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Acupuncture Can Help Relieve Headache Pain

A recent study confirms what some migraine sufferers already know: Acupuncture may help relieve chronic headache pain. Acupuncture typically involves inserting thin needles into particular areas of the body.

Acupuncture was developed in China more than 2,000 years ago. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health published a Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, citing the possible benefits of its use in treating a variety of conditions, including headache.

Although acupuncture has been used to treat many types of chronic pain, a study published in the British Medical Journal is the first large study to examine acupuncture’s use in treating the pain associated with migraine and other types of chronic headache.

The 2004 study included 401 adults with chronic headaches, mostly migraine. Some of the participants received up to 12 sessions of acupuncture over a three-month period, while the other participants did not. Researchers found that those who received the acupuncture treatments had 22 fewer days of headache per year than those who did not receive acupuncture. In addition, those who were receiving acupuncture treatments as part of the study used less medication, took less time off work due to illness, and reported fewer visits to their doctor.