Acupuncture For Your Tension Headache

Acupuncture is an ancient form of medical treatment that is over 2000 years old. It involves the use of thin sharp needles inserted at certain specific pressure points to restore balance to the body. It is a skill used in physiotherapy to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism to help fight inflammation or pain. Acupuncture is believed to have originated from the Asian sub-continent, more specifically China.

Ancient Chinese medical practitioners believed that the body had many life forces that needed to be balanced for one to be healthy. Two main forces are Yin and Yang. Yin is negative while yang is positive. The use of needles influences the better flow of Qi through meridians. Qi is the life force circulating within a living body. When Qi flows better there is a balance between Yin and Yang and the body is healthy. Acupuncture has been tested and proven to be useful in the treatment of certain diseases. Some of the diseases are mostly chronic and include; neck or back pain, and knee pains. It is also vital in reducing the frequency of migraines and tension headaches.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches among adults and teenagers. They are characterized by feeling pain or pressure at the forehead, back of the eyes, the neck or muscles affecting both sides of the head. If tension headaches occur more than 15 times a month they are known to be chronic. If they occur less than 15 times a month these tension headaches are episodic.

Tension type headaches are usually primary. This means they are the ailments themselves rather than as a result of other disorders. The pain is moderate or mild in intensity. It feels like pressing on both sides of the head but does not get worse when you do physical activities. They last a few minutes, hours or sometimes days. Women tend to suffer tension headaches more than men.

Causes of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches do not have a specific cause and can be brought about by a number of factors. Episodic types are caused by a single situation that is stressful while chronic ones are as a result of accumulating everyday stress. Tension headaches are also caused by applying strain or stress to certain body muscles around the neck or back. Strain to these muscles may be as a result of

  • Poor posture
  • Poor feeding habits or skipping meals/hunger
  • Lack of enough rest or fatigue
  • Squinting or straining the eyes.
  • Mental or emotional stress like depression.
  • Dehydration.
  • Grinding of teeth or clenching the jaw too tight
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.

Signs and Symptoms

Tension headaches can be identified if the patient has one or more of these symptoms

  • A feeling of pressure or tightness on both sides of the head or lower part.
  • The pain tends to come and go, it’s not consistent.
  • Mild or moderate in intensity
  • Dull pain in the head
  • Does not hinder the performance of daily routine tasks
  • No vomiting or nausea 
  • One might be affected by bright lights or very loud sounds.

Treatment of Tension Headaches

Researchers and medical practitioners are always employing new tests and studies to further understand tension headaches. They have found several ways to prevent tension headaches from happening or treating them in case they do occur.

Acupuncture is a modern method used to combat tension type headaches. Scientific research has proven that acupuncture is a good remedy to counter headaches. It is also a good supplement when used with other drugs that help fight tension headaches. First and foremost acupuncture is a form of physiotherapy and has no side effects to the body. Other forms of medications can have toxins or chemicals that might cause dependency or side effects once used. Some of the side effects might include the headache rebounding or be returning when the medication is over.

Acupuncture for Tension Headache Relief

Acupuncture proved to be a good supplement in the treatment of tension headaches when used with other medicines. Studies show that patients who used acupuncture for tension-type headache had a long lasting solution as opposed to those using medications. The frequency and intensity of the headaches significantly reduced by almost half among the study subjects.

Different acupuncture points trigger different reactions to different parts of the brain. Some of these areas once activated reduce stress levels and sensitivity to pain. Doctors agree that you can use acupuncture for tension headache relief. It causes the brain to release endorphins that aid the body in retaining a homeostatic mechanism. This causes the patient to be less stressed as there is a perfect balance in the system.

The therapeutic nature of acupuncture helps relax the tense muscles and areas around them. Once the needles are inserted they trigger the nervous system to relax. With relaxation, it is not likely for one to suffer from tension headaches. Medical experts recommend patients get at-least six sessions of acupuncture as a treatment for tension headache remedy.

Disputing Acupuncture as a Tension Headache Remedy

However, since studies about acupuncture as a remedy for tension headache treatment is still ongoing and not fully conclusive. Some studies have proven that a majority of people suffered from a placebo effect. They believed to be feeling better after being subjected to a simulated acupuncture treatment. This is the type where acupuncture is simulated rather than perfectly performed by a qualified expert. The needles used do not necessarily go in and so have no therapeutic effect on the patient.

Also, other forms of treatment have proven to be equally or generally better than acupuncture. Tension headache massage, for example, proved to be equally as calming as acupuncture. High level of caution should be observed when using acupuncture as treatment or as a form of therapy. Make sure you avoid quacks and visit a certified acupuncturist.

Make sure the facility you go to acupuncture meets the necessary safety and health standards. Ensure they sanitize the workstations and use sterilizes needles. Also, make sure they do not use recycled needles for your acupuncture.

You can Try Avoiding Tension Headaches by:

  • Eating a well-balanced diet at regular intervals.
  • Frequently exercising
  • Avoiding stressful situations
  • Reduce consumption of alcohol
  • Having ample rest