I have suffered from chronic migraines and daily headaches since the age of 15. I have tried everything (and I mean everything) from medications prescribed by neurologists to chiropractic adjustments, even new eyeglasses all resulting in little relief. After 6 sessions with Dr. Xu (in combination with my prescription migraine medication), I have had only 1 mild migraine in the past month and have had 1 mild headache every two weeks (sometimes less!!) This is a HUGE improvement from the daily severe headaches I have been living with for most of my life. I also want to mention that I have a "fear" of needles; however, Dr. Xu was very understanding and gentle, and I was able to be treated with no problem. I will continue to receive "maintenance" treatments to ensure my well-being. Alair A. from Sioux Falls, SD
I am going to agree with many of the other reviewer's comments I've read. I too suffer...or should I say used to suffer from chronic migraines. I have had very few migraines since seeing Dr. Xu for 6 sessions so far. Dr. Xu is remarkably knowledgeable, thorough, and has a very calming energy. I like asking her nerdy questions about the modalities of acupuncture...and yes she has always had an answer. Have pain? I implore you. Go see Dr. Xu! Nate R from Sioux Falls, SD
A common and often debilitating health condition, migraines affect an estimated 39 million Americans though many believe the number to be much higher as many of those experiencing migraines never seek out medical treatment. Though anyone can be affected by migraines, they are more common in women, those ages 18 to 44, and those with a family history of migraine.
Symptoms of migraines include a severe throbbing or pulsing—usually on one side of the head—along with vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. Migraines can last anywhere from four hours up to 72 hours if they are not treated and can occur rarely or as much as several times a month.
TCM believes there are two causes of migraines: they are either due to imbalances in the body due to an improper lifestyle or due to external environmental factors such as wind, heat, or cold that constricts the blood vessels and triggers migraines. Depending on the cause and the type of migraine (TCM classifies migraines into five types: liver-yang aggression, stagnant blood, external wind and cold, liver-qi stagnation, and phlegm blockage), the herbal or acupuncture treatment may vary. In most cases, acupuncture is most effective during the attack phase of the migraine when the pain and other symptoms manifest. Herbal medicine can be used during all phases of a migraine and can have a preventative effect if used consistently.
Do you suffer from migraines and want to try TCM methods such as acupuncture or herbal medicine to enhance your treatment regimen? If so, it’s important that you choose a provider who has experience and education in the field of TCM. Look for a clinic with practitioners who focus only on TCM methods instead of those who also offer med-spa type services. Talk to the practitioners and find out how long they have used TCM to treat migraines and if they can give any examples of success stories.
If you’re ready to treat your migraines with acupuncture and/or herbal medicine, reach out to the experienced, compassionate team at EBOM and Holistic Acupuncture clinics today. Our practitioners have helped hundreds of patients effectively treat their migraines and would love to help you.
Like all components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Chinese herbs are used to address energy imbalances that runs through the invisible meridians of the body. TCM purports that everything in the body, including the organs, is composed of five different elements: wood, earth, metal, fire, and water. The herbs used in TCM are also classified into five tastes: sour, pungent, sweet, salty, and bitter, which correspond to the five elements. For example, if the liver (a wood element) is being treated, a TCM practitioner may use sour herbs to drain and cleanse it.
Some of the most common herbs to treat migraine include ginger, lavender, and peppermint. There have also been studies conducted on the efficacy of ginkgolide B, an extract from Gingko biloba tree leaves, as well as the herbs xian shen, sheng di huang, and mai men dong. The results of using these herbal remedies to treat migraine have been positive, especially when paired with other TCM treatments such as acupuncture and lifestyle adjustments.
There are several common treatments for migraines. Medications are often used. These include both over-the-counter pain relief drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as well as prescription drugs like Reyvow, Ubrelvy, anti-nausea drugs, and opioids. Depending on the apparent cause of the migraine, anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, Botox injections, and blood-pressure regulating medications may also be prescribed.
Biofeedback therapy, massage, vitamins, and warm or cold compresses may also be used to treat migraines. Those who are experiencing migraines may also find relief by drinking water, lying in a quiet, dark room, or drinking a caffeinated beverage such as coffee. The earlier a migraine can be treated, the less severe it usually is.
Those who want to seek out more natural treatments for their migraines can turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments such as herbal medicine and acupuncture. These methods can be used by themselves or in addition to mainstream medical treatments to prevent and treat frequent migraines.
Authentic Chinese Acupuncture
Acupuncture, or the insertion of very thin needles into the body on certain points that correspond with meridians, has long been known to improve the flow of energy in the body and release positive chemicals such as serotonin that can have a profound impact on migraines and other chronic pain. Studies have been conducted on the long-term use of acupuncture to regulate the pain circuitry of migraine with positive results. Ear acupuncture has also been shown to provide pain relief for those experiencing migraines.
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