Migraine is one of the most common types of headache as we know. Prophylactic drugs are often used to prevent migraine headaches but are not always effective in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. New research has shown that Acupuncture may be very useful in supplementing the effect of prophylactic drugs.
The objective of a recent study from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine by Foroughipour et al (2013) was to assess the effects of adding acupuncture to conventional migraine prophylaxis.
One hundred patients with migraine (41 male, 59 female), in whom prophylactic drugs had not produced a fall of at least 50% in the number of attacks, entered the study. The patients were randomised into two groups, sham and true acupuncture. The patients in both groups continued their prophylactic treatment and received 12 sessions of either true or sham acupuncture.
Patients in the true acupuncture group received Acupuncture according to their involved meridians (Shaoyang, Yangming,Taiyang or Jueyin) and their Chinese medicine syndrome differentiation, thus adding individualised acupuncture to the semi-standardised protocol based on meridian diagnosis, while patients in the sham acupuncture group were needled superficially, not in ‘real’ Acupuncture points. The traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis was made by the acupuncturist in the same way for both groups.