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A new study concludes that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is more effective than drugs for the treatment of headaches. This confirms similar results found in a prior study wherein acupuncture was found comparable to drugs for the treatment of migraine headaches. The new study finds acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is effective for the treatment of vascular headaches whereas the prior study found acupuncture, as a standalone procedure, effective for the treatment of migraines. The results agree that acupuncture and/or acupuncture combined with herbs produce positive patient outcomes for headaches.

Head Acupuncture Points

The prior study concluded that acupuncture is “of comparable efficiency to several proven drug therapies for the treatment and prevention of migraine(s).” The meta-analysis examined 25 randomized controlled trials involving a sample size of 3,004 patients. True acupuncture significantly outperformed simulated sham-acupuncture. In addition, true acupuncture was comparable to drug therapy for the treatment and prevention of migraines.

The new acupuncture continuing education research increased the strength of clinical care by adding herbal medicine to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) protocol. By combining acupuncture with the modified herbal medicine formula Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang (Blood Activating Wind Dispelling Meridian Unblocking Decoction), the TCM treatment was significantly more effective than nimodipine. Also referred to by its brand names Nimotop and Nymalize, this drug is a calcium channel blocker that increases blood flow to the brain by widening blood vessels. Originally developed to reduce high blood pressure, this drug is commonly used to prevent complications due to cerebral vasospasm.

Acupuncture combined with modified Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang is more effective than nimodipine for relieving vascular headaches. These headaches include cluster headaches, migraines and toxic headaches. Migraines involve unilateral or bilateral head pain and may combine with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual auras. Toxic headaches occur during fevers. Cluster headaches are focal and recur in severe episodes.

The researchers conducted a randomized acupuncture continuing education investigation of 92 patients with vascular headaches at the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Chongqing Medical University (Sichuan). Group #1 received oral administration of nimodipine at 40 mg per dose, three times per day. Group #2 received acupuncture and a TCM herbal formula based on Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang. A course of treatment for both groups consisted of two weeks and the entire treatment lasted for two courses. After the two courses of treatment, patients in both groups made considerable progress. However, patients in the acupuncture group significantly outperformed those in the drug group.

Acupuncture Techniques

Acupuncture was applied in either the seated or lying posture. Quick insertion of filiform needles was applied with twirling reinforcing and reducing manipulation methods to acupoints on the head. Lifting and thrusting was used for reinforcing and reducing methods at limb acupoints. Manual manipulation was applied every 10 minutes. The retention of needling was 20 minutes for minor cases and 30 minutes for severe cases. Acupuncture needling was applied once daily with 10 days comprising one course. There was a two day break after the first course and the entire treatment consisted of two courses of care.

After two courses of treatment, both groups achieved varied degrees of curative effects in terms of reducing headache attacks, duration of each attack and the intensity degree of headaches. The acupuncture group outperformed the drug group in all of the aforementioned indices. As a result, the researchers conclude that acupuncture combined with Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang is superior to nimodipine for the treatment of vascular headaches.


Source : HealthCMI

Acupuncture & Herbs Best Pharmaceutical For Headaches
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