Are you one of the 15-20% of Americans who suffer from severe headache or migraine? We treat many folks with acupuncture for headache pains. And we also see results with low-level laser therapy for headache relief as well.
Why Acupuncture for Headache Relief?
A growing number of research studies show acupuncture is at least as effective as drugs with fewer side effects in treating headaches. This includes success in treating migraines. Acupuncture’s effects are safe and long-lasting. And there is no need for drugs.
Based on a recent systematic review of 22 clinical trials involving 4985 people, there is evidence that acupuncture reduces the frequency of headache in individuals with migraine, and that the effect may be similar to that observed with preventive medications. The frequency of headache is dropped by 50% or more in up to 59% of individuals receiving acupuncture and this effect can persist for more than 6 months.American Migraine Foundation
What about Laser for Headache Relief?
Research studies have also shown that low-level laser therapy can help ease headache pain. One common explanation is that the energy in the laser photons increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain.
In fact, there are four main ways low-level laser therapy can help those suffering headache pains:
- Increasing local microcirculation
- Increasing serotonin in the blood (the body’s natural feel good chemical)
- Releasing endogenous opioids (the body’s innate pain relieving system)
- Altering cholinesterase levels (enzymes needed for proper functioning of the nervous system)
What is a suggested treatment plan?
Headaches are difficult to treat. The medical profession has classified over 300 types of headaches! And there are a wide variety of triggers, from hormones to genetics to emotions to environmental factors.
Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions will require anywhere from 4-5 or 7-12 treatments to see a marked change.
Looking at a large number of clinical studies, including 1,000 consecutively treated patients, it seems the average number of treatments is 9.4. The number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. If your condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before you observe a significant change.