Headaches are a very common condition that virtually all of us have experienced. There are many different types of headaches and each type has many causes. Fortunately, most headaches and migraines respond well to acupuncture.
Probably the most common type is the tension headache, which wraps around the head and is associated with stress. Sinusitis can cause a headache in the front of the head and the face which is experienced as painful pressure. Allergy sufferers are familiar with this problem. The most difficult type of headache is the migraine, which can be severe enough to completely debilitate. Migraine symptoms vary widely, but usually are one sided, often accompanied by nausea and aversion to light and sound, and occur in cycles. Because they vary so much most neurologists now classify any severe, recurring headache as being in the migraine family. Even “sinus” headaches are often migraine headaches disguised as sinusitis, with the migraine reaching into this area of the head.
Acupuncture is useful in headache and migraine relief and for breaking cycles of rebound headaches.
Rebound headaches are caused by the medicine itself. For some patients their medicine will address a given headache, but once the medicine wears off they “rebound” and another headache follows. This cycle can continue on and on, with ever increasing use of medicine for one headache only to have the next one to rush back in. Because acupuncture uses the body’s own internal healing mechanisms there is no rebound. Each headache episode is dealt with without using medicine, allowing the rebound cycle to gradually wind down.
Fortunately most headaches and migraines respond well to acupuncture. Towson Acupuncture Associates uses a combination of acupuncture and various manual therapies including acupressure and tuina, which is a system of Chinese massage. The combination of these techniques is very effective and often patients will experience relief from a given headache during the treatment. Typically we recommend a course of ten acupuncture treatments to determine if acupuncture can alleviate your headaches. Usually we see results well before this, but some long standing, severe headaches may require up to ten.