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Acupuncture has been gaining ground as a good choice for pain relief from headaches. This ancient oriental technique is based on the idea of energy flow in the body. While no one is sure just how it works, many people have found it to be a drug-free method to manage chronic headaches and migraines. Here are the basics of acupuncture for headaches, from The Wellness Center PDX, with locations in Beaverton and Portland.
Traditional Chinese medicine operates on the theory that pain and illness are the result of blocked energy flows in the body. According to this concept, energy in the body moves along specific channels known as meridians. When the energy is blocked for any reason, pain and illness result. Very thin sterile acupuncture needles are placed at specific areas along the meridians known as acupoints, which corrects the energy flow. Research about acupuncture's effectiveness has been mixed, but many people find it effective for headaches, migraines and other forms of pain relief. It may take several sessions to feel the effects.
No one knows exactly how acupuncture works, although theories abound. One possibility is that placing the needles in specific points in the body triggers neuro-hormonal pathways. The nerve sends signals to the brain that cause the release of pain-relieving hormones. Another hypothesis is that acupuncture directly reduces inflammation, which commonly accompanies chronic pain. In addition, it may increase energy and stimulate the immune system, which also helps decrease inflammation. Other theories focus on circulatory improvement. In the case of headaches and migraines, acupuncture has been found to be very relaxing for many patients, which may be part of the reason why it is effective.
At The Wellness Center PDX, we see acupuncture as one of several ways to help treat headaches, migraines and chronic pain. For example, acupuncture won’t correct a spinal misalignment that is causing your headaches. However, combining acupuncture with adjustments can improve the alignment of the vertebrae and help relax tense muscles. Adding other therapy such as posture correction, nutritional counseling and massage gives you multiple benefits. All of these therapies help provide pain relief, relaxation and better function, which in turn improves overall wellness.
Like many forms of chiropractic treatment, acupuncture is safe, non-invasive and drug-free. In the hands of a qualified practitioner, the risks of this form of treatment are minimal and there are no side effects. If you suffer from chronic pain or from headaches and migraines, you might want to try acupuncture. Please call The Wellness Center PDX to schedule an appointment: 503-717-6538 for the Portland office and 503-433-3703 for the Beaverton office. We offer extended hours at both sites to help meet your scheduling need