We get occasional headaches. But for some people, headaches are a regular part of life. And while taking painkillers every once in awhile can be relatively safe, with them on a long term maybe not.
Recently, Duke University published a survey of thirty-one studies examined the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic headaches. Their results may very well change the way that many people with this painful condition.
Before we continue, let me briefly explain what acupuncture is. Acupuncture is a technique in which very fine needles are inserted into specific places on your body. Practitioners of acupuncture believe that certain points on your body to correlate with certain health conditions and symptoms.
In the Duke University study, most of the studies compared true acupuncture to “fake” acupuncture. In other words, some people in these studies had needles placed in the real acupuncture points traditionally used to treat headaches. Another group of people also had needles applied to them, but in areas of the body that no traditional association with headache treatment had. The study also compared the effects of acupuncture compared with medication therapy.
The results of the study showed the following major findings:
- 62% of acupuncture patients showed an improvement in headache relief versus only 45% of those medicines. The patients receiving acupuncture also reported “better physical well-being.”
- More patients benefited from real acupuncture as opposed to “sham” acupuncture. But get this! Even those with sham acupuncture found positive results 45% of the time.
- Only 5 or 6 acupuncture treatments most patients required to see an improvement in their headache symptoms.
According to the principal investigator of the study, Dr. Tong Joo Gan, “Acupuncture is becoming a favorable option … – because people experience significantly fewer side effects and can be cheaper than other options.”
So now you know. There is an affordable, effective and safer option to medication for chronic headache. Let’s spread the word!
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