Acupuncture for Headaches

Acupuncture is used for all kinds of health problems. If you suffer from headaches, this ancient practice can be very effective in alleviating headache pain. It is generally accepted that the most common causes of headaches are muscle tension and stress, followed by hormonal imbalances and digestive problems. Acupuncture brings blood flow and oxygen to constricted areas, thus stimulating and relaxing tense muscles while balancing hormones and metabolism.

A qualified acupuncturist will discuss your symptoms, headache frequency and headache triggers and then administer a treatment protocol. So benefits of acupuncture include identifying the causes of your symptoms, while helping your body to naturally manage and eliminate your headache pain. On top of that, an acupuncture session gives your body approximately the same amount of rest as a two hour nap!

While it is a safe and effective treatment for all types of headaches, you can never be too cautious with your health. If you decide to see an acupuncturist, it is important to rule out any underlying physical conditions that may be causing your headaches. You can continue to use acupuncture for the pain, but you should see a doctor under the following circumstances:

  • You have had a concussion or blow to the head
  • The pattern, frequency or character of your headaches abruptly worsen or change
  • You suddenly start to have headaches but you normally don't get them
  • A headache causes confusion or problems with vision, speech or mobility
  • You experience a sudden, severe headache

Lifestyle changes can also help prevent headaches. These include:

  • Taking deep breaths several times a day. Setting an alarm can help remind you
  • Avoiding sugar, caffeine and other stimulants
  • Keeping a food journal and reviewing it regularly to see if certain foods act as triggers
  • Exercising regularly, especially outside
  • Getting enough sleep (acupuncture helps with insomnia)
  • Eating regular meals
  • Relaxing, meditating or concentrating on your breathing
  • Balancing your hormones (see an acupuncturist, nutritionist or naturapath for help in this area)

Headaches come in many forms: tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches, low blood-sugar headaches and hormonal headaches.

Acupuncture has been practiced for between 2,000-4,000 years and is a proven and safe way to manage and eliminate all types of headache pain. Here are some links with more helpful information on headaches:
Canadian Living
Headache Expert

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