I remember the first time I had a migraine. It was a typical, sunny and humid 95 degree summer day in Virginia, and I had just driven to work to start my high school job at a pharmacy. As I got out of the car, all of a sudden I realized that I was seeing stars, but only out of one eye. As I started my work day, the vision disturbance got worse and worse, until only my peripheral vision was left. My head hurt slightly, but this definitely felt different from any headache I’d had before. The pharmacist at my job advised me to have a cup of coffee- she said caffeine was good for a migraine. It clicked: “Ah, so this is a migraine!” Gradually my vision improved and I could see again.
As someone who has experienced years of chronic tension headaches, and occasional migraines, I can tell you that I understand the feelings of frustration and fatigue that come along with constant pain. Like many people, I eventually resigned myself to thinking this daily pain was the new normal, and I didn’t notice it that much after a while. However while I was in acupuncture school, I decided to try treatments in the student clinic and see what might happen. Just a few acupuncture treatments completely got rid of my daily tension headaches, and greatly reduced my migraines. Now that I have been practicing acupuncture for 10 years, I can tell you that my experience was not unusual- acupuncture is enormously helpful to my patients with headaches and migraines and I can’t recall a patient who didn’t experience at least some reduction in pain. Read more