Monday, July 7, 2014

Acupuncture & Herbs Best Pharmaceutical For Headaches

A new study concludes that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is more effective than drugs for the treatment of headaches. This confirms similar results found in a prior study wherein acupuncture was found comparable to drugs for the treatment of migraine headaches. The new study finds acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is effective for the treatment of vascular headaches whereas the prior study found acupuncture, as a standalone procedure, effective for the treatment of migraines. The results agree that acupuncture and/or acupuncture combined with herbs produce positive patient outcomes for headaches.

The prior study concluded that acupuncture is “of comparable efficiency to several proven drug therapies for the treatment and prevention of migraine(s).” The meta-analysis examined 25 randomized controlled trials involving a sample size of 3,004 patients. True acupuncture significantly outperformed simulated sham-acupuncture. In addition, true acupuncture was comparable to drug therapy for the treatment and prevention of migraines.

Acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal medicine is more effective than nimodipine for relieving vascular headaches. These headaches include cluster headaches, migraines and toxic headaches. Migraines involve unilateral or bilateral head pain and may combine with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual auras. Toxic headaches occur during fevers. Cluster headaches are focal and recur in severe episodes.

The researchers conducted a randomized acupuncture continuing education investigation of 92 patients with vascular headaches at the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Chongqing Medical University (Sichuan). Group #1 received oral administration of nimodipine at 40 mg per dose, three times per day. Group #2 received acupuncture and a Chinese herbal formula. A course of treatment for both groups consisted of two weeks and the entire treatment lasted for two courses. 

After two courses of treatment, both groups achieved varied degrees of curative effects in terms of reducing headache attacks, duration of each attack and the intensity degree of headaches. The acupuncture group outperformed the drug group in all of the aforementioned indices. As a result, the researchers conclude that acupuncture combined with Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang is superior to nimodipine for the treatment of vascular headaches.
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