New study shows effectiveness of acupuncture for migraines

HUA ZHONG: New Chinese research has found evidence that acupuncture could reduce migraines, and could even be an effective alternative to medication.

After having been followed for a period of four weeks, the participants were randomly allocated to receive either 20 sessions of manual (real) acupuncture at true acupuncture points plus their usual care, 20 sessions of non-penetrating sham (placebo) acupuncture at non-acupuncture points plus their usual care, or only their usual care, which included advice on lifestyle and self-management, over a period of eight weeks.

The researchers then compared changes in migraine attacks every four weeks.

The findings, published by The BMJ today, showed that the participants who received manual acupuncture had a greater reduction in migraine days compared to those who received sham acupuncture, with the researchers noting that the adjusted difference between manual and sham acupuncture was 1.4 fewer migraine days at weeks 13 to 16, and 2.1 fewer migraine days and at weeks 17 to 20.

The researchers recognize that there were some limitations in their study, such as the short study period of 20 weeks, and they note that further research is still needed. However, they add that the findings do show that treatment with manual acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture or usual care, “resulted in a significantly higher reduction in the frequency of migraine days and migraine attacks.”

Read the full article at FMT news