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Acupuncture Shown to Relieve Tension Headaches
LONDON — Acupuncture is an effective treatment for patients suffering from tension headaches, German researchers said.
The ancient therapy that involves inserting very fine needles into the skin at specific sites on the body cut the rates of headaches by nearly half in a study of 270 people.
“A significant proportion of patients with tension-type headaches benefited from acupuncture,” said Dr Wolfgang Weidenhammer, of the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at Technische Universitat in Munich.
“Acupuncture was well tolerated and improvements lasted several months after completion of treatment,” he added.
Weidenhammer and his team compared traditional acupuncture, minimal acupuncture in which the needles are inserted superficially in the skin, and no treatment.
The headaches rate in patients given the traditional treatment over eight weeks dropped by almost half. They experience 7 fewer days of headaches in the four weeks following treatment.
Patients who had minimal acupuncture had a similar result, or 6.6 fewer headache days, while the control group, which received no treatment, had 1.5 fewer headache days.
“The lack of significant differences between acupuncture and minimal acupuncture in our study indicates that point location and other aspects considered relevant for traditional acupuncture did not make a major difference,” Weidenhammer said in a report in the British Medical Journal.
Some patients in the acupuncture group reported side effects, which included dizziness and bruising.
Acupuncture, which is one of the most popular complementary treatments, has also been shown to relieve nausea, stress, arthritis pain in the knee and pelvic pain during pregnancy.
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