Acupuncture for Migraine
Migraine and Acupuncture:
The evidence for effectiveness Migraine is described as the most frequently encountered condition treated in the NHS, which does not lead to disability or death, and costs ¬£20 million per annum. It effects about 20% of the UK population of which 60% to 70% are women. It also has dramatic effects on the functioning of the economy, for example in the UK an estimated 60% of sufferers lose time from work (Tukmachi 1994). Migraine is defined as “a complex constellation of symptoms effecting the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and vascular systems” (Lewith 1996). The highly debilitating nature of recurrent migraine attacks and the limited effectiveness of medications, all of which can give rise to unpleasant side effects (Shaikh 1986), bring many patients to acupuncture for treatment. A recent article reported that it is the 6th most common condition presenting to acupuncturists (Wadlow 1996). In a study of student doctors in Norway, 63% said they would refer patients with migraine for acupuncture (Norheim 1993). Thus both public and professionals are becoming aware of the benefits of this form of treatment.
After various clinical trials Acupuncture has proved to be highly effective in treating migraine and cluster headaches.