A pounding headache can pretty much disable you. If it occurs again and again, it can ruin your quality of life. Acupuncture offers relief from the drum beats in your head.
The headache is a bane on modern society with far reaching impacts that go beyond the pain suffered. The National Headache foundation estimates that as many as 28 million people suffer from constant headaches. The causes of these headaches range from diet, stress, allergens, menstruation to simple changes in the weather. The duration of the attacks range from a few minutes to several days. The most severe cases can totally incapacitate a person.
Habitual headaches are one of the leading causes of lost time in the workplace. It is estimated that the cost of absenteeism from the estimated 157 million lost work days is over 50 billion dollars yearly when medical expenses are included. An additional 4 billion dollars is spent on pain killers for migraines and other types of headaches.
A recent study done in Italy and reported in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine compared the effect of acupuncture for headaches versus conventional pain killer therapy. One of the most interesting features of this study is that each patient was given a complete examination prior to the start of the test. This allowed the acupuncture therapy to be tailored to the individual causation of each patient’s condition. This is important in any study of acupuncture. There is no cookie cutter acupuncture treatment that is correct for everyone. When a study is done using the exact same points for the exact same duration, the results are going to be skewed and worthless.
The study showed that acupuncture was generally more effective than a series of pain killing drugs administered to the control group. What was more interesting is that the study looked at other factors beside the pain reduction. It also evaluated such things as the cost of the treatments and the time patients would have been unable to work under both treatments. It was in these areas that even more startling results were found.
The results indicated that acupuncture was not only a slightly more effective treatment for severe cases, but also resulted in considerable savings when viewed from a socio-economic point of view. Many in the Western medical establishment give acupuncture a reluctant nod of acceptance as a treatment alternative for pain, but few have been made aware of how much more cost efficient and economically beneficial these treatments can be. There is certainly a need for more studies of this type that treat alternative medicine with a serious attitude and do not design the study to debunk what they already do not accept.
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