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Acupuncture treatment of headache

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Updated: Thursday, Oct 08,2009, 11:23:44 AM
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Acupuncture is more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches, according to a new analysis by researchers at Duke University Medical Center performed. The National Institutes of Health recommendstcmwell.com

Acupuncture is more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches, according to a new analysis by researchers at Duke University Medical Center performed. The National Institutes of Health recommends...

Acupuncture is more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches, according to a new analysis by researchers at Duke University Medical Center performed.

The National Institutes of Health recommends acupuncture as a viable treatment for chronic headaches a decade ago, while research in this area, there are conflicting reports on the effectiveness is greater.

We combed the literature and conducted a thorough review of the data available so far only studies with rigor,  said Tong Joo (TJ) Gan, MD, an anesthesiologist, the Duke of analysis.

The researchers analyzed data from only randomized controlled trials of acupuncture in adults with chronic headaches and performed for more than four weeks.


While (all occasional headaches, more than 45 million Americans suffer from one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million are women. The drugs remain the mainstay of treatment with variable success.

The Duke team looked at studies received traditional acupuncture, or medical treatment or control group, sham acupuncture. Similar to traditional acupuncture to sham treatment insertion of needles into the skin, and avoidance of the acupuncture meridians or areas of the body, Chinese medicine teaches vital energy include the balance necessary for good health together.

The researchers analyzed more than 30 studies on the results of the December issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia published. The studies included nearly 4,000 patients with migraine (17 studies), tension headache (10 studies) and multiple other forms of headache symptoms year (four studies reported).

In 17 studies comparing acupuncture, medicine, researchers found that 62 percent of acupuncture for the relief of patients reported headache, compared with only 45 percent of people taking drugs. The acupuncture patients better physical well-being, compared with the drug. In 14 studies, the real sham acupuncture treatment, acupuncture and 53 percent of patients responded to treatment received, compared with 45 percent of the sham treatment.

Acupuncture is practiced by thousands of years but only recently has begun to be more than an acceptable alternative or complement to conventional treatments,  says Gan.


Acupuncture treatment is still widely used at national level and a typical course of treatment for chronic headache, 30-minute sessions. Many people begin to experience relief after five to six visits.

Gan also conducted an investigation to determine the effect of acupuncture in postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting. His research has found that acupuncture can significantly reduce the pain and the need for pain medications after surgery. It also found that acupuncture can be as effective as medication in reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting.

The survey was conducted in cooperation with Yanxi Sun, MD. The meta-analysis conducted by the Department of Anesthesiology, Duke's support.



Acupuncture treatment of headache 

Tags: Acupuncture Headache

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