The weather has been all over the place this spring/summer, and I've been seeing lots of people with headaches and migraines. I decided that this will be my focus for the next few blog posts since it's such a HUGE topic. Today let's talk a treatment for them: ACUPUNCTURE.
Acupuncture can help from two different approaches: reducing muscle tension, and rebalancing your system (basically a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach). Tight muscles can reduce the flow of blood to the brain which causes 'tension headaches', or sometimes even tension migraines! Acupuncture helps send the signal to a muscle to relax, so is great for those back of the neck headaches, or those that are focused around temples too. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is great for treating headaches that are part of a 'bigger' picture of your health. Headaches that are on the top of your head, for instance, are likely part of the same imbalance that causes high stress and PMS (for women). Headaches at the front of your head can be more due to improper digestion.
What I love about my approach as a naturopathic doctor, is that I use BOTH perspectives when coming up with a treatment protocol. I take into account which muscles could be leading to poor blood flow as well as which energetic imbalance could be playing a role.
- can help in as little as one treatment for some
- safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding --> Not many pain relieving options here!
- no drug interactions
- reduces not only headaches, but other symptoms that you may not have realizes were associated
- time: i'll admit when a treatment has drawbacks, and this one is definitely depending on how you look at it. Taking supplements is easy because you just do it and move one. Acupuncture requires you to come in to the office 1-2x/week for 6 weeks (rough approximation of treatment timeline). However it is mostly 'inactive' time and this in it of itself is helpful for stress relief.
Many of my approaches end up taking time to work - rebalancing blood sugar levels, hormone issues, food sensitivities being reduced, etc. Acupuncture is one treatment that can work pretty quickly depending on the cause of the pain. It's a fantastic avenue with little downside to explore when you're stuck with headaches.