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Research: Treating Migraines with Acupuncture


According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are a prevalent concern affecting 39 million in the U.S.A and over 1 billion worldwide. Acupuncture is a natural, safe and effective way to help adults and children with migraines. A 2016 systematic review involving 4985 people summarized evidence that acupuncture reduces the frequency of headache in individuals with migraine compared to conventional medications. The review also reported that acupuncture therapy had similar results as conventional medicine with significantly less adverse effects. The frequency of headache decreased by over 50% in up to 59% of individuals receiving acupuncture. The benefits of acupuncture was shown to be persistent for more than 6 months.

A summary of findings include:

  • Acupuncture was associated with a moderate reduction of headache frequency over no acupuncture after treatment

  • Acupuncture was associated with a statistically significant frequency reduction over sham acupuncture

  • Acupuncture reduced migraine frequency significantly more than drug prophylaxis after treatment

  • Trial participants receiving acupuncture were less likely to report or drop out due to adverse effects compared to prophylactic drugs

References:

Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Vertosick EA, Vickers A, White AR. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD001218. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001218.pub3.

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