip, liver and gallbladder on the sides, kidneys at the back, and digestive system or spleen/stomach in the center. The tongue’s coating, the color of the tongue body, and special characteristics like indentations, “teeth marks,” or red dots on the edges of the tongue are examined. These characteristics point to the imbalances in the body and tell the acupuncturist exactly what points to use and how to treat.
Acupuncture treatments for prevention of migraines
Acupuncture works because it uses this very individualized system of diagnosis to treat the root cause of illness, not just symptoms. It is also safe and effective and does not have side effects. Most people who have gone through our migraine program have an overall reduction in the frequency and intensity in migraines, have insight on what their triggers are and how to avoid them, and are able to get back to their life pain-free!
Give Starting Point Acupuncture in Bothell, a call today (425) 686-4498 to learn more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can be the solution for your migraine treatment!
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
McKee MD, K. M. (2013). Outcomes of Acupuncture for Chronic Pain in Urban Primary Care. J Am Board Fam Med , 692-700.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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