Is Acupuncture Effective for Treating Migraines?

Acupuncture treatments for migraine headaches are growing in popularity.

Acupuncture treatments for migraine headaches are growing in popularity.The author, Robbert Goddard, once said, “There must be something to acupuncture – you never see any sick porcupines.”

While that might be a funny quote, acupuncture has been shown to be very effective at treating migraines for many people.

Acupuncture is one of those treatment methods that many people don’t understand and for that reason, don’t believe in it either. Yet, we should always strive to keep an open mind and give it a try. Don’t knock it unless you have tried it.

Treating Migraines with Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a holistic method of treatment and just like most holistic treatments; it will take time for its efficacy and benefits to be seen. You can’t cure your migraines overnight with acupuncture but over time after repeated sessions, you will notice that you get migraine headaches less often and when you do get them, they will be less intense.

Thousands of people with migraines have benefited from acupuncture. Yet, this is not a perfect solution for everyone. In fact, nothing is perfect for everyone. You will have to try it for yourself and see how it affects you. Does it help? Or are the efforts an exercise in futility? This will depend on your body.

Either way, if you do not try, you will not know.

What truly matters is that you find a qualified acupuncturist to treat you. Since it is a Chinese form of alternative medicine, in most cases, the advanced practitioners will most probably be Chinese. You may find them with practices in the major cities. They can be relatively difficult to find in the smaller communities.

Acupuncture Can Work Well with Other Migraine Remedies

Acupuncture for migraines should be used together with medication, a nutrient rich diet, relaxation techniques, natural remedies, etc. It is not a one-stop solution. You should think of it more as one of the tools that you are using in conjunction with other tools to battle migraines.

It would be unwise to skip on your prescribed pain medication for migraines just because you are going for acupuncture. These are not mutually exclusive treatments. Go ahead and take the beta blockers the doctor gave you and go for your acupuncture sessions too.

Many people expect miraculous results from acupuncture and when they do not see changes overnight, they automatically assume that it’s all a fake and “in the mind”. You must have patience and exercise common sense which is often not so common.

How Long to See Migraine Relief with Acupuncture Treatments?

Studies have shown that people who went for 10 acupuncture sessions over the duration of six weeks had positive effects. Their migraines occurred less frequently, for shorter durations and were less painful. The acupuncture was as effective as the beta blockers that doctors traditionally prescribe.

The way acupuncture works is by inserting needles into various points in the body. As scary as this might sound, it’s often painless. The aim of acupuncture is to correct imbalances within the body. Once this is achieved, the body will be stronger and less prone to health problems such as migraines. That summarizes the theory of acupuncture.

In reality, millions have benefited from acupuncture that has been used to treat a variety of disorders from infertility to even respiratory conditions. So, this is a method of treatment that can be highly effective. You will just need to give it a try and see if it helps you.


Am I Having Migraines

How to tell if it's migraines or reular headaches that you feel.

How to tell if it's migraines or reular headaches that you feel.That’s a fair question indeed. How do you know that the headaches you are having are migraines and not just normal headaches?

Millions of people around the world suffer from migraines. In the US alone, 30 million people are suffering from migraines. 3 times as many women have migraines as compared to men.

One may joke that it’s probably the men who give these women headaches…

But all levity aside; this is truly a painful condition and causes suffering for many people of all races, genders and nationalities.

Be Grateful if it’s Only a Headache and Not a Full Blown Migraine

A migraine is much more than a tension headache or a headache that you may get from being in a room with noisy children. Migraines are often much more severe and have accompanying side effects such as nausea, irritability, low blood pressure, auras, sensitivity to light and sound, etc.

Auras are a term that is used to describe the symptoms that accompany migraines. You may see flashing lights, feel weak, see patterns that resemble zigzag formations, blind spots (scotomas) and even partial blindness in one or both eyes (hemianopsia). Some people may also feel a prickly sensation on their skin. This is known as parestheia. Collectively, these are known as auras and are a tell-tale sign of migraines.

Other Signs of Migraines

Are you having difficulty sleeping and getting more irritated about it?

This is another sign of migraines. With most normal headaches, you will be able to pop 2 aspirin and hit the sack. Migraines however, are a whole different animal. The pain from the migraines will prevent you from getting restorative sleep. This will leave you feeling tired and will this will raise the frequency of the migraines and their intensity too. It’s a vicious cycle.

Sinus headaches are another sign of migraines. Most people who complain of sinus headaches are often diagnosed with migraines. So, if you find yourself with a stuffy nose and constantly tearing and battling a runny nose while having a persistent, nasty headache… you just might be having migraines.

Migraines often manifest themselves as a throbbing pain on one side or both sides of the head. This is quite common with many migraine sufferers. Normal headaches do not have throbbing pains.

Food Cravings can be a Sign of Migraines

Do you crave something sweet such as chocolate? You do? Do you often notice that such cravings precede a headache? They do?

There you go… you have migraines. Food cravings that precede headaches are a sign of migraines. An unusual sign indeed, but a sign nevertheless.

Neck Pain is Another Sign of Migraines

Neck pain, neck aches and migraines tend to be close buddies. If you have neck pain that often ends in headaches or you have headaches while having a bad neck ache, you most probably have migraines. There will usually be a throbbing pain at the back of the neck.

These are just some of the signs and symptoms of migraines. There are many more and they vary from individual to individual. Yet, in most cases, you will see a pattern just before the migraine strikes or during the migraine headache itself. Speak to your doctor about these symptoms and in most cases, your doctor will confirm if you really do have migraines or not.


What is Ocular Migraine?

Ocular migraines may not hurt bad but it can be scary with vision loss.

Ocular migraines may not hurt bad but it can be scary with vision loss.The Good and Bad News of Ocular Migraines

This is a good news and bad news situation. The good news is that ocular migraines are painless, harmless and don’t require medication. The bad news is that they temporarily affect your vision in one or both eyes. To the first time sufferer, this can be terrifying because they may worry that they are going blind.

The reality is that this is a temporary situation and in about 20 minutes or so, your ocular migraine will vanish as fast as it came. It’s really no cause for concern. So, you can allay your fears.

It would be best to get confirmation from your doctor that you really do suffer from ocular migraines and not other eye issues such as blood flow problems in the arteries behind the retina.

The cause for ocular migraines varies from individual to individual. It is not a very common form of migraine and affects about 15% of women and 6% of men. Women are 3 times more predisposed to migraines.

Scientists have mentioned that it could be due to genetics and 70 percent of people who have migraines usually have a family history of migraines. The disorder is characterized by the release of inflammatory substances deep within the brain.

These substances affect the blood vessels and nerves around affected area leading to headaches and ocular migraines. While doctors and scientists understand how migraines occur, nobody is really sure why they occur.

Poor Diet – A Common Culprit of Ocular Migraines

There are some common culprits that have been identified as migraine triggers. A poor diet that is high in processed food, caffeine, refined sugar, etc. has been known to raise one’s risk of getting migraines. Foods high in artificial sweeteners and food additives such as monosodium glutamate are also potential migraine triggers.

Like Hippocrates, once said, “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.” There is a wealth of wisdom in this one line that seems to have been forgotten by most people today. The food you eat is the most important factor for good health. Yet, most people will say, “Hippocrates who? Forget him! Let me just grab those crates of beer for the party later!”

Ocular migraines have a few other names such as retinal migraines, eye migraines and ophthalmic migraines. While the names differ, it’s the same thing.

If you have migraine headaches where your head actually hurts and is accompanied by a partial loss of vision, this is not ocular migraine. It is an aura and is a migraine symptom which is usually accompanied by a throbbing sensation on one side of the head.

When you have an ocular migraine, your vision will be distorted and you may see blind spots that seem to get bigger. This is known as a scotoma and the blind spot will be surrounded by lights that are either bright, flickering or flashing. None of this is actually happening in your external environment. It’s only in your eyes.

To make matters worse, the blind spot may move through your field of vision during the entirety of the episode which usually lasts from 20 to 30 minutes. It’s best to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery during an ocular migraine.

Most ocular migraines will go away with time and there is nothing to panic about. Speak to your doctor and he or she will advise you about your condition and any possible measures you can take to alleviate the condition. That’s the best thing that you can do because there’s really nothing much else that you can do.


Best Medicines for Migraines

Yor migraine headache medicine may be as simple as putting the rightn nutrients in your body or ingesting a man-made chemical.

Yor migraine headache medicine may be as simple as putting the rightn nutrients in your body or ingesting a man-made chemical.Migraines affect millions of people and women are three times more likely to get migraines than men. Despite so many migraineurs in society today, modern medicine is no closer to a cure. In fact, most doctors and scientists are unable to even figure out why migraines occur.

This is due to the fact that there are different types of migraines and different people experience different symptoms. So, treatment will vary on a case by case basis. The best person to decide what course of treatment is best for you will be your doctor.

You will need to monitor your lifestyle and see the effects the medication has on you. For some people, just consuming less caffeine products may stop their migraines but caffeine withdrawal can create headaches. For others, the pain can be so debilitating that they require strong medication to alleviate the pain.

Is Whole Food Your Migraine Medicine?

There are several natural remedies and over-the-counter medications that help to deal with migraines.

Depending on the severity of your headaches, it is best to start out making sure that you’re getting all of the nutrients you need everyday. Using a good whole food supplement that feeds your body what it needs could be all you need. If you must, try the milder medications first and consume them in small doses.

If they are effective, you may use them to combat the effects of migraines. If they do not work, you may need to seek stronger medication. One way of keeping migraines at bay will be to have a daily aspirin regimen where you consume a bit of aspirin daily to ward off any potential migraines.

First Line of Defense to Prevent Migraines

This is the first line of migraine prevention – beginning at the minimal strength, minimal dosage to see if it will be a solution. Among these migraine prevention medicines are the following.

Excedrin Migraine Oral is a commercially sold medication that is highly effective for treating migraines. It is extremely popular amongst migraine sufferers. Another popular medication is Aleve and it will mitigate any pain that you may have during a migraine headache.

What to Do When Nutrition or Mild Migraine Medications Don’t Work

For some unfortunate people, the over-the counter medication may not be enough to handle the migraines. They will require stronger prescription medication such as
Beta-blockers. Commonly used beta-blockers are inderal, Lopressor, nodolol and timolol.

Your doctor may also prescribe anti-depressants to boost the serotonin levels in your brain and reduce any pain that you may have.

Ultimately, which medicine you are prescribed will depend on your condition and your doctor. Different doctors have different preferences too when it comes to medication. So, they’ll prescribe and recommend medication that they believe in. You will have to try out the medication and see if it benefits you.

Medication aside, there are other things that you can do to prevent migraines. Medication merely addresses the symptoms. While this may help to reduce your suffering, you must find out what is the cause and eliminate it.

For many migraineurs, it’s their genetics that causes them to have migraines. However, even with them, certain actions make them more prone to getting migraine attacks. For example, many people have noticed that when they changed their diet and started eating clean, their frequency of migraines reduced dramatically.

Poor food choices, stress, a lack of sleep, etc. are all possible factors that directly or indirectly lead to migraines. Examine your lifestyle closely and see what you can change for the better and see if it helps you. In most cases, it will. Prevention is better than cure.


Understanding Migraine Headaches

The difference between a regular headache and a full blown migraine.

The difference between a regular headache and a full blown migraine.We’ve all had it before…

A headache that appears for no reason and is not only annoyingly painful, but it also spoils our day. Now, imagine headaches that are so painful that they make you feel nauseous, lose vision temporarily and even vomit.

That’s what people suffering from severe migraine headaches go through. Besides that, they may also feel weak, irritable and unwell.

Millions of people suffer from migraines and the majority of them are women because they are 3 times more likely to have migraines than men.

Not All Migraine Headaches Come About Equally

There are different types of migraines and they affect different people differently. The symptoms displayed often vary amongst individuals. That is one of the reasons treating migraines is so difficult and coming up with a cure is even tougher.

Till today, doctors aren’t able to pin point why some people are more prone to migraines than others. While genetics has been highlighted as a reason, there are still no concrete findings as far as triggers and other reasons go.

Some of the Migraine Headaches People Suffer From:

1. Benign exertional headache

This is a vascular headache that may occur when a person exerts themselves through some physical activity such as running or lifting something heavy. Some people have had this migraine just from coughing or sneezing.

2. Hemiplegic migraine

This migraine causes a temporary paralysis in the muscles on one side of the body. People who experience this migraine may also have impaired vision and feel giddy due to vertigo.

3. Status migrainosus

This is an extremely severe migraine that usually requires the sufferer to be hospitalized. The only good thing about it is that it is a rare condition.

4. Ophthalmologic migraine

If a migraine causes pain around the eyes and causes the eyelids to be droopy, you most probably have ophthalmologic migraine. It is also accompanied by temporary vision loss.

5. Basilar artery migraine

This type of migraine is the result of problems with a blood vessel at the base of the skull. Adolescent women or young female adults are more prone to this type of migraine. It’s accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms such as impaired vision, vertigo, loss of motor control, etc.

6. Headache-free migraines

These are migraines that have other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, temporary vision loss, etc. but there are no headaches.

Migraines do have some similar symptoms to headaches. However, normal headaches do have symptoms that are quite distinctive and this helps doctors diagnose whether you’re having normal headaches or migraines.

Cluster headaches are vascular headaches that are known to strike a couple of times a day. They usually appear suddenly and on one side of the head.

There is a stabbing pain behind the eye and the pain is so severe that the eyes may tear up and even the nose will run. This usually happens on just one side. Alcohol and smoking have been linked to cluster headaches and men are more prone to them.

Tension headaches are becoming more and more frequent nowadays and this could be due to the high levels of stress and fatigue most people face. Tension headaches may be caused by other health problems too such as poor posture, bruxism, arthritis, etc.

Both cluster headaches and tension headaches can be treated with over-the counter medication and tend to go away quite fast. Migraines are usually much more severe and may require prescription medication. You should always consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and confirmation.


Is Migraine Surgery an Option?

Migrarine surgery is not a decision that most people take lightly.

Migrarine surgery is not a decision that most people take lightly.In the US alone, there are about 30 million people suffering from migraines. The majority of this group is women since they are 3 times more likely than men to get migraine headaches. This is a very common condition and it is so painful that many sufferers often feel like life is not worth living when they are in such immense pain.

Severe migraines are accompanied by several other unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, irritability, inability to sleep, partial vision loss, etc.

Since most doctors are unable to pinpoint an exact cause of these migraines, the sufferers often feel helpless. When the medications such as beta blockers only have a limited effect on the pain, it can be quite unbearable and often they may contemplate doing migraine surgery.

Surgery on the head or around the brain is something most sane people would never want. Yet, if migraine sufferers are willing to go through it, you should have an idea of how debilitating the pain can be.

Whether or not you should go for migraine surgery is a decision that only you can make and of course, you will need to speak to your doctor to see if it is a viable option. Your doctor may or may not recommend it depending on the severity of your migraine headaches, your responsiveness to medication, etc.

So What is Migraine Surgery?

It’s a surgery that involves the removal of the nerve tissue that is causing the migraine headaches.

There are 4 zones on your head where migraines may occur.

The frontal zone is used to describe migraines that occur between your eyes and behind your eyebrows. For surgery in the frontal zone, the tissue aggravating the nerves will be removed with small cuts made behind the upper eyelid.

The occipital zone is the rear part of the head down to the back of the neck. This is a very common area where migraines seem to originate from. Many migraine sufferers also have neck pain. Usually migraines in this part of the head are caused by a nerve that is compressed by tight muscles in the area. Surgery will give the nerve some release and reduce the frequency of the headaches.

The temporal zone is where your temples are. If your migraines start here, in many cases, stress could be the trigger and you should try relaxation techniques and see if it helps before considering surgery. Surgery in this area will often involve releasing the tension of a small nerve that is compressed by your jaw muscles.

Last but not least, is the nasal zone. Many sinus headaches are actually migraines. They nasal nerves are affected due to the septum that is compressing them. Once again, surgery can be used to alleviate the problem and bring relief to the sufferer.

Migraine surgery is effective but it’s not a solution for everybody. Most people who go through it do get lasting relief and in many cases, the migraines disappear completely. However, there are always a few people who do not enjoy such positive results. That is worth bearing in mind.

Nevertheless, the majority do see positive results. Consult your doctor if you find your migraine headaches unbearable and would like some immediate, long-lasting relief that can be achieved with surgery. Weigh all of the pros and cons carefully before making your decision to have migraine surgery.


Common Questions About Migraines

Get your questions about migrane headaches answered here.

Get your questions about migrane headaches answered here.Migraines are one of those conditions that most people wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy… or maybe they would. These are headaches that are so bad that people suffering from them feel debilitated and often cannot do anything else except sit down and wait for the pain to go away.

Millions are afflicted with migraines and women are 3 times more likely to get migraines. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it does.

Migraines are also accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, partial vision loss, nausea, vomiting, etc. The symptoms vary from individual to individual but one thing stays constant. Migraines are not a walk in the park.

There are many questions that people often have about migraines. This article will attempt to answer 3 of the most common migraine questions.

1. Why do some people get migraines?

Doctors and scientist are still trying to figure this one out. So far they have only been able to deduce that it could be genetic because most people who get diagnosed with migraines often have a family history of migraines, especially immediate family members. Others feel that migraines happen because of the lack of proper nutrition in the body.

2. What are the common triggers of migraines?

Different people have different triggers. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to understand migraine. The symptoms vary between individuals and what works for one person will be of no use to another. For some people, a diet high in processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine, additives (monosodium glutamate) and alcohol can trigger migraines.

For others, glaring lights, loud sounds, stress, lack of sleep, hunger, menstruation, weather changes and even strong smells may trigger migraine headaches.

3. What are the symptoms of migraines?

Once again, the symptoms may vary from person to person. Some may not feel any pain or just mild pain that can be dealt with just by swallowing some aspirin. For others, the pain can be so unbearable that they will need prescription medicine such as beta blockers from the doctor.

Migraines are categorized into two types. They are migraines with aura (known as classic migraine) and migraines without aura (common migraine).

Migraines with aura usually mean that the migraineur may experience flashes of light in his vision. These are flickering lines that move through the field of vision in a zigzag manner. Sometimes the sufferer may experience a tingling feeling on their lips face and fingers.
Migraines without aura are much more common and usually the symptoms are irritability, mood swings, diarrhea, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and a general feeling of unease.

Getting the right answer for your migraine questions:

The best person to consult when you have migraines will be your doctor. Since this is a condition that varies from individual to individual, your doctor will be able to diagnose what type of migraine you’re suffering from and prescribe the appropriate medication and treatment.

You may also do your research online and try to change your lifestyle and make it healthier by eating the correct food and getting enough sleep and exercise. Every bit is important and by taking all these extra measures you will prevent migraines from occurring frequently and even if they do occur, the pain will be less intense.