Acupuncture For Headaches: A Guide For First-Timers

Posted on: 29 December 2022

Headache pain can be quite a nuisance to deal with, especially if you get headaches on a repeated or regular basis. It's important to see a doctor and rule out serious causes, such as tumors and neurological diseases. Once you do so, then you can start exploring remedies and treatments that help keep your headaches at bay. One such treatment to consider is acupuncture, a Chinese medical practice that involves re-directing the flow of energy through the body through the use of tiny needles.

Here are the basics you should know about acupuncture treatment before pursuing it for the first time.

Acupuncture is widely used for pain relief

Claims that acupuncture can heal cancer or treat serious diseases are a bit dubious, but claims that it can help manage pain are much more reliable. It has been widely used all around the world to treat many kinds of pain including pain due to menstrual cramps and fibromyalgia. While acupuncture is still often referred to as an "alternative" medical practice, it is indeed becoming pretty mainstream — at least when used to manage pain such as headache pain. 

Acupuncture is quite safe

Acupuncturists are trained to sanitize their equipment properly, and also to take other important protocols when inserting needles into patients' skin. As long as these protocols are followed, acupuncture is quite safe and comes with a very low risk of side effects. That's one advantage it has over other headache treatment options, such as NSAID pain relievers. 

Needles will be placed all over your body

Sometimes first-time acupuncture patients are surprised by this. When they visit with a headache, they assume the needles will be placed in and around their head. But acupuncturists actually place needles along lines on the body called meridians. These are pathways of energy flow through the body. Your acupuncturist will likely place needles all along at least one meridian, which means you may have them on your back, arms, legs, and even your feet -- all to treat your headaches.

Acupuncture works best when repeated

One treatment should give you some relief, but for continued headache relief, you generally want to keep going back for acupuncture, again and again. Most headaches are caused by ongoing conditions, such as lasting stress or tension. Repeated acupuncture treatments will keep that stress and tension low, which in turn will help prevent future headaches. 

If you're tired of having headaches, see an acupuncturist. The treatment they offer is often very helpful, and it is also very safe.