Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture in Mayo

Erris Eye publication - Topic - A guide to acupuncture for migraine patients

Posted on: Tuesday, March 03, 2020

When western medicine hasn’t helped ease your migraine pain, many migraine patients are eager to explore other methods of treatment. Acupuncture was developed in ancient China, it involves piercing specific areas of the body with a needle to alleviate pain. According to the Chinese practice, there are meridians along the body. If there is a disturbance of energy along these meridians, pain or illness can ensue.

Based on a recent systematic review of 22 clinical trials involving 4985 people, there is evidence that acupuncture reduces the frequency of headache in individuals with migraine. The effect may be similar to that observed with preventive medications. The frequency of headache is dropped by 50% or more in up to 59% of individuals receiving acupuncture and this effect can persist for more than 6 months.

Acupuncture is meant to keep the energy flow (called “qi”) balanced along the meridians. An acupuncturist will place needles at specific pressure points. Treatment takes about an hour, and patients are advised to undergo six sessions, usually once a week. The acupuncturist may also suggest dietary changes. For example: Caffeine can exacerbate migraine, and some acupuncturists believe it disrupts the flow of the body.

Here’s what a follower in Move Against Migraine Facebook group had to say about their experience with acupuncture:

“For me, regular acupuncture is an essential part of my migraine management. It helped me remit from chronic migraine and medication overuse many years ago and keeps me at infrequent episodic attacks today . When I first started treatments, it took a while to see any effect but patience and persistence paid off.” -Sharron

If you would like to try acupuncture please get in touch.

Karena McNamara is an acupuncturist with The Mayo Acupuncture Clinic, Ballina and Castlebar. Visit or call 0879918514 for appointments or enquiries.