Migraine is described as moderate to severe pain that can be throbbing, concentrated on one side of head, and which may include light and noise sensitivity or nausea or vomiting. 

Some patients may have side effects from medications, and others may find that medications are not helpful, so complementary integrative treatments like acupuncture may be used as an alternative treatment.

Acupuncture as a migraine treatment
Research has often focused on evaluating acupuncture as an option for migraine prevention. Recently a broad analysis was conducted of the current studies in acupuncture and migraine. It examined the efficacy of true acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture. The authors concluded that acupuncture should be considered a valid preventative treatment option for migraine patients.

How does acupuncture work?

  • Relieves pain
  • It reduces inflammation
  • It reduces the degree of depression
  • It regulates extracranial and intracranial blood flow.
  • It affects the levels of serotonin in the brain


  • Coeytaux RR, Befus D. Role of Acupuncture in the Treatment or Prevention of Migraine, Tension-Type Headache, or Chronic Headache Disorders. Headache. 2016 Jul;56(7):1238-40.
  • Graff DM, McDonald MJ. Auricular Acupuncture for the Treatment of Pediatric Migraines in the Emergency Department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 May 2.
  • Dach F. Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Sao Paulo Med J. 2015 Nov-Dec;133(6):540.
  • Hayhoe S. Acupuncture for episodic cluster headache: a trigeminal approach. BMJ Case Rep. 2015 Sep 10;2015.
  • Du R, Wang Y, Liu X, Liu Z. Acupuncture for acute migraine attacks in adults: a systematic review protocol. BMJ Open. 2015 Apr 13;5(4).