Stress Relieving Techniques

Natural Cluster Headache Treatment Hervey Bay

Acupuncture & Chinese medicine for Cluster Headaches

If you’ve been checked out by your GP for intense headache that centres around your eye and the diagnosis is cluster headache you may be wondering if there’s a natural side effect free treatment.

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine practice, has been around for thousands of years. It’s a method that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing. In recent years, acupuncture has gained attention in Western medicine for its potential to treat various ailments, including cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches are a particularly painful type of headache that occurs in cyclical patterns or clusters. They are often described as sharp, burning, or piercing pain on one side of the head, typically around the eye. The pain can be so intense that it’s often referred to as a “suicide headache.” Traditional treatments for cluster headaches include medications, oxygen therapy, and lifestyle changes. However, these treatments may not be effective for everyone, leading some to explore alternative therapies like acupuncture.

Acupuncture and Cluster Headaches: The Research

Several studies have explored the potential benefits of acupuncture for cluster headaches. Here’s a look at some of the research:

  1. A Randomized Controlled Trial: A study published in the journal “Headache” found that acupuncture could reduce the frequency and intensity of cluster headaches. Participants who received acupuncture treatment experienced significant improvements compared to those who received a placebo treatment (1).
  2. A Systematic Review: A review of multiple studies concluded that acupuncture might be a viable treatment option for cluster headaches. The review noted that more high-quality research is needed to confirm these findings but acknowledged the potential benefits (2).
  3. Individual Case Studies: Some individual case studies have reported success in treating cluster headaches with acupuncture. These anecdotal reports provide promising insights but need to be validated with more extensive research.

How Acupuncture Might Work for Cluster Headaches

The exact mechanism of how acupuncture might alleviate cluster headaches is not fully understood. Some theories suggest that acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals, improves blood flow, and helps regulate the nervous system. These combined effects could reduce the intensity and frequency of cluster headaches.


Acupuncture offers a promising alternative treatment for cluster headaches. While the research is still in its early stages, the existing studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that acupuncture could be a valuable addition to traditional treatment methods. If you suffer from cluster headaches and are considering acupuncture, it’s essential to consult with a qualified acupuncture practitioner who understands your specific condition.

As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of acupuncture for cluster headaches. But for those seeking a natural approach to managing this debilitating condition, acupuncture might be worth exploring.


  1. Coeytaux, R. R., Kaufman, J. S., Kaptchuk, T. J., et al. (2016). A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Chronic Daily Headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 56(9), 1484-1497.
  2. Linde, K., Allais, G., Brinkhaus, B., et al. (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4.

Within your initial treatment your diet, lifestyle, stress levels and medical history will be evaluated and a Chinese medicine diagnosis formed. From this diagnosis your acupuncture points, herbs and lifestyle advise will be prescribed along with your treatment plan.

If you have any questions about cluster headaches and Chinese medicine treatment contact me today.