Acupuncture helps ease chronic headaches

Here’s another addition to the list of beneficial effects of Acupuncture. A new study has suggested that Acupuncture helps in easing out chronic headaches in people.

The study, which is the largest till date on the use of acupuncture to ease headaches, has a conflicting body of evidence. While few researches point out that including acupuncture with standard headache medication helps patients gain additional pain relief, other studies have found that “sham” acupuncture which makes use of blunted needles, do not pierce the skin, and is as effective as the real Acupuncture.

A study published in the Journal of Cephalalgia, German researchers studied about 15000 adults with chronic headaches, all of whom had been suffering from either migraine or tension-type headaches at least twice a month for one year or more.

Among them, about 3200 were randomly subjected to either acupuncture in addition to regular therapy, or to continue to their usual care alone. The rest of the patients were subjected to acupuncture treatment.

All of the acupuncture patients received about 15 sessions in three months. All patients were assessed at the end of six months.

It was found that patients who underwent acupuncture treatment reported greater improvement in intensity of pain than those who stayed with usual care alone. Initially averages of 8.4 headache days were reported over 3 months, which dropped to 4.7 towards end of study period. On the other hand, in the usual care group, the headache remained the same with 8.1 days initially and 7.5 days at end of the study.

The researchers, led by Dr. Stefan Willich, Charite University Medical Center, Berlin, concluded that “Acupuncture, coupled with routine care, when given to patients with headaches, there have been significant clinical improvements than when compared to routine care alone.”

For about 2000 years now, Acupuncture has been used by Chinese to treat a wide range of ailments. Modern research suggests that acupuncture helps ease pain by altering signals among the nerve cells or affecting the release.