Acupuncture helps reduce days with migraines and may have lasting effects, according to a new study.
In the study, almost 500 adults were treated with either traditional Chinese acupuncture or a sham treatment in which acupuncture needles were inserted in nonspecific points. The acupuncture treatment points were previously used to study migraine. Participants did not know which type of acupuncture treatment they were receiving during the four-week study.
After completing the study, all of the participants including those in the sham group reported fewer days with migraines than before the study began. Prior to the study, most suffered monthly migraines, on average six days of migraines a month. After the completing the study, they reported migraines on an average of three days in the month.
In the month following the treatment, all of the participants also reported improvements in the frequency and intensity of migraines.
However, lasting effects were seen only in study participants who received traditional acupuncture. Three months after treatment, people who received traditional Chinese acupuncture continued to report a reduction in migraine days, frequency, and intensity. People who received the sham treatment did not.
Ref. Sonya Collins at WebMD