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The 5 Benefits of Acupuncture for Migraines!

Are you also a victim of the excruciating pain in your head? Let us introduce you to acupuncture for migraines, which can help relieve the symptoms for some time.

Millions of people share the dilemma of attempting to go about their day with this chronic headache. So, you are not alone.

This Chinese medical practice has found its way to other parts of the world and people are loving it.

Here, we will discuss what acupuncture does and what you can expect to experience during a calm session.

By the end, you will be able to decide if this therapy is suitable for you or not. So, let’s dive in.

What Do We Know About Acupuncture For Migraines?

This is a conventional Chinese medical therapy that has been used on people for many years now.

For centuries, people have turned towards this practice for its benefits and now the West also acknowledges it. It includes the insertion of needles into certain parts of the skin.

These points lie along pathways called meridians, which the Chinese believe carry a vital energy force called ‘qi.’ This flow of energy contributes to pain and illness.

After inserting the needles, the acupuncturists aim to manage the balance of qi and enhance the body’s natural healing process.

Nevertheless, the exact mechanism behind this is unknown, and Western medicine is currently researching it and suggests that it can be effective in managing pain including headaches.


5 Benefits of Acupuncture for Migraines

acupuncture for migraine

1.    Reduced Migraine Frequency:

Research from 2020 has shown that acupuncture can significantly decrease the number of migraine episodes one may experience.

This means that the lower frequency of headaches will reduce the number of days you suffer from chronic pain.

2.    Migraine pain relief:

This therapy can help lower the pain intensity as well. It is capable of stimulating the release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers, offering you a quick escape from the migraine attack.

3.    Improved overall well-being:

Furthermore, it can promote relaxation while reducing stress. Both of these are well-known triggers for a migraine episode.

Once they are gone, both the intensity and frequency of the pain will be diminished.

4.    Fewer side effects:

Pharmacotherapy will always have its side effects, unlike acupuncture, which has little to no [ref].

Even though you might feel needle pricks the pain from them will be short-lived.

5.    Potential cost savings:

Since the cost of healthcare is already soaring, traditional therapy will be much cheaper. Only a few sessions will be sufficient for you without bearing the burden of prescription drugs.

Moreover, some insurance plans do cover acupuncture for chronic pain management.


What to expect during an acupuncture session for migraine

If you’re considering acupuncture for migraines, here’s what a typical session might involve:


A trained professional will initiate a detailed conversation to discuss your medical history, frequency of episodes, and severity among other things. They will also ask you about lifestyle factors and any specific triggers.

Needle placement:

After your consultation is over, the acupuncturists will analyze the collected data about your health and then insert needles into the specific portions best for migraines.

Their location can vary from head, neck, back, hands, to feet. Each needle will be sterile and used only once. Most people do not experience much discomfort during this process.

Treatment duration:

After the insertion process, you will rest in a reclining position for about 15-30 minutes.

While you rest the acupuncturist might gently modify the needle position or use techniques like electrical stimulation to improve the outcome.

Possible sensations:

As mentioned before, most people feel nothing during the needle insertion. However, some might experience a brief prickling sensation.

Once the needles are in place you will feel a heaviness, warmth, or tingling around them.

After the session:

In the end, each needle will be removed, and you will feel relaxed and energized. It is essential to stay hydrated and avoid any rough exercises during that day.


Is acupuncture safe for migraines?

When considering acupuncture for migraines, safety is a natural concern. Here’s what you need to know:

Generally safe with licensed practitioners:

This therapy is considered a safe practice globally and is only performed by trained & professional acupuncturists.

These individuals go through heavy training in proper needle insertion techniques and handling processes while also learning to minimize the risk of infection or complication.

Minimal side effects:

Acupuncture typically has very few side effects. The most common ones are minor and short-lived, such as:

  1. Slight bleeding may occur at the needle insertion points, but this is usually minimal.
  2. Small bruises may form around the insertion points, but these typically fade within a few days.
  3. Some people may experience a brief, mild prickling sensation during needle insertion. Once the needles are in place, you might feel a sense of heaviness, warmth, or tingling, but these are not usually unpleasant.

Important precautions:

Always remember to choose someone who is licensed and certified by a renowned organization.

This will guarantee that you will have the best experience and your money won’t go to waste. Also, inform the acupuncturists about any medications that you take and your proper medical history.

If you feel uncomfortable, do not hesitate to contact the professional staff so they can help you. They can adjust the needles or halt the therapy until you feel comfortable.


FAQs About Acupuncture for Migraines:

  • Does insurance cover acupuncture for migraines?

Yes! This practice is covered by several insurance companies. Some plans may cover it as a chronic pain while some might require a diagnosis or referral. Call your insurance provider to discuss the coverage.

  • How much does acupuncture for migraines cost?

It varies from one institution to another. An initial consultation might charge you 100$ to 300$ while a follow-up session will do 50$ to 90$.

  • How many acupuncture sessions do I need for migraines?

The number of acupuncture sessions required for migraines varies depending on the severity and frequency of the migraines. 

Typically, an initial course of treatment might involve 6-10 sessions spread over several weeks. After that, some people may benefit from maintenance sessions to help prevent future migraines.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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