How Acupuncture Can Treat Migraines

acupuncture for migraineEveryone gets headaches from time to time, and many can be treated with over the counter medicine. However, chronic migraines are another story entirely. Migraines are debilitating and can have additional symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. They can last anywhere froma few hours to days. Anyone who has ever had a migraine knows that they can feel unbearable. While some over the counter and prescription medications are available for migraine sufferers, they often come with the steep price of negative side effects that can make the patient feel sick long after the migraine has dissipated. A better, more holistic approach for chronic migraine sufferers is acupuncture for migraines.

Treating migraines begins with understanding the underlying source for the pain. Even though migraines are felt mostly in the head, other muscles in the body are actually responsible for the onset of the migraine itself. That’s why acupuncture for migraines deliberately avoids pressure points in the head. Stimulating these blood vessels can lead to an increase in pain if the blood vessels become dilated. Instead, the acupuncture is focused on the lower body to relieve tension in the muscles that cause migraines in the first place.

Your Changing Body: Acupuncture Relief for Menstrual and Pregnancy Migraines

While the exact cause of migraines is unknown, there is a general consensus among doctors that estrogen plays a role in the onset and duration of migraines, which explains why women suffer migraines during bodily changes like menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. If you routinely suffer from migraines before or during your menstrual cycle, scheduling an acupuncture appointment can prevent or arrest any migraines you might experience. For best results, you will want to make routine appointments with Dr. Laurie at Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness so that you can avoid getting debilitating migraines every month.

pregnant womanThe pregnant body experiences all kinds of different aches and pains, and often women experience their first migraine during pregnancy. Taking prescription drugs during pregnancy can have risks to you and your child, and sitting in silent suffering can wreak havoc on your home and work life. The good news is that acupuncture is safe for most pregnant women during pregnancy. (Be sure to double check with your doctor before making an appointment). Dr. Laurel Binder can perform acupuncture for pregnancy migraines, and she will work with you to develop a continuing treatment plan so that you can enjoy a migraine-free pregnancy.

Preventative Care

Acupuncture can also be used to prevent future migraines. Preventative acupuncture for migraines is generally performed on points on the lower arms and legs, and can also be performed on the tense muscles of the upper back and neck since that is where many migraine sufferers are strained. Other recommendations for preventing migraines include sleeping adequately, avoiding fatigue, and staying hydrated. If you haven’t done so already, begin a migraine journal and record any particular foods or scents that trigger your migraines. Once you know your trigger points, you can begin avoiding them, which can lead to a reduction in the amount of migraines you have overall.

Migraines are painful and often debilitating, but they don’t have to run your life anymore. Contact us today to set up an appointment and begin your journey through life without migraines.

Acupuncture Treaments for Colds and Flu

The common cold and seasonal flu are usually manages by cold syrups from the store, but these never seem as effective as they should be. This is because our bodies are getting used to the chemicals we have been putting in our bodies over the years. Eventually, cold and flu medications will become obsolete. This is why it is best to look into a more natural treatment that will never fade over time. The best type of treatment to look into deals with alternative medicines and acupuncture.

Acupuncture for Healing and Prevention

If you have symptoms like a runny nose, high fever, chills, congestion, sore throat, body aches, or a bad cough then it is more than likely that you have caught a cold. In order to relieve you from these symptoms, one should get immediate attention by an acupuncturist. Acupuncture is used to quickly reduce the symptoms of the cold as well as speed up the body’s healing process in order to rid itself of the cold. Oriental medicines, such as various herbs, may also be used in order to rid the body of germs and viruses.

Acupuncture is used not only as a treatment, but as a preventative as well. This has to due with what acupuncture is actually accomplishing. Oriental medicine specialists state that there is an exterior energy surrounding the body at all times, called defensive qi, which protects the body from illness or disease. When this energy is disrupted, it becomes easier for the body to catch the cold or flu.

Acupuncturists use thin needles to access certain points on your body that manage the flow of your energy. If you find yourself catching the cold quite easily or having it for long periods of time, then it is more than likely that these points on your body are disrupted. By accessing and clearing any blockades at these points, defensive energy will be strengthened and prevent viruses and bacteria that cause the cold or flu from entering the body.

There is a specific point located below the seventh cervical vertebrae, known as Du 14, which manages the circulation of blood to power the defensive energy surrounding the body. It does this by strengthening physical defenses of the body such as the muscles and skin. This is the main point targeted by acupuncturists to treat the common cold and flu.

The best way to prevent a cold or flu is to stay as healthy as possible. A common reason people get sick is because they aren’t wearing the appropriate clothing for current weather conditions, so be sure to wear a bit more clothing in the winter. Hygiene is another important aspect to keep up in order to prevent illness, so brush your teeth every night, shower, and most importantly wash your hands frequently. Your hands touch just about everything which is especially dangerous if a sick person has touched something before you, so it is vital to keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face. Keep the body in its best condition by sleeping the right amount of hours for your age. Sleeping the right hours will also prevent stress, which can wear down your immune system quite a bit if not taken care of. A few methods for stress relief involve meditation, exercise, or acupuncture.

Quarterly acupunctural treatments will keep the defensive qi at its best at all times. This is great for preventing respiratory problems like the cold and the flu. Acupuncture is not just for a preventative use for the cold though, as it is a good method for keeping your awareness in good condition as well as your mood and general wellness.

Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness- Acupuncture and Headaches

Studies Show that Acupuncture Stops Headaches

Cochrane Researchers conducted two different studies to show that acupuncture is indeed an effective treatment for the prevention and treatment of migraines and headaches.

The goal of both studies was to discover if acupuncture is able to reduce how often headaches occur in a person. The first study was more focused on mild, yet frequent headaches while the second studied more chronic, yet less frequent headaches, or migraines. Both trials together involved over six thousand patients in total.

The studies lasted around eight weeks. The first showed that those who received acupuncture had fewer headaches than those who took standard pain medications. The second reported the same results.

In one case that involved about three hundred patients, acupuncture was shown to reduce headaches by as much as two hundred percent. These results initiated a similar test to be conducted for those who suffered chronic tension headaches. In this test the people involved were split up into three different groups over an eight week period. One group received no treatment, the second received minimal acupuncture (which is when needles don’t fully activate the point targeted), and the third received normal acupuncture. The group that received no treatment suffered one and a half fewer days of headaches, the minimal acupuncture group had around six and a half days of no headaches, and the full acupuncture group had a whole week of no headaches.

With each test done, more and more improvements were made. Each treatment reduced the chances of headaches from reoccurring more and more. Besides acupuncture, there are a variety of changes on can make to their lifestyle in help reduce and treat headaches, which can be seen below.

Change #1: Stress
Stress is the number one cause of tension headaches, so in order to rid this trigger is would be wise to look into relaxation techniques to help soothe the mind.

Change #2: Sleep
Sleep is more important than you think. We need at least eight hours of sleep per night in order to maintain proper functioning.

Change #3: Eat Healthy
Small, regular, healthy meals are what you need. If you aren’t eating properly, then your blood sugar can fall too quick which will result in a headache. Foods that induce headaches include red meats, salty refined foods, and alcohol.

Change #4: Healthcare Consultation
Make sure to consult with a healthcare specialist, such as an acupuncturist, in order to prevent headaches from reoccurring.

Change #5: Keep a Headache Journal
Keeping a headache journal will help your healthcare provider figure out the triggers of your headache as well as how to prevent them from happening.

Change #6: Exercise
Exercise is an important activity that benefits our body in many ways. It also releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that help relieve stress.