Ancient Medicine Made Modern

Acupuncture Beats Medications for Migraines

Greetings, greetings!

If you have any friends, family or colleagues with migraines, please share this with them.

Migraine is a substantial part of my practice and the results can be life changing.

Remember the vagus nerve enables the healing rest-and-digest aspect of your unconscious, autonomic nervous system which calms your body's stress response

The vagus can help with migraines too!

I learned many years ago that stress makes many medical conditions worse! Acupuncture reduces your stress. Feel better, live long.

Make an appointment to come in and see me!

The Science Behind Acupuncture's Effectiveness for Migraine

Clinical studies show that acupuncture can reduce pain intensity, duration, emotional comorbidity, and days of acute medication intake. Neuroimaging studies suggest that acupuncture may alter abnormal functional activity and connectivity of various brain networks, and may reduce neuroinflammation, regulate peripheral and central sensitization, and normalize abnormal brain activity, thereby preventing pain signal transmission. (This means that it is harder to trigger a migraine after acupuncture.)

there is a lot more at the link

Acupuncture versus Monoclonal Erenumab

This post from the British Medical Acupuncture Journal described this 2020 study.

The Acupuncture efficacy rate was very high in this sham-controlled study. Equal to the results for monoclonal erenumab, but with fewer side effects.

3. The number of acupuncture treatments was a whopping 20 treatments in 50 days.

That would still be less expensive than the 5,000 pounds for erenumab.

Acupuncture versus Ajovy or fremanuzab

In this review study, there was no difference between acupuncture and fremanezumab in the reduction of monthly migraine rates. 

Think about that! 

This is an injectable, expensive drug that you would need to take for a long time. I would venture to guess from my own experience with migraine patients, that with acupuncture you need less and less treatment.

Vagal increase and stress reduction helps control unhealthy habits.

Improving vagal activity modifies parts of the brain that control unhealthy habits.

I’m referencing this article in my writing project and covered it in the blog. 

I measure HRV in the clinic and this study supports using HRV as a measure of frontal brain activity, a part of the brain that can regulate unhealthy behaviors. "Epidemiologically, high vagal activity, indexed by greater heart rate variability (HRV), independently predicts reduced risk of Global Burden of Disease (GBD) and better prognosis in GBD.”

So acupuncture and other measures to improve vagal activity and lowers stress helps to get rid of unhealthy habits. Perhaps this is why it is a mainstay in smoking cessation.

Ear Stimulation (TAVNS) and Migraine

This study showed that TAVNS, or ear stimulation similar to what I use in the clinic at 1 Hz was safe and effective in treating chronic migraine.

Patient Appointments
I am still scheduling loosely so there is plenty of time between appointments. Hope to see everyone! Call me or email me or Make an Appointment!
Kristen Sparrow MD
2000 Van Ness Ave. Ste 310
San Francisco, CA 94109