Migraines

 

Some Context for you

Migraine is a primary headache disorder manifesting as recurring attacks.

Usually lasting for 4 to 72 hours and involving pain of moderate to severe intensity (IHS 2004).

Migraine is thought to begin as an electrical phenomenon in the cerebrum that then affects blood vessels, biochemistry, and causes neurogenic inflammation.

Acupuncture can help in the treatment of migraine by:

Providing pain relief - by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues.

Acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurochumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Zhao 2008, Zijlstra 2003, Pomeranz, 1987).

Reducing inflammation - by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).

Reducing the degree of cortical spreading depression (an electrical wave in the brain associated with migraine) and plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P (both implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine) (Shi 2010).

Modulating extracranial and intracranial blood flow (Park 2009).

Affecting serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine) levels in the brain (Zhong 2007). (Serotonin may be linked to the initiation of migraines; 5-HT agonists (triptans) are used against acute attacks.)


All this infprmation is taken from the british acupuncture council. It is facinating, make yourself a cup of tea and have a meander around the site.