Migraines are thought to have many causes, ranging from physiological causes to stress and anxiety. However, irrespective of the cause, the physiological changes in the brain are similar. Including enlargement of blood vessels which can cause inflammation and pain. Migraine attacks can also commonly activate the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and sensitivity to light and sound.
Most people who suffer with migraines have tried a wide range of medication before they find suitable relief. Typically the medication is a strong analgesic for pain. Medication may also target the other effects of migraine including nausea and vomiting.
More and more people are seeking the benefits of acupuncture to manage migraine pain because it is a drug-free option which focuses both on the cause of the pain and the pain itself. Acupuncture works in two ways – it provides pain relief and it also focuses on the cause of the migraines.
Traditionally trained acupuncturists will do a full assessment of your symptoms, triggers, treatments tried and so on. They will examine your muscles looking for blockages and areas where the muscle tightness is causing the spine to be misaligned. X-rays and Ultrasounds (if available) can help with this process. Migraines can also be caused by an imbalance of the organ systems, hormones etc. If this is the case, additional points will be chosen to correct any imbalances.
Acupuncture works because the needle stimulates the nerve endings in the muscle which in turn triggers the body’s normal healing response. The placement and use of the needle is critical. Acupuncture needles go directly to the muscle where the tightness is occurring. Once the tightness is released it enables the body’s natural healing processes to begin.