Doc Earl

Acupuncture and Migraines.

Nearly 30 million Americans—around 10% of the population, including children—suffer from migraines. Migraines tend to run in families, and often strike at a young age. While most sufferers experience one or two attacks per month, 12 million people, or about 4%, experience attacks on a near-daily basis, making it one of the most common disabling medical conditions. Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States goes to the emergency room with a severe headache or migraine.

American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost workdays caused by headaches or migraines. Children who suffer migraines are absent an average of 7.8 days from school each year, compared to 3.7 days of absence for those who don't.

Migraines can be caused by a variety of physical and environment factors, including diet, stress, allergens, hormonal fluctuation, and weather conditions, and usually last between 4 and 72 hours. Only 10 percent of sufferers are able to work, attend school, or otherwise function normally during an attack.

Americans with migraines use about twice the medical resources—including prescription medications and office and emergency room visits—than non-sufferers. In other countries, however, sufferers often turn to acupuncture, which has been shown by study after study, to be a safe, effective, and affordable migraine treatment. Sufferers given acupuncture experience fewer migraine episodes, miss fewer days from work and, unlike patients on conventional drug therapy, suffer no side effects. Acupuncture has been cited as an effective treatment for migraines by no less than the World Health Organization (WHO).

In 2002, WHO reported, "The use of acupuncture for treating chronic pain of the head and face has been studied extensively. For tension headache, migraine, and other kinds of headache due to a variety of causes, acupuncture has performed favorably in trials comparing it with standard therapy, sham acupuncture, or mock transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). The results suggest that acupuncture could play a significant role in treating such conditions."* For more information about acupuncture and its effectiveness in treating headaches and migraines, please contact Dr. Earl.

*Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, 2002. Dr Xiaorui Zhang, Acting Coordinator Traditional Medicine (TRM) Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) World Health Organization.