Translation = acupuncture helps prevent migraines!
According to a study that was published earlier this year in the JAMA internal Medicine (Journal of the American Medical Association) acupuncture is helpful in reducing migraine frequency, number of days with migraine and pain intensity.
For anyone who has already tried acupuncture their response to the above would likely be “duh, tell me something I don’t know!”. Traditionally, the majority of western medical practitioners, when told of acupunctures’ efficacy by their patients, will say something to the efect of “show me the research”, (2000 years of effective use doesn’t count), well, here’s the research!
The study has limitations (like all studies), it only looked at migraine without aura (which is about 2/3’s of migraine sufferers) in patients whose headaches began before age 50, who had attacks 2-8 times per month for 3 months or more and about 77% of the sample were women, but it was comparatively large (245 patients in the treatment group).
The treatment protocol was quite aggressive consisting of 20 sessions 30 minutes long, daily for the first 5 days followed by a 2-day break, basically daily treatment for a month with weekends off. All of the partidicpans in the treatment group noticed significant improvement that lasted for at least 20 weeks beyond the treatment and there was no significant adverse events reported.
So, the moral of the story is: if you are a migraine sufferer and haven’t tried acupuncture maybe you should and if you have tried acupuncture but it “didn’t work” maybe you got the wrong dosage. I will say that I have seen the same or similar responses in patients at much lower dose or number of treatments than were used in the study.