Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese needle piercing therapy, is an effective treatment for the people suffering from headaches and migraines. This has been suggested by Cochrane Researchers in two separate systematic review.
The Cochrane reviews show that the process of sticking needles in the body is an effective treatment for prevention of tension and migraine headache.
Acupuncture is a procedure adapted from ancient Chinese therapy in which certain body areas are activated by the insertion of sharp, thin needles in order to relieve pain or produce regional anesthesia.
This method is already widely used for the relief of pain. But what the novel reviews show is really amazing, saying that piercing needles into specific energy points might not be that important.
To find out whether acupuncture could reduce the occurrence of headaches, researchers in both studies conducted 33 trials, involving a total of 6,736 patients.
One study focused on 'tension-type' headaches, which are common headaches and cause frequent mild to moderate pains, whilst the other focused on migraine headaches, which are more severe but less frequent headaches.
All the study participants having either mild to moderate "tension" headaches, or migraine attacks were treated with acupuncture therapy.
After 8 weeks of treatment, acupuncture patients suffered fewer headaches than those given only painkillers.
In the migraine study, acupuncture was superior to preventive drug treatments, but so-called "sham" acupuncture treatments, in which needles were either pierced on non-traditional needle body positions or did not penetrate the skin, were no less effective.
However, in the tension headache study, acupuncture relying on traditional needle positions was actually slightly more effective than sham treatments, in which needles were inserted at incorrect points.
The latest findings clearly indicate that acupuncture could be a used as an alternative for those headache and migraine sufferers who prefer not to use drug treatments.