Acupuncture for Headache Relief: A Case Study

by Leslie Lloyd, L.Ac.

If you suffer migraines or chronic headaches, there is hope without resorting to prescription drugs or over the counter medications which can have severe side effects. Light sensitivity, occipital pain, neck tension, and pressure behind the eyes can all be a part of a headache episode. For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has been treating these symptoms with great success. In our practice, headaches are one of the top five reasons clients begin acupuncture treatment. We have successfully eliminated these symptoms entirely for some people and have greatly reduced the intensity and frequency of them for others. I would like to share a recent case study.

A 30 year old woman had been suffering from severe headaches, which had been diagnosed as migraines, since age 11. She would experience anywhere from 2 to 3 headaches a week which lasted 1 to 3 days and were on a pain scale from 6 to 8 out of 10 with 10 being the most intense sensation. She would often need to lock herself in a dark, quiet room, take over the counter pain medication and rest until the headache subsided. She reported a family history of similar type headaches in both her mother and grandmother.

I began treating her on a weekly basis. By the third week, she had gone an entire week without a headache. By week 6, she reported only 1 headache in the past month, which was very mild. It lasted only 1 day and was a 3 on the pain scale. At this point we began to space treatment out to every other week. By week 12, she again reported only 1 very mild headache in the preceding month which occurred right before her menstrual cycle. She didn’t need to take anything for it and it was gone by the next day.

She has continued with treatment on a monthly basis. She still gets a very slight headache right before her period but reports no pain otherwise. She also says that her mood is better with a huge decrease in her anxiety and frustration levels. In addition, her periods have improved, with much less clotting and cramping. This client’s experience is typical of what can happen with regular treatment.

Results like these have prompted some insurance companies to cover acupuncture for the treatment of headaches and migraines. If you or a family member suffers from chronic headaches, know that we can help. To schedule an appointment, click the schedule now button at the top of this page.