What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture and Tension Headaches
While no single treatment is right for every person, many patients have found that acupuncture reduced their symptoms and provided relief without the side effects of medications. Acupuncture works as a treatment option for tension headaches in the three following ways:
- It’s a natural pain reliever. As the needles penetrate the skin, the nervous system responds by releasing natural painkillers called endorphins and enkephalins, which help relieve pain from tension headaches.
- It’s a natural muscle relaxer. The nervous system triggers the brain to direct blood flow to the penetrated areas, decreasing the blood flow in the head and neck and naturally relaxing those muscles.
- It’s a natural stress reliever. Stress is a major trigger for tension headaches, and acupuncture can help relieve it. The needles trigger specific responses in the central and autonomic nervous systems, helping to bring the heart rate into a normal, healthy range, reducing the experience of stress. These responses also help the patient’s brain develop a better response to stress in the future, directly addressing one of the possible causes of their headaches.