Headaches and migraines come in many different forms, according to NHS Choices, about half of UK adults experience tension-type headaches once a month and about 1 in 3 up to 15 times a month. For each person the experience is different
- different sorts of pain; stabbing, crashing, a drill in my head, throbbing
- different places on the head; top of my head, just one side, behind the eyes, top of my neck at the back
- different ‘add-on’s”; nausea, dizziness, visual disturbances e.g. flashing lights,
Often the solution to headaches is some form of painkiller such as paracetamol, codeine, NSAID e.g. ibuprofen (non steroidal anti-inflammatory) these are excellent ways of getting rid of the pain quickly, but they do not address the underlying causes of headache, which means they return on an ongoing basis.
So how is acupuncture different? Acupuncture provides different treatment for different headaches. Practitioners diagnose each patient based on their own individual symptoms and select points accordingly to balance the energy known as Qi. By treating the underlying condition as well as the pain the chances of headaches coming back after a course of treatment are reduced. Diet can also greatly enhance the effectiveness of acupuncture and practitioners will offer advise on foods and herbs suitable to aid recovery.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has recognized that overuse of painkillers can reduce their effectiveness and cause further pain and recommend a course of acupuncture as one of a range of treatment options for headaches.
If you are looking for an alternative to painkillers to treat headache and migraines why not give acupuncture a go!