Every day, headaches affect millions of people all around the world. Around 16 percent of Americans claim to have experienced headaches in the past year, and more than 8 million of them go to the doctor every year with headache complaints. There are various forms of headaches as well as numerous therapies for this crippling and painful condition that affects so many people.
The question of whether acupuncture may be used to lessen the frequency of tension-type headaches, in particular, was investigated in a recent study that was published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The sides and back of the head experience mild discomfort with these headaches. According to sufferers, the sensation is similar to having a mild to a moderately intense band of pressure around one’s skull. Exercise does not make tension headaches worse, and nausea is not a symptom of tension headaches. When headaches happen at least 15 days a month, the condition is deemed chronic.
Among the most typical kinds of headaches is the tension-type headache, and those who have them frequently may be searching for non-drug solutions, according to research author Dr. Ying Li of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to our research, acupuncture helps those who have these excruciating and disruptive headache assaults by lowering their average monthly headache days.
The study selected 218 participants who experienced chronic tension-type headaches to participate in the study in order to determine whether acupuncture decreased the frequency of headache attacks. The individuals had been experiencing constant headaches on average for 11 years, and they now had headaches 22 days a month.
The patients were separated into two parts at random, one of which received real acupuncture treatment and the other just superficial acupuncture. In order to achieve a deqi sensation during a true acupuncture treatment, a needle must be inserted into the patient’s body and moved about until the patient feels tingly, dull, or heavy. The deqi sensation was not achieved by the surface treatments since they did not penetrate as deeply.
Over the course of two months, both groups received two or three sessions per week for a total of 20 sessions. After that, participants were followed up with for a further six months. In addition to undergoing acupuncture, the participants had to keep a journal in which they recorded their symptoms and medication usage. Additionally, they went to the clinic once a month.
The results of the study showed that all participants benefitted from acupuncture treatment. Overall, participants recorded a reduction of 50 percent in the number of days they experienced headaches. At the end of the study, 68 percent of the people receiving true acupuncture reported at least a 50 percent reduction in the monthly number of headache days. In comparison, only 50 percent of the people who received superficial acupuncture reported a similar improvement. The number of headache days experienced decreased gradually after the completion of treatment.
Since this study demonstrated that acupuncture helps lessen headaches, additional research is required to assess acupuncture’s long-term effectiveness and how it stacks up against other treatment modalities, according to Dr. Li. Cost-effectiveness is a crucial consideration when considering treatment choices.