In this month's Easy Living magazine Kate Winstanley explains how acupuncture can help with headaches
Step away from the painkillers!
We are very used to popping a pill for our headaches and migraines but this generally only gives us short-term relief of symptoms and doesn't mean that the headaches won't re-appear. In fact, some studies suggest that too many painkillers can actually cause headaches. Modifying our lifestyle helps but often the triggers are hard to avoid - stress, common food/drinks, tiredness. Painkillers will get rid of the symptoms so we can get on with our day but they won't get us the headache-free life that we would like.
Headaches and migraines: Acupuncture works
Acupuncture can relieve a headache but also help prevent future headaches. Studies show acupuncture can: * Give pain relief – by stimulating release of endorphins and changing the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord. * Reduce inflammation – by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors.
Acupuncture helps the body heal itself
Acupuncture stimulates the body's own healing process. Over a course of treatment the body goes from being in a 'vicious cycle' of poor health (headaches, high stress levels, weak immune system, poor digestion, broken sleep, depression) to being in a 'virtuous cycle' of good health (lower stress levels, better sleep, digestion, clarity of thought, mood and motivation). And of course, fewer headaches. The body is healthy from within.
Patience not pills!
Acupuncture has a cumulative effect and over a course of treatment you will benefit from the life-changing effects not just of fewer headaches but in all areas of your health. So for long-term benefits try a course of acupuncture instead of popping those pills.
Acupuncture is available on the NHS
NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) is the body which decides what medication/therapies GPs can prescribe/refer to. NICE have announced that GPs can refer patients with headaches for a course of acupuncture. This is great news so ask your GP to be referred. It is always a good idea to see your GP if you have concerns about your headaches.