A Safe and Effective Approach for Treating Migraines
By Dr. Carol McDermott A.P.
Migraine headaches are a serious problem for many residents of Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and other Southwest Florida communities. Some studies estimate that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. have recurring migraine attacks that can last from several hours to more than a day.
Today, most people suffering with migraines assume that the problem is incurable, leaving them no choice but to suffer in pain or take medications that may have adverse side effects.
Fortunately, Naples residents now have an alternative approach that has been shown to be safe and effective in treating migraines without the need for medications. Our team at the McDermott Wellness Center has extensive experience in the use of acupuncture to treat migraine headaches and other types of pain, and to promote optimal health and well-being.
Acupuncture medicine has been used for thousands of years because it is very helpful in treating disorders like chronic pain. Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system, which then releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. That process can reduce the level of pain and improve the functioning of the metabolic and immune systems.
An increasing weight of evidence from Western scientific research has demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating migraines as well as a wide variety of other conditions. A study in Italy of 120 subjects revealed that patients given acupuncture experienced fewer migraine episodes missed fewer days of work and suffered no side effects compared with patients on conventional drugs. A report in the British Medical Journal noted that the incidence of adverse effects was substantially lower for patients who received acupuncture treatments than for those who used anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections for pain.
Those types of studies reflect our center's positive results in treating Naples area patients for migraines. Acupuncture is far more effective than basic care (taking pain-relievers after an attack) and as effective as prophylactic drug therapy, with virtually no unpleasant side effects.
Based on our experience, acupuncture treatments often appeal to people with chronic migraines for several reasons, including:
- Over-the-counter or prescription drugs do not work for every patient.
- Prescription drugs are becoming more and more costly.
- Prescription and nonprescription drugs may have unwanted side effects.
- Certain pain-relief prescription or over-the-counter medications may interact with treatments for other health problems.
In addition to acupuncture, long-term management of migraine headaches should incorporate a prevention strategy based on reducing stress, getting adequate sleep, avoiding mental fatigue and eliminating foods or beverages such as dairy products, chocolate, spices or wheat, that may trigger migraine attacks.
If you would like to learn more about how to achieve freedom from debilitating headaches and migraines, please feel free to contact our Acupuncture Physician.