A person having a migraine sitting holding the head sitting with a laptop infront

Acupuncture for Migraine in Brisbane

Migraines can be debilitating, affecting not just your physical well-being but also your quality of life. Conventional treatments often provide relief, but increasingly, people are turning to alternative therapies for a more holistic approach to migraine management. If you’ve already explored options like Brisbane remedial massage or cupping therapy Brisbane has to offer, you might be wondering about the efficacy of acupuncture for treating migraines.

Acupuncture has been an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and is gaining recognition in Western medicine, including for pain relief. With more and more acupuncture Brisbane clinics providing specialised treatments for migraines, it’s worth exploring how this ancient practice can offer relief from this modern-day affliction.

In this blog, we delve into the scientific research and traditional beliefs behind Brisbane acupuncture as a treatment for migraines. We’ll discuss how it works, what you can expect during a treatment session, and whether it’s the right therapy for you.

Acupuncture and Migraines

In more than a decade of practice, I have encountered many people seeking acupuncture treatment for migraines. I see the huge impact that the constant pain and discomfort can have on one’s daily life. Many patients know their triggers (food, stress etc.) and try to avoid these to their best ability. During and also in between episodes, patients often present with considerable muscular tension, including neck and shoulders. At Bowen Hills Acupuncture and Remedial Therapies, we provide a thorough consultation and treatment plan for you, including various treatment options which may include acupuncture, electroacupuncture, remedial massage and cupping to provide pain relief and prevent the headaches from reoccurring. Appointments for our Brisbane clinic can be made online or contact Ken for any enquiries.

A person having a migraine sitting holding the head sitting with a laptop infront

How effective is acupuncture for treating migraines?

A review of the scientific literature suggests that acupuncture can treat migraines effectively. The latest Cochrane review (1) of 22 acupuncture trials including 4985 patients and found that an acupuncture course of at least six treatments reduces the frequency of migraines. Acupuncture, therefore, was suggested as a valuable treatment option for people suffering from migraines.

In more detail, in patients who suffered from 6 migraine days per month, the results showed a reduction in migraine days to 3.5 days. In comparison, standard care reduced the migraine to 5 days and sham acupuncture or prophylactic drugs to 4 days. Therefore, the authors concluded that acupuncture is at least similarly effective as the use of prophylactic drugs but does not carry the same side effects which are associated with pharmaceutical interventions.

In 2019, another systematic review (2) further supported Linde et al.’s findings by comparing conventional treatments and acupuncture for their impact on headache frequency with a 3-month follow up period. The authors found that acupuncture was “at least non inferior” to the proven conventional treatment with prophylactic drugs, in reducing the frequency of migraines, at a 3 month follow up.


1) Linde, K., Allais, G., Brinkhaus, B., Fei, Y., Mehring, M., Vertosick, E. A., … White, A. R. (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://www.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.cd001218.pub3

2) Trinh, K. V., Diep, D., & Chen, K. J. Q. (2019). Systematic Review of Episodic Migraine Prophylaxis: Efficacy of Conventional Treatments Used in Comparisons with Acupuncture. Medical Acupuncture, 31(2), 85–97. https://www.doi.org/10.1089/acu.2019.1337

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