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Old October 1st, 2008, 08:34 AM
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Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

I've been struggling with crippling headaches for awhile now. Seen a GP, had an eye exam, soon I'll be seeing a neurologist. I don't know that they're migraines/tension headaches, but they might be. The only thing that helped was when the GP prescribed some Xanax. That actually helped reasonably well but it's becoming less effective and in any case, it's not a long term solution, especially if I develop tolerance (as seems to be happening) and would need to up the dose to keep it effective.

So, I'm still going to see the neurologist of course. But thanks to our wonderful health care system, the appt is not for 2 weeks. In the meantime I'm researching. Suppose he says, yep, nothing sinsiter going on, you just have migraines/tension headaches, what's my next step.

A couple of people have mentioned acupuncture for headaches and I found at least one study documenting that yes, acupuncture works well for migraines. So I was wondering if anyone has used acupuncture for that or really for anything else. My insurance won't cover acupuncture, I'm curious how much it costs, (ballpark, since I have no idea), do they tend to want to see you over and over forever like chiropractors do. And of course, if anyone has had success with it for this complaint!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 08:54 AM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

Hi HHH, sorry to hear you get migraines. My MIL uses acupuncture for her back. We have a doctor of Chinese medicine in our area who also does acupuncture. When she could no longer get relief from other things, I sent her there. She says it has helped her a lot. I think it costs her about $90 per visit. The first visit was more. She started going twice a week and now goes twice a month, and it has been about six months since she began treatment. If it didn't help her, she would not be going back.

I think if I was suffering from migraines, I would give it a try. You should notice a difference in a month's time. If it hasn't helped, stop going. I would try this before drugs or other procedures.

There are several known triggers for migraines. Have you tried eliminating those triggers to see if you get any relief?
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

Hi HHH,

I hate to hear that other people suffer from migraines as well - they are just horrible. I have had them since I was a kid - I have been through everything imaginable and acupuncture I thought worked but ultimately didn't. That's not to say that it won't work for you because it has for many people, it's worth a try for sure. Xanax - that brings back memories - like you, it stopped working as well over time. Doctors have prescribed me so much medication over the years - even blood pressue medication - in the hopes that it would make a difference but nope. Nadda. And medication scares the *beep* out of me - it's what ultimately going to kill my mom with all those horrible side effects. But you know, quality of life is VERY important so do what you need to...don't suffer needlessly. I have a handy prescription of Percocet to get me through the "kill me now" migraine episodes and I am grateful that I have yet to feel compelled to use it. DH just gets the frozen bag of peas - gets me my eye mask - settles down on the sofa with my head on his lap and massages my skull in various ways until I am able to conk out. And my nieghbours are on call should I need help with the kids.

Neurologist's appt is a must - sorry for the wait - and push through for further diagnostics. Some doctors when they find out you are the mom of young children just pass off your migraines as tension only but you need to be sure.

Good luck, sorry for the non-advice but you have my sympathies!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:19 AM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

I've never tried acupuncture, but I can sympathize about the migraines. My two cents...

It's definitely worth the wait to see the neurologist. I saw a new one down here about 3 weeks ago for chronic migraines, and she is a God-send! She put me on steroids for a week to help break the last one (it had been cycling from bad to worse for 13 days straight.) and put me on a really low dose of Nortriptyline. It's an old anti-depressant that was replaced years ago, but they found that it does wonders for migraine prevention. (Added bonus-I'm nicer during PMS). But, no real worries of developing tolerances and upping doses, so that might be helpful. We're just not allowed to get pregnant while on it. And, it's cheaper than the Topomax, the other long term migraine prevention medicine.

Something interesting to check out is "medication overuse/overdose headaches" off google or WebMD. Apparently, for a lot of migraine sufferers, it becomes a nasty cycle in which the cure slowly feeds the problem. I wasn't aware of it, but the neurologist spent a good 10 minutes explaining the cyclic nature of the migraines and how the use of most painkillers, imitrex, butalbitol & caffeine just ends up making it worse, but that was exactly what I was doing to myself.

Hope you feel better soon!!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 02:24 PM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

Stupid question for Mrs. Research The Heck Out of Everything -

What about shiatsu? Have you tried maybe getting a professional shiatsu massage?
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Old October 1st, 2008, 09:53 PM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

I have been for a massage...it helped for a few days but wasn't the long term solution. I'd love to tell DH I need weekly ones, (sigh....daydream......weekly massage and facial.....mmmmmmm) but I think he might catch on to that.

Obviously I need the neurologist to confirm that they ARE migraines. Acupuncture won't fix....well, we won't dwell on the freakier possibilities. Let's presume that I likely am getting migraines or tension headaches. (40 sucks!) Presuming the neuro says that, I would rather try acupuncture than some of the scary migraine drugs I've been reading about.

Percocet you say, hmm? GP gave me Vicodin. It didn't do much for me. I think I'd cope with this better if I could just sleep well every so often. What's grinding me down is that I've have nearly constant headache for months now....sometimes nearly-ignorable, sometimes incapacitiating, but never something I could just forget about.

Those first few weeks on Xanax were great. I thought my problems were solved. Sigh.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

Just a little big of good news for migraine sufferers...

http://news.aol.com/health/article/m...er-risk/239980
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Old November 7th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

No to your question. I have them myself.
Just well wishes and hope things get better.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
Just a little big of good news for migraine sufferers...

http://news.aol.com/health/article/m...er-risk/239980
Thanks for the link, KayKay! I forwarded it to my mom.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 09:14 PM
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Re: Anyone used acupuncture for migraines? Or anything?

Hi, sorry to hear you are suffering from migraines. Acupuncture can be very effective for treating migraines and other forms of headache.

Here's an online article that discusses the treatment:
ht tp://www.altmd.com/Articles/Acupuncture-for-Headaches

I know many individuals that are now migraine-free after a series of acupuncture treatment over several weeks.

Hope you feel better soon.
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