How acupuncture can help ease headaches

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has just published guidelines this month, which reveals that one person in 50 people experience headaches as a result of overusing painkillers – which can reduce the medication’s effectiveness and cause further pain. It also recommends a number of treatment options, including the use of acupuncture, and highlights the importance of correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

In the report, entitled Headaches: diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults, NICE states that healthcare professionals should consider offering patients a course of up to 10 sessions of acupuncture, administered over a period of from five to eight weeks, for the prophylactic treatment of chronic tension-type headaches.

Why is this relevant to my work as an Osteopath? Well, for those that don’t know, in addition to the soft-tissue massage, articulation, mobilisation and stretching work that I do and advice I give, I am also trained in dry-needling (modern acupuncture) so am able to treat people using the acupuncture techniques mentioned above. So, depending what type of headache you have, it’s worth considering combining the best of Osteopathy with the best of acupuncture to ease or eliminate your headaches and, in turn, reduce the need to take as many painkillers. Having said all this, if you don’t like needles there’s no pressure – I can stick to using osteopathic techniques!

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