Can Anything Help My Migraine?
Posted: 05 Apr 2017 by Chris Dance
I've been treating migraines with acupuncture right from when I started practicing in 2002. One of my first patients suffered, and I've treated hundreds since. Taking a person on a journey of regular intense pain and suffering to being pain-free, or fully managing their pattern, is an awesome experience for us both.
One of my patients had migraines every week or so that would last 3-4 days. On top of the head pain, he also experienced white-outs, going completely blind in both eyes. As his course of acupuncture treatment progressed, his migraines became less frequent, less intense, until we ceased treatment after a year of no episodes.
"Chris has enabled me to live again, work again. He's changed my life, and I am so grateful."
Sadly treatment doesn't help everyone - an issue very close to my heart, as my partner of 10 years is also a frequent sufferer of congenital migraines. With regular acupuncture for many months, she still suffers. So it can be hit and miss (as is most medicine). When asked if I can treat migraines, I always say yes (there are many more success stories than not), but there's no way of knowing in advance whether a sufferer will benefit. Usually people know after a handful of sessions if it's helping, depending on the frequency of their attacks.
Acupuncture treatment is highly focused on the cause of the symptoms, not just alleviating pain. This is why successes tend to have long sustained relief, (I'm loathe to say "cure" as I think that undermines the importance of lifestyle, diet and activity that empowers the patient to carry their own health forward long after treatment finishes). The cause of migraines in Chinese Medicine (acupuncture in my case) is seen in a completely different way to how a medic or osteopath might view it. We often think more in terms of fierce, firy energy being released and bursting up into the head, obscuring and blocking the acupuncture channels causing pain and intense sensitivity (often to light or noise). We can subdue this rush with certain acupoints being stimulated which can give fast relief. But it is the release of this energy that is fundamentally more significant, and by anchoring and stabilising the patient using other acupoints, we can in time prevent it from happening at all, or indeed with much less frequency.
Along with the wealth of knowledge acupuncturists are taught about nutrition and lifestlye, including skills for emotional stability, and stress management, long-term relief is possible. In my practice, I use techniques from CBT, NLP, and a lot of nutrition to supplement the therapeutic effect of the acupuncture needles.
"I still get migraines occasionally, nothing like I used to, and they are definitely less debilitating. I can usually go about my day just taking it a bit more easy. Chris has given me tools that enable me to prevent their onset much more effectively. My menstrual cycle no longer means a three-day migraine. I'm so chuffed".
I love the opportunity to treat this terrible illness, so please get in touch if you would like a chat about it.