Our unique approach to finding relief from symptoms involves the use of naturopathic medicine and Chinese Medicine therapies. Our ultimate goal is to get you out of pain while we are finding the root cause of symptoms. To schedule a consult with one of our doctors, please call (425) 686-4498.
Effective natural options for relief: Acupuncture for migraines
Migraine headaches are a bit of mystery to the medical world. This ailment tends to be poorly understood and frequently undiagnosed and under-treated. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, this neurological disease affects nearly 39 million Americans.
Migraines are characterized by severe, throbbing pain usually found on only one side of the head. Migraine headaches can also be accompanied by visual disturbances, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. These types of headaches can last from four hours to several days. Because modern medicine doesn’t completely understand this neurological phenomenon, the typical treatment is somewhat hit or miss.
Causes of migraines
As any migraine sufferer knows, the causes can be unknown and tricky to predict. Some know exactly what their triggers are while others have multiple triggers. Common causes are hormones, tension and stress, chemical triggers, food allergies, just to name a few. Often there are multiple triggers which makes it often hard to pin point when a flare will happen.
There is hope with finding lasting relief. Often I find in my practice, people are either not responding to their emergency migraine medications anymore or are missing work due to frequent attacks. They are looking for a long-term solution.
Acupuncture for migraines
Acupuncture is just one piece of the treatment plan to get people out of pain and back to living! Because the acupuncture plan is customizable to the individual, it can do much more than just relieve pain.
Here are five reasons why migraine sufferers should consider getting acupuncture:
1. Acupuncture has been proven to relieve migraine pain.
This is the number one reason why people walk through our office doors. Migraine pain can cause a decrease in quality of life and often people miss out on work due to migraine flares. There is an increase in the number of studies (literally thousands) that have shown acupuncture treatments can effectively relieve and reduce pain. This can be done both for acute and chronic pain. When acupuncture is paired with finding other triggers and the root cause of why the migraines are occurring, the results can be even longer lasting.
2. Acupuncture reduces inflammation.
Inflammation is the fire in the body that often triggers attacks. While migraines are often complex and not completely understood, it is agreed upon by most professionals any headache involves some sort of inflammatory response by the body. Acupuncture promotes the release of vascular and immune-mediating factors that actually decrease inflammation. Cool the fire and you get relief.
3. Acupuncture can reduce serotonin levels.
Serotonin is a hormone the body creates and many researchers, scientists and neurologists believe serotonin may be linked to the initiation of migraines. Since acupuncture can be used as preventive medicine, it can also help to balance serotonin levels on a long term basis, thus making migraines less likely to develop.
4. Acupuncture can help with the symptoms of migraines.
Acupuncture can treat much more than just pain, including the symptoms of migraines. What other form of medicine can do this?! It’s whole body medicine! Studies have shown things like nausea, dizziness and vomiting, insomnia, and fatigue can all be reduced through the use of regular treatments.
5. Acupuncture improves blood circulation.
Many times, when a person experiences pain, it is because of a lack of proper blood flow and decreased oxygen. This is as true for migraines as any other type of pain. Acupuncture can improve blood circulation, which also increases the amount of oxygen that reaches the tissues. Cupping on the muscles surrounding the head, neck and shoulders is another modality that can assist with this as well.
Give us a call today (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help get rid of your migraines for good!
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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