June 6, 2022 Dena Ressler is a retired woman from New Jersey who was in her late 60s suffered an “splitting headache” which lasted for three months. It was associated with the cough and a shortness of breath. After medical issues of serious nature were eliminated and it was determined that the cause of her headache was stress.
“It was constantand scary and never went disappear,” she recalls.
Ressler is a clarinetist in a group that plays Klezmer music, a popular style of people of the Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. After suffering for a few weeks she decided to test the acupuncture method. After three weeks of appointments regularly the headache stopped and it hasn’t ever returned.
“Every every once in awhile when I’m exhausted I’m able to notice the same headaches in my head. It happens perhaps once or two , but it’s only a little,” she says.
It wasn’t the first time Ressler was a patient of the technique of acupuncture. A few decades ago at her 30s, she sustained an injury that was severe, making her less mobile and unable to move around.
“It took me 18 months reach where I am today – nearly fully functioning,” she says. “Although I am unable to cycle on my bike, and I have to be mindful not to overload myself however, I’m able to complete the yard work myself and was able to resume practicing on the clarinet.”
Scientific Research supports Acupuncture
Based on the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, acupuncture could be a viable option for patients suffering from chronic pain (including tension or migraine headaches) as long as the acupuncturist is knowledgeable well-trained and has the ability to use needles that are sterilized.
Chinese researchers have released the results from a study that examined 218 patients suffering from chronic tension headaches. They experienced headaches for 11 years , and they were experiencing the average number of days of headache each month.
Patients were randomly split between two distinct groups. One group received “true Acupuncture.” The second group received less superficial “sham” Acupuncture. Both groups received 20 sessions over two months, and then were monitored for another 6 months.
The majority of patients in the real group of acupuncture, vs. those in the sham groups had better results with your headaches: 68.2% of people who were in the group who received acupuncture experienced less headaches per month against. 48.1 percent in the sham group , after 16 weeks. After 6 months, the acupuncture group had less monthly headaches as compared with the group that was sham (68.2 percent and. 50 percent in both cases).
“Tension-type headaches are one of the most prevalent kinds of headaches that people who suffer from a high number of these headaches may be searching for alternatives to medications,” study author Ying Li, MD, PhD of the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine situated in Chengdu, China, said in a press announcement.
Headaches and women
“This was an extremely well-planned research study” Says Shi-Hong Lih MD Acupuncturist who has office locations at Hoboken as well as Hackensack, NJ, but it’s not without its limitations.
The majority of the participants were female (74.5 percent in the real group of acupuncture) and Loh believes that the study did not focus enough on the impact of gender on headaches and treatment responses.
“In my observation the majority of patients who seek my the treatment of headaches are females,” says Loh, who was previously the chief of hematology as well as oncology in St. Mary Hospital in Hoboken. Although he’s still employed with St Mary, he now owns a private practice of medical Acupuncture.
“Women’s headaches are often related to stress and can be affected by hormonal imbalances or changes like those that take place during menstrual cycle,” he notes.
The choice of acupuncture points were “OK but not enough according to me as women also are also able to use points in other regions,” says Loh. “If we were to treat a female who had headaches, I would have utilized greater number of points, and could have treated the woman differently as I would be treating a man.”
What is Acupuncture Works for Headaches?
According to the traditional Chinese medical practices, headaches are the result of stagnation of Chi within the body’s energy pathways. Acupuncture helps to unblock the stagnant areas, allowing the energy circulate freely Loh says.
” Chiis a vital force that moves through our bodies through pathways known as meridians” He says. According to the ancient Chinese medicine there are 14 distinct meridians that are connected, each connected to a specific organ. The blockage causes stagnation, and this is the place where the illness starts. By placing needles in various locations along these meridians can release blocks, and in the end the pain will diminish.
Its mechanism “cannot be studied or understood by Western technological methods, however it functions as per the Chinese medical view,” Loh says.
Acupuncture Helps Migraine and Too
A recent study has found that acupuncture can be beneficial in migraine. Researchers reviewed 15 studies involving more than 2,000 people and discovered that seven of the studies found lower frequency and less intense headaches. Four studies showed that acupuncture could be as efficient as Western treatments, but with less adverse consequences.
Researchers concluded that “Acupuncture is a viable alternative or as an adjunct to treatment with drugs for sufferers of migraines.”
Loh claims that researchers involved in the study of acupuncture to treat tension headaches employed the same points for all patients studied. “But according to traditional Chinese medical practicesthat treat headaches aren’t ‘one-size fits all. They come with various symptoms that require the treatment at different points of acupuncture.”
For instance, headaches typically involve either the gallbladder, or the urinary bladder meridian. If the headache occurs in the opposite side of their head, it’s usually an meridian of the gallbladder. Therefore, Loh will then use points that are connected with the gallbladder. If the headache occurs in one side, or the back of your head, then it’s most likely linked to the bladder’s urinary meridian.
Additionally, “tension headaches are often back-to-front headaches and are often related to neck position during work. It is often to have to do with excessive use of computers. So , I suggest that people be aware of their posture when they work,” he says. Stress “is an issue that is universal and can cause headaches So I suggest managing stress not just acupuncture as an element of a treatment program.”
Further information about how acupuncture works, where to locate an acupuncturist and what qualities to seek out in an acupuncturist, can be found in the links below.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
Do you have headaches? A New Study Says Acupuncture May Help