We’ve covered what exactly acupuncture for migraines is, how it works, the fact that it does really work, and its benefits. Do you still have some burning questions? Rest easy, here are answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning acupuncture for migraines:
Question: Does acupuncture for migraines hurt?
Answer: The short answer is no. The process of inserting the needles is virtually painless. They are hair thin, flexible, sterile needles and nothing like the needles used for drawing blood or giving injections. They are inserted shallowly and most people don’t even realize they’ve been placed. You may feel heat, a dull ache, or tingling in certain areas, but it’s not painful. If a needle does for some reason hurt, tell your acupuncturist. Even those with extreme needle phobia will find that an acupuncture session is actually relaxing.
Question: Where will the practitioner stick the needles?
Answer: Every person will have different acupuncture points stimulated based on their diagnosis and pattern of symptoms. All areas of the body are interconnected. Therefore an imbalance in the liver Qi, for example, could be the cause of the migraines. In that case, needles would be inserted along the liver meridian. It depends upon your particular case. Needles are sometimes placed in spots along the hands, feet, arms, ears, legs, neck, and head. A classical acupuncture session will usually involve between four and eight needles.
Question: Why does an acupuncture migraine specialist want to look at my tongue?
Answer: The practitioner looks at your tongue to gauge its size, shape, color, positioning, and coating. These factors are a wealth of information concerning your health and condition. For example, if you have the flu your tongue typically turns red. It’s the shift in appearance that indicates a variety of internal factors.
Question: How much does an acupuncture session cost?
Answer: The cost varies by acupuncturist. Some health insurance providers are starting to cover acupuncture and others often reimburse at least a portion of the cost. A private one-on-one session can range anywhere from $50 to $120, primarily depending upon where you live. As compared to doctor visits, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications it is substantially cheaper, even if you are only paying a co-pay. The point of acupuncture is to help you achieve good health so that you can stay out of the doctor’s office.
To reduce the cost, inquire as to whether your employer will cover it through your flex spending account. Or try acupuncture in a community setting. In this situation, you have a brief consultation and then receive treatment in a room with others. Be sure to ask your acupuncturist about sliding scale fees, as well. Acupuncture for migraines isn’t a lifelong treatment. You will save money in the end by getting to the root of the problem and obtaining lasting relief.
Question: How long does an acupuncture for migraines session last?
Answer: The initial appointment takes a bit longer, as the acupuncturist will examine you, take your health history, ask you questions about your symptoms, lifestyle, and treatment goals, and determine a diagnosis. Subsequent appointments typically last less than an hour.
Question: How many sessions will I need before I feel relief?
Answer: The number of sessions is different for everyone. Many people notice some relief and feel relaxed after one session. Others, it takes two or three sessions to notice a change. The longer the migraines have been going on, typically the longer the treatment will need to be. It can range from a few sessions to several months of weekly sessions. Your acupuncturist can help to estimate the duration of your treatment.
Question: What do I wear to an acupuncture session?
Answer: Wear loose, comfortable clothing that can easily be rolled up to allow access to different acupuncture points. Shorts and a t-shirt are perfect, weather permitting.
Question: Is acupuncture for migraines safe?
Answer: Acupuncture is natural and completely safe. In fact, it’s much safer than taking medication. There are no inherent side effects or discomfort associated with it.