Americans are no strangers to migraines — one in four households includes someone who struggles with migraines. Although migraines are often referred to as headaches, they can be much more as they can have a strong neurological component, as demonstrated by migraines with aura.
However your migraines present themselves, the team here at Family Wellness Acupuncture is confident that acupuncture can play an invaluable role in helping you find relief.
In this month’s blog, we’re going to take a closer look at migraines with aura and how acupuncture can help relieve these neurological symptoms.
There’s still much that we don’t understand about migraines, but we do know several key facts. First, migraines affect about 12% of the world’s population, and women are two to three times more likely to develop problems with migraines. Furthermore, migraines tend to strike people in their 30s and 40s, and the condition also carries a strong genetic component.
About 75% of migraines are without aura, which means the problem typically presents itself as throbbing head pain, usually on one side of your head, along with nausea.
The remainder of migraine sufferers experience migraines with aura, which describes sensory disturbances that people experience before a migraine attack.
Migraine with aura symptoms
The aura stage of a migraine typically comes on within an hour before a migraine attack and lasts for about 20-60 minutes. During this time, people report a wide range of sensory issues, including:
- Seeing spots, flashes, or zig zags
- Loss of sight
- Numbness or tingling in your face, body, and hands
- Difficulty with speech, such as slurring
- Muscle weakness
In rare cases, people experience the aura alone, which means they don’t develop the debilitating head pain after the aura.
Acupuncture and migraines
Acupuncture has been used for millennia to treat a wide range of conditions, including head pain, by restoring the proper flow of energy in the human body.
When it comes to migraines, emerging research shows that acupuncture can help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. For example, one study among nearly 250 participants found that acupuncture helped to significantly reduce the frequency of migraine attacks among those who suffered migraines without aura.
Further research revealed that migraine sufferers of all types, including those with aura, can benefit from acupuncture because the practice demonstrated a “certain efficacy both in the treatment and prevention of migraines, which is superior to no treatment, sham acupuncture and medication. Further, acupuncture enhanced the quality of life more than did medication.”
Although these studies certainly lend credence to using acupuncture to treat migraines, our own experiences certainly reflect these successes.
If you’d like to explore how acupuncture can help with your migraines with aura, contact our office in Irvine, California, to set up an appointment.