Five trials show acupuncture reduces migraine frequency significantly more than prophylactic drugs, but without the side effects*
Acupuncture for Preventing Migraine Attacks
The available evidence suggests that a
course of acupuncture consisting of at least a six treatment series can be a valuable option for people with migraines. In four trials, acupuncture added to usual care for treatment of migraine on onset only (usually with painkillers) resulted in 41 in 100 people having the frequency of headaches halved, compared to 17 of 100 people given usual care only.
In five trials acupuncture was compared to a drug proven to reduce frequency of migraine attacks. At three months, headache frequency halved in 57 of 100 people receiving acupuncture, compared to 46 of 100 people taking the drug. After six months, headache frequency halved in 59 people receiving acupuncture, compared to 54 of 100 people taking drugs (Cochrane Database 2016)
Based on the research and our clinical experience we recommend:
Acute Migraine Episode = Series of 1-3 treatments over the course of 7- 10 days
Chronic Migraines = Series of 6-12 treatments over the course of 2-3 months