If you have headaches for at least 15 days out of every month, you suffer from chronic headaches. Headaches seriously disrupt your professional and family life. They should be taken seriously. Many chronic headache sufferers have found relief through acupuncture.
What Is Acupuncture?
Modern acupuncture is a healing system based on the ancient forms of acupuncture first recorded in China around 100 BCE. It uses thin needles placed in specific points on the body. The needles are then manipulated by hand, then removed.
What Is Electroacupuncture?
Today, acupuncturists often manipulate acupuncture needles with very low doses of electricity. Often, the terms acupuncture and electroacupuncture are used interchangeably. Many acupuncturists today prefer to use electricity, but some still manipulate needles by hand.
What Are Acupuncture Needles Like?
Acupuncture needles are very thin and usually made out of stainless steel. They are used only one time and then thrown away. Most people do not feel the needles. When they do, they feel an ache or a slight sting. Some people feel tingling from the needles during an acupuncture session.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The needles and their gentle stimulation encourage the body to release natural painkillers like enkephalin. They also release endorphins, which make you feel good. Harvard Medical School states that acupuncture seems to activate the brain to release the hormone serotonin, a mood stabilizer. There are still studies being done to determine just how acupuncture works to relieve pain.
Acupuncture and Better Sleep
Many people with chronic headaches also have problems sleeping. Lack of sleep can cause headache attacks. Many people have found they sleep better after getting acupuncture. Some people even fall asleep during a session. A 2019 meta-analysis study of 1,000 people published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that acupuncture worked better than sleep medication.
Side Effects of Acupuncture
There are very few side effects of acupuncture, making it ideal to combine it safely with other treatments for headaches like chiropractic care. While some people feel sleepy from treatments, others feel energized. Very rarely do people feel dizzy. There may be minor bleeding, bruising, rashes, and soreness at the needle insertion sites.