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Acupuncture Works! Treatment of tension-type headaches and migraines…

Last weekend Plym Physio organised an Acupuncture Study Day with Dr. Liz Tough, a nationally accredited tutor for Acupuncture treatment of the two most common types of headaches; tension-type and migraines.  Our Chartered Physiotherapist and Qualified Acupuncturist, Nicola, attended the study day and came away with some very interesting and clinically relevant information on the treatment of these debilitating headaches.  The study group looked at some of the causation factors thought to be relevant:

  • Serotonin and beta-endorphin levels – what influences these levels
  • Physical factors – posture and diet
  • Non-physical factors – emotional state
  • Structural similarity of environmental chemicals to the body’s own biochemicals – adenosine activity is similar to caffeine; a known headache trigger

Nicola demonstrates placement of the acupuncture needles.

They also looked at the evidence supporting the body’s own response to acupuncture treatment and how is it a useful and safe, alternative treatment:

  • Acupuncture triggers serotonin release – low levels of serotonin is known to be a causation factor of severe headaches.  In fact, triptans (the pharmaceutical drug treatment) mode of action is to quickly raise the level of this chemical, albeit in a synthetic manner and are synonymous with a variety of side-effects. Acupuncture raises this level naturally, by allowing the body to create it’s own serotonin.
  • Acupuncture triggers beta-endorphin release – endorphins; the body’s own pain reliever and ‘de-stress’ chemical.  Acupuncture is a well-known and researched method of increasing the levels of this chemical within the central nervous system, levels which then remain higher over time and not just during treatment.
  • The benefit of acupuncture treatment with a physiotherapist combining acupuncture with physiotherapy treatment  a two pronged attack on the causes of the headache or migraine.
  • Acupuncture has an anxiolytic effect – it has been used since ancient times to calm the mind and balance the emotional state, recognising the synergy between body and mind and how each affects the other.
  • Chemical free a drug free treatment for a body overloaded with environmental chemicals mimicking our own natural biochemicals.  Acupuncture has very few side effects, is considered an extremely safe treatment when administered by a trained professional and can help in the long term.  Acupuncture is on the management pathway for migraines and is the only recommended non-pharmaceutical intervention.

So, if you suffer from tension-type headaches or migraines and want an alternative to drug treatments, contact us for a chat or book in for an appointment and together we can determine whether acupuncture treatment could help you.



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