Acupuncture Treats Migraine Headaches

Image of bright orange flower and bright blue sky.
Happy orange flower.


Acupuncture is a blessing for people with frequent migraines.
“My daughter is 18 and has suffered since age 12 with almost daily migraines. Within ONE treatment, her headaches improved. For someone who has suffered daily with pain, this has been a huge blessing.” Deb Vaughn, Bolivar, Missouri

Research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than standard medical care in reducing the frequency, intensity and duration of migraine headaches. Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world, and is a safe, natural and effective option for people looking for ways to treat migraine headache pain without medications. Acupuncture effectively treats most types of pain, and migraines respond particularly well to acupuncture. Unlike pharmaceuticals, acupuncture is so safe that its “side effects” are positive: better sleep and mood, decreased anxiety and use of medications.

How soon after beginning acupuncture treatment will I feel an improvement in my symptoms? The good news is that migraines respond particularly well to acupuncture. Most people experience pain relief during their first treatment, and subsequently experience a reduction in the frequency, intensity and duration of their migraines. As I write this, I have a client on the table who after only 3 acupuncture treatments had his first migraine-free week in six months. People with more severe symptoms may take longer to respond, but most experience a significant improvement in their symptoms within the first few sessions.

How will I know I’m getting better? At each visit, I’ll ask you to rate yourself 1-10 on the pain, frequency and duration of your migraines. Improvements in symptoms are usually clear from the first or second treatment.

How many treatments will I need? Generally for just about any issue, I recommend clients plan to come in for 6 weekly treatments, though you will probably see an improvement from the 1st or 2nd treatment. At the 6th treatment, we will discuss your progress, and make a plan for going forward. That usually involves coming in less frequently. People with longstanding, severe migraines often find that coming in for a treatment monthly on an ongoing basis significantly improves their quality of life.

What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture has no negative side effects. Positive side effects you may experience include better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being.

Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no contraindications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, acupuncture often helps people decrease or stop taking pain medications.

Why doesn’t my doctor recommend acupuncture or think that it works? MDs are generally not educated or well informed regarding alternatives to what they learned in medical school, i.e. drugs and surgery. It’s just not covered in their training. However, research shows that acupuncture decreases all types of pain, so I would say that anybody who doesn’t think acupuncture “works,” particularly for pain, hasn’t had personal experience with it or looked at the research with an open mind.