Acupuncture is an effective method to reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches, it can be used in addition to another method of care.

Migraine and acupuncture

Acupuncture belongs, along with other techniques, to traditional Chinese medicine and helps restore energy dysfunction or maintain an energy balance guaranteeing good health. It is considered that when the balance is broken, the disorders appear.

Migraine is also a disabling condition that affects a large number of people, especially women. How to overcome migraine with acupuncture? Can other methods be combined?

What is a migraine?

Migraine is a condition of the head that currently affects a little over 7 million people in France.

  • Women are 4 times more affected than men.
  • There is also an age criterion: there are more migraineurs before the age of 40, and much less after the age of 50 and over.
  • A migraine attack can range from a few hours to 3 or 4 days. In extreme cases, it often leads to socio-professional problems: a serious crisis
    • Often forcing the patient to hide at home to avoid noise and light;
    • Thus causing periods of absenteeism at work.


Migraine is not just a vague headache and is often accompanied by one or more other disorders, including:

  • Visual disturbances more or less troublesome (for example, the vision is cloudy)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • An abnormal sensitivity to all too bright light and all noise
  • A slowness of the most ordinary movements
  • Severe fatigue (aggravated by pain medication, which often contains paracetamol for sleep), etc.

Migraine: acupuncture can help

Previous step: consult your doctor

The doctor can advise drugs that treat migraines perfectly, but they must be adapted to each case, because they often have significant side effects.

In addition, to be effective, they must often be taken at the beginning of the crisis: in the meantime, they lose their effectiveness.

Usefulness of acupuncture

You can then have a first contact with your doctor-acupuncturist to diagnose with him what is wrong and develop a program of sessions.

  • Acupuncture can treat an isolated crisis, but it can also provide real support to prevent future crises.
  • The principle is based on the very foundations of acupuncture and TCM. Any physical problem often echoes in a bad Qi (vital energy): the energy flow does not circulate correctly, stagnates, or is blocked in certain places.

Acupuncture session

The session will depend on each particular case. It is for the acupuncturist to remove the pain in the head, but also its origin. Migraine can have several origins:

  • Hepatic migraine (overloading of the liver, food or emotional problem),
  • Hormonal migraine
  • Ophthalmic migraine (visual disturbances …)

The session is as follows:

  • The needles are placed on the nape, the forehead, the head …
  • The duration of the sessions is 30 minutes on average.
  • The treatment of a crisis is done in 2 to 3 sessions.

In case of recurring crises and to find a relief on the long term, the acupuncturist will be able to propose you meetings every month or every two months. Once again, each case being particular, it is up to the doctor-acupuncturist to make a diagnosis.

Migraine and acupuncture: the associated techniques

If you have a medical prescription and a specific type of medication to take, the acupuncture session does not exempt you from treatment. On the other hand, it will be necessary to announce this treatment from your first visit to the doctor-acupuncturist.

There are therefore other possible aids in case of migraine.

Case of a hepatic migraine

In the case of a hepatic migraine, it will be necessary to adapt his diet so as not to overload the liver. It is also indicated, at least during the crisis, and ideally continuously when one is subject to hepatic migraines:

  • To avoid alcohol, tobacco, coffee;
  • Not to abuse spices and condiments;
  • To eat rather grilled meats and fish;
  • Avoid chocolate and cold cuts.

The liver will be able to evacuate any food overload if it is helped by means of friendly plants: artichoke, black radish, milk thistle (to take in the form of plant or food supplements)

Case of an ophthalmic migraine

In the case of an ophthalmic migraine, here are some tips to help you:

  • Have your eyes checked by a specialist
  • If wearing glasses, have them regularly checked for fit
  • Rest your eyes regularly and, for people who work a lot on a computer, have a screen filter installed

Case of a hormonal migraine

Hormonal migraine often occurs in women during the menstrual period. If this is your case, talk to your doctor.

It is also important not to aggravate this tendency to migraine and to improve its diet during this period of fragility.

Since migraine is often associated with circulatory disorders, sedentary people are advised to exercise more. Dietary supplements of micro-blood circulation (example: gingko biloba) can help improve circulation.


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