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Acupuncture for Migraines

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat migraines (Collins, 2012). Whether your migraine is hormone linked or stress related, acupuncture can both prevent the onset of a migraine and reduce the intensity of an existing episode.  

This form of treatment works on reducing migraines by encouraging the smooth flow of energy and circulation in the body.  Many times migraines are described as throbbing, piercing pain. That represents stagnation of Qi and blood in Chinese medicine.  By inserting needles in certain points of the meridians in the body, acupuncture can release that stricture.

Acupuncture can also help alleviate hormone-linked migraines by helping the body balance estrogen and progesterone.  It is especially effective to prevent onset of hormone induced migraines if treated prophylactically during certain points of your menstrual cycle.  

Finally Acupuncture helps regulate the central nervous system by triggering the release of dopamine and endorphins.  Dopamine is the “feel good” hormone that is released by the central nervous system to generate feelings of euphoria, bliss, motivation, and concentration (Brophy, 2018).  Dopamine also improve blood flow to muscles which can relieve tension and pain (Krawczak J, n.d.).

Endorphins are hormones that are the pain and stress fighters of our body.  Endorphins react with our brain to reduce our perception of pain and it modulates our sex hormones, immune system and protects our perception fo stress.  Endorphin is often associated with the feeling of a “runner’s high” (“Pain and Stress: Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters,” n.d.).  

Studies have shown that acupuncture helps release dopamine and endorphins in the body which can help reduce the painful effects of migraines (Yang, Lee, & Sohn, 2008) (Harvard Health Publishing, n.d.).

So if you’re suffering from migraines and would like some relief come in for a treatment and see what acupuncture can do to help relieve your symptoms.


Brophy, K. (2018, October 18). What Is Dopamine? Understanding the “Feel-Good Hormone” – University Health News. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from University Health News website: https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/what-is-dopamine-understanding-the-feel-good-hormone/

Collins, S. (2012, January 12). Acupuncture May Be Effective for Migraines. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from WebMD website: https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/news/20120112/acupuncture-may-be-effective-for-migraines

Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Relieving pain with acupuncture – Harvard Health. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from Harvard Health website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/relieving-pain-with-acupuncture

Krawczak J, E. al. (n.d.). The effect of dopamine on blood flow in skeletal muscles. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3237564

Pain and Stress: Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2019, from MedicineNet website: https://www.medicinenet.com/endorphins_natural_pain_and_stress_fighters/views.htm

Yang, C. H., Lee, B. H., & Sohn, S. H. (2008). A Possible Mechanism Underlying the Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Drug Addiction. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM, 5(3), 257.