Acupuncture for Headache hervey bay

Acupuncture Headache Treatment Hervey Bay

Looking for Acupuncture for Headache in Hervey Bay ?

Did you know that acupuncture could be associated with slightly better outcomes and fewer side effects when compared to routine care or acute headache medication? (Linde et al., 2016)

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Acupuncture for Headache hervey bay

Introduction

Hi I’m Paul Carter, a registered acupuncturist and Herbalist, welcome to my page dedicated to acupuncture for headaches, proudly serving the Hervey Bay community.

Headaches are Awful

Experiencing recurring headaches can significantly impact your daily life, affecting everything from your work performance to your personal relationships. While there are many options for headache relief, one holistic and natural method that has stood the test of time is acupuncture.

Acupuncture Offers Hope

Acupuncture, rooted in the rich traditions of Chinese medicine, is more than just a means to alleviate symptoms; it aims to target the root cause of your headaches. This ancient practice involves inserting fine, sterile needles into specific points in the body, helping to restore balance and stimulate the body’s natural healing process. It’s a method of treatment that has been used for thousands of years and is gaining recognition in modern healthcare for its potential benefits, including the management of both tension-type headaches and migraines.

Acupuncture Evidence Project

Evidence from The Acupuncture Evidence Project underscores the effectiveness of acupuncture for headaches. According to this comprehensive review, acupuncture has strong evidence for the effectiveness in the prevention of migraines. Additionally, it suggests that acupuncture may be a beneficial treatment for frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches (McDonald J, Janz S, 2017).

We invite you to explore this page to learn more about how acupuncture can offer relief from persistent headaches. You’ll find insights into the benefits of acupuncture, what to expect in a session, and how we in Hervey Bay are dedicated to using this traditional practice to support your overall wellbeing. Join countless others who have found a reprieve from their headaches through the restorative power of acupuncture.

Understanding Headaches

A headache is a sensation of discomfort or pain in the region of the head or neck. They are one of the most common medical ailments, with most people experiencing a headache at some point in their lives.

Headaches can be categorised into primary and secondary headaches:

  1. Primary Headaches: These are standalone illnesses caused directly by the overactivity of, or problems with, structures in the head that are pain-sensitive. This category includes migraines, tension-type headaches, and cluster headaches.
    • Migraines are usually characterised by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision. The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but they’re thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain.
    • Tension-type headaches, the most common type of primary headache, are often described as a constant band-like pain around the head, typically on both sides, and can last for several hours.
    • Cluster headaches are severe headaches that occur in a pattern or cluster, often at the same times of the day and night for several weeks. They are less common and cause severe pain around one eye or one side of your head.
  2. Secondary Headaches: These are symptoms that happen when another condition stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. In other words, the headache symptoms can be attributed to another cause. A wide range of different factors can cause secondary headaches. These include drinking alcohol, a head injury, a sinus headache from sinusitis, or a headache from a brain condition such as a tumour, or even due to taking certain medications.

The treatment for headaches varies depending on the type of headache and its cause. It might be as simple as getting more rest and drinking more water, or it may involve medications. In some cases, headaches can be managed with complementary health practices such as acupuncture. If you experience persistent or severe headaches, it’s crucial to seek professional medical advice to properly diagnose and manage the condition.

Acupuncture for Headaches Hervey Bay

Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and is increasingly being recognised in Western medicine for its potential benefits in managing a variety of health conditions, including headaches. This ancient practice involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and restore balance. In the context of Chinese medicine philosophy, it is believed that acupuncture helps to rebalance the body’s vital energy, or “Qi”, thereby promoting overall health and wellbeing.

Acupuncture Research for Headaches

In terms of its application for headache relief, multiple clinical trials and systematic reviews have found acupuncture to be a potentially effective treatment for both tension-type headaches and migraines. The mechanism by which acupuncture achieves this is thought to be multifaceted, including the release of endogenous opioids and other neurotransmitters, regulation of blood flow, and modulation of pain processing in the central nervous system.

Acupuncture Superior to Sham Acupuncture

One of the most comprehensive reviews, conducted by Cochrane, found that acupuncture could be associated with slightly better outcomes and fewer side effects when compared to routine care or acute headache medication (Linde et al., 2016). Additionally, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that acupuncture was superior to both sham acupuncture and routine care in reducing headache frequency in individuals with chronic headaches (Vickers et al., 2012).

Remember that while acupuncture may help relieve headache symptoms, it’s not a standalone treatment for underlying causes. If you’re suffering from persistent headaches, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to diagnose and manage any potential underlying health conditions.

What to Except in an Acupuncture Session

Attending an acupuncture session for the first time can be an intriguing experience, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. Below is a step-by-step description of a typical acupuncture appointment:

  1. Intake and Consultation: Paul will begin by asking you about your health history, current symptoms, and any medications you’re taking. This is to understand your health background and the reason for your visit. You might also be asked about your sleep habits, diet, stress levels, and other lifestyle factors. This comprehensive evaluation is based on the holistic nature of traditional Chinese medicine, which seeks to understand and address the root cause of any imbalance in the body.
  2. Physical Examination: Paul may perform a physical examination, particularly focusing on the pulse and tongue, as these are two significant diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine.
  3. Treatment Plan: Based on your consultation and examination, Paul will come up with a personalised treatment plan. This will outline the points on your body where the needles will be inserted.
  4. Needle Insertion: Paul will use sterile, single-use needles, gently inserting them into specific acupuncture points on your body. You might feel a brief, sharp sensation as the needle penetrates the skin, but generally, the process is relatively painless. Once the needles are in place, you shouldn’t feel any significant discomfort.
  5. Rest Phase: After the needles have been inserted, they are typically left in place for 15 to 30 minutes while you rest. This is a time for relaxation and many people find this part of the session to be extremely calming and restorative.
  6. Needle Removal: After the rest period, Paul will gently remove the needles. There’s usually no discomfort associated with the removal.
  7. Post-Treatment Guidelines: Your acupuncturist may provide you with some guidelines or suggestions to follow at home, such as diet, exercise or lifestyle modifications, based on your individual needs.
  8. Follow-Up Appointments: Depending on your condition, you may require a series of treatments. Acupuncture is often most effective when performed over several sessions.

Remember, everyone’s experience with acupuncture is unique. How you feel during and after treatment can vary widely from person to person. Some people feel relaxed and others feel energised. It’s important to communicate with Paul throughout the process, especially if you have any concerns or if you experience any discomfort.

References

  1. Bendtsen, L., & Evers, S. (2009). New guideline for tension-type headache. Current Opinion in Neurology, 22(3), 254–259.
  2. Burch RC, Rist PM, Winter AC. (2018) Epidemiology of headache. Current Opinion in Neurology, 31(4):508-514.
  3. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Issue 4. Art. No.: CD007587.
  4. Deloitte Access Economics. (2018) Migraine in Australia Whitepaper.
  5. Dodick, D. W. (2018). A Phase-by-Phase Review of Migraine Pathophysiology. Headache, 58, 4–16.
  6. GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. (2018) Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet, 392:1789–1858.
  7. International Headache Society. (2018). Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS) The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition. Cephalalgia, 38(1):1-211.
  8. Linde K., Allais G., Brinkhaus B., Fei Y., Mehring M., Vertosick E.A., Vickers A., & White A.R. (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD007587.
  9. Lipton RB, Stewart WF, Diamond S, Diamond ML, Reed M. (2001) Prevalence and burden of migraine in the United States: data from the American Migraine Study II. Headache, 41(7):646-657.
  10. McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017. http://www.acupuncture.org.au.
  11. MacPherson H, et al. (2017). The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34 000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists. BMJ, 323(7311):486-7.
  12. May, A., & Schulte, L. H. (2016). Chronic migraine: risk factors, mechanisms and treatment. Nature Reviews Neurology, 12(8), 455–464.
  13. Steiner TJ, et al. (2015) Headache disorders are third cause of disability worldwide. The Journal of Headache and Pain, 16:58.
  14. Stewart WF, Lipton RB, Whyte J, Dowson A, Kolodner K, Liberman JN, Sawyer J. (1999) An international study to assess reliability of the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) score. Neurology, 53(5):988-994.
  15. Vickers A.J., Rees R.W., Zollman C.E., McCarney R., Smith C.M., Ellis N., Fisher P., & Van Haselen R. (2004). Acupuncture for chronic headache in primary care: large, pragmatic, randomised trial. British Medical Journal, 328(7442):744.
  16. Vickers AJ, et al. (2012). Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(19):1444-1453.
  17. World Health Organization. (2016). Headache disorders. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders.