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Acupuncture for migraines: how can it help?

Throbbing pain in the head, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound – oh no, it’s a migraine. Migraine is a common condition that affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 15 men of all ages (Starling, 2021).

A migraine can cause pain anywhere in your head or neck and can last for hours or even days. For many who suffer from chronic migraines, this severe pain can significantly disrupt their daily lives.

If you’re searching for a natural, drug-free method of treating and preventing migraine, adding acupuncture to your treatment plan may make a difference for you.

What causes migraines?

The cause of migraines hasn’t been proven, but we have a good idea of some of the causes. Migraine may be an inherited condition that runs in families.

It may also be triggered by a range of factors (Better Health, 2021), including:

  • Diet. Eating a lot of cheese, chocolate and citrus fruits may lead to migraine. Drinking alcohol or dehydration may also lead to, or worsen, migraines.

  • Sleep. Sleep is vital to wellbeing. Too little or too much sleep can cause migraine pain. If you grind your teeth at night, that can also cause migraine pain.

  • Menstrual cycle. Some women experience migraines related to hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle.

  • Heightened emotion. Stress, excitement or fatigue, especially when experienced for prolonged periods, can cause headache or even migraines.

How to treat migraine pain naturally with acupuncture

If you suffer with migraines, you may be looking for a more natural way to treat them than turning to medication straight away.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used for thousands of years to treat many conditions. It can help manage symptoms associated with menopause, provide a natural approach to beauty, work to boost your metabolism and help to relieve headaches and migraines. It’s a holistic approach to treating the symptoms and perhaps the underlying cause of migraines.

Many migraine sufferers report benefits from acupuncture, and research has shown that acupuncture treatment can reduce both the frequency and length of migraines (Xu et al., 2020). Evidence also suggests that regular acupuncture – which means at least 6 treatments – may be at least as effective as medication in reducing the frequency of migraines (Linde et al., 2016).

Find out more about how acupuncture may assist in managing your migraines by booking in for an appointment with our friendly acupuncturist Yukiko.


Starling A, Migraine, MayoClinic, 2021

Better Health, Headache – migraine, 2021

NHS, Migraine, 2022

John Hopkins, Migraine Headaches, 2023

Xu S, Yu L, Luo X, Wang M, Chen G, Zhang Q et al., Manual acupuncture versus sham acupuncture and usual care for prophylaxis of episodic migraine without aura: multicentre, randomised clinical trial, BMJ, 2020

K Linde, G Allais, B Brinkhaus, Y Fei, M Mehring, E Vertosick, A Vickers, A White, and Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group, Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine, Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2016


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