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Headache/Migraine

 

Tension-type headache is the term used for infrequent and frequent episodic, as well as chronic, tension-type headaches. (International Headache Society 2004) This type of headache is primary (i.e. the headache itself is the disorder, rather than secondary to another condition).(International Headache Society 2004) Tension-type headaches are characterised by pain that is typically mild or moderate in intensity, bilateral, and pressing or tightening in quality, but does not worsen with physical activity.(International Headache Society 2004)  There may be accompanying photophobia or phonophobia, but no nausea. The headaches are daily or very frequent, and last from minutes to days.(International Headache Society 2004)

 

The aim of conventional treatment is to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of headache, with minimal adverse effects from treatment. Prescribed and over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are taken to alleviate headaches.(Watson 2008)

 
 

Ms. Ting Wang

  • Member of British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)
  • Clinician in Neurology department, Heilongjiang University of TCM Hospital
  • MSc. in Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture), London South Bank University
  • BSc. in Clinical Discipline of Chinese and Western Integrative, Heilongjiang University of TCM

                           

What you should know?

Acupuncture rarely ‘hurts‘. The most that people experience is a dull ache around the base of the inserted needle, or a slight tingling feeling when the needle is inserted. Points at the extremities, like toe or finger ends, can sometimes be a little sharp, but the sensation is usually brief.

Acupuncture is extremely safe if delivered by adequately trained practitioners. The most frequent side-effects are mild and include: minor bruising or bleeding, usually on needle withdrawal (3%), worsening of existing symptoms (1%) which usually lasts no more than two days and is sometimes associated with a good overall outcome; drowsiness, relaxation, or euphoria (3%) which is often experienced as pleasurable (and if so is not an adverse event!), and pain at the needling site (1%). Severe, extremely rare side-effects include a puncture lung or heart membrane (this is avoided by correct technique); transmission of blood-borne diseases (e.g. hepatitis C), avoided by using single-use, sterile, disposable needles, and skin infection (which is possible with ear acupuncture, particularly if indwelling studs are used).s

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