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Acupuncture for Headaches and Migraines

The National Headache Foundation recently reported that more than 28 million Americans experience migraine and headaches each year, and it is one of the main reasons people seek medical attention. Acupuncture has become a well-accepted alternative solution to the problem fully supported by medical studies, which proved that acupuncture significantly reduced the intensity and frequency of headaches as well as analgesic consumption (Department of Neurology, University College Hospital, London, England). The Mayo Pain Clinic has used acupuncture for 30 years, since 1974, in cases where their patients experienced little or no pain relief from medications or nerve blocks.

How Acupuncture treats migraines and headaches affectively

  1. can bring about many biochemical changes in the blood serum to stabilize serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain and spinal cord, and release endorphins, the brain’s nature painkillers.
  2. affects the autonomic nervous system and activates the parasympathetic nervous system to decrease stress, muscle tension, anxiety, irritability and prevent recurrence.
  3. promotes cerebral circulation, allowing the afflicted region to obtain sufficient blood supply, oxygen and nutrition.

How we can help you

We offer a safe, effective alternative treatment to restore and maintain the harmony in your body, which helps you become pain free and remain stable over time with no side effects.

Natural healing vs. medications and surgery – Acupuncture naturally rearranges the level of your body’s chemicals, there are hardly any side effects and you will not build up any resistance in the long run. You will be healing yourself! Medications are often potentially more debilitating and harmful than the headache itself. Studies have shown that headache drugs can cause liver damage, ulcers or become addictive. Steroid injections used as a nerve block carry life-threatening side effects and shouldn’t be used for prolonged periods of time. Surgical treatments for headache have a less than 50% success rate.

Individually designed assessment – Our diagnosis is based on headache etiology, physiology and patterns of symptoms. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, headache differentiation is based on patterns of pathogenic factors and the location of headache. Dr. Zhou will analyze your body’s unique individual disharmonies and develop a prescription designed precisely to correct your specific imbalances for long-term success.

Holistic approaches – Dr. Zhou promotes wellness by treating the whole person. She not only helps you relieve the symptoms associated with tension headache, migraine, cluster headache and sinus headache but also the causes or factors of the headaches. One of the main factors that cause migraine and headaches is stress. Since it is almost impossible to avoid stress in today’s world, Dr. Zhou focuses treatment to help you recover quickly form stress in order to avoid harmful migraine or headaches. Patients not only eliminate their migraine or headaches, but are also pleased to find that their stiff necks, anger, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, restlessness, fatigue and allergies (see Allergies) are distinctly improved or disappear. For women, Dr. Zhou treats many patients suffering from migraine related to their hormonal cycle.

Treatment plan and Prevention – Acupuncture is very helpful for tension, cluster and sinus headaches, and patients often feel immediate relief. Dr. Zhou recommends more intensive treatment for migraine attacks and advises two visits per week for a couple of weeks, reduced to once a week for 3-4 weeks, with follow up treatment as needed. Adherence to the treatment plan and maintenance regimes is needed in order to change the various underlying causes and fully succeed with the treatment. Dr. Zhou suggests that women who suffer from migraine be sure to make note of their menstrual cycle in a migraine diary, and she will normally perform treatment before menustration or ovulation.

Herbal medicine is very effective in maintaining a healthy balance in the body and supporting the body’s own capacity for preventing recurrence of headaches.

Dr. Zhou always emphasizes lifestyle changes, which play an important role in preventing migraine attacks including:

  • Keeping regular sleeping patterns.
  • Avoiding physical or mental fatigue.
  • Avoiding alcohol (especially red wine).
  • Avoiding caffeine because it is a vasodilator.
  • Eliminating all foods that may trigger migraine from your diet, such as: dairy products, chocolate, spices, wheat and corn. Dr. Zhou recommends the “zone diet” according to Dr. Sears’ book “Mastering the Zone”.
  • Recording any events in your life that cause your headaches, and which you must avoid, if possible.
  • Taking Magnesium (500mg per day) daily to increase muscle relaxation.
Acupuncture can significantly improve your ability to ward off migraine and headache, and put you on the road to the healthier pain-free life you deserve!