Migraines can be a debilitating condition, affecting millions of people around the world. While medication can help manage the symptoms, it doesn’t always address the root cause. That’s where acupuncture comes in. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of conditions, including migraines.

How Does Acupuncture Help Migraines?

Acupuncture for migraines works by targeting the nervous system and helping to regulate blood flow and reduce inflammation. It can also help alleviate stress and tension, which are common triggers for migraines. The practice has been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines, as well as improving the overall quality of life for those who suffer from them.

One of the benefits of acupuncture for migraines is that it is a natural treatment option. Unlike medication, which can come with unwanted side effects, acupuncture has few side effects and is generally well-tolerated. It is also non-invasive and does not require surgery, making it a safe and low-risk treatment option.

Another benefit of acupuncture for migraines is that it can be personalized to the individual. Each person’s migraines are unique, and acupuncture practitioners will tailor their treatment plans to the patient’s specific needs. This personalized approach can lead to more effective results, as it addresses the root cause of the migraines rather than just managing the symptoms.

Detailed answers to frequently asked questions about acupuncture can be found here.

Research on Acupuncture for Migraines

Several studies have been conducted on acupuncture for migraines, and the results have been promising. A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that acupuncture was more effective than both sham acupuncture and conventional medication for the prevention of migraines. The study involved over 250 participants who were randomized into three groups: true acupuncture, sham acupuncture, and conventional medication. The results showed that those in the true acupuncture group had fewer migraines and required less medication than those in the other groups.

Another study published in the British Medical Journal in 2004 found that acupuncture was as effective as preventive drug treatment for migraines. The study involved 401 participants who were randomly assigned to receive either acupuncture or medication. The results showed that both groups experienced a significant reduction in the number of migraines they had, and there was no significant difference between the two groups.

A 2019 systematic review published in the journal Headache also found that acupuncture was effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines. The review included 22 randomized controlled trials with a total of over 4,400 participants. The results showed that acupuncture was more effective than no treatment, sham acupuncture, and medication in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines.

What to Expect During an Acupuncture Session

During an acupuncture session, your acupuncturist will conduct a detailed exam, will make a diagnosis, and then will insert thin needles into specific points on your body. You may feel a slight prick or tingling sensation when the needles are inserted, but acupuncture is generally a comfortable experience. Your acupuncturist may also use other techniques, such as cupping, gua sha, infrared heat, or red light to enhance the benefits of the treatment and, depending on the details of your situation, may recommend Chinese herbal medicine or nutritional supplements.

Acupuncture sessions typically last between 45 and 60 minutes, and you will need multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Your acupuncturist will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals.

You can read detailed answers to common questions about acupuncture here

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and experienced practitioner. The needles used in acupuncture are sterile and disposable, and the risk of infection or other complications is extremely low.

Finding a Qualified Acupuncturist

If you are interested in trying acupuncture to help manage your migraines, it is important to find a qualified practitioner. Look for someone who is licensed and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)

Licensed Acupuncturist in Waco, Texas

If you are interested in trying acupuncture to help manage your migraines and are located in the central Texas area, our expert acupuncturist can help you. With over 20 years of clinical experience, she has helped thousands of patients in Waco, Texas and the surrounding areas to find relief through acupuncture and other modalities. Contact us today — we are happy to answer your questions and would be honored to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients.


In conclusion, acupuncture for migraines is a safe and effective natural treatment option that can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. If you suffer from migraines, don’t give up hope. Contact a licensed acupuncture practitioner today to learn more about how they can help you find relief from your migraines.

More Information


  • Zhao, L., Chen, J., Li, Y., Sun, X., Chang, X., Zheng, H., … Wu, X. (2016). The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(4), 508–515.
  • Linde, K., Allais, G., Brinkhaus, B., Manheimer, E., Vickers, A., & White, A. R. (2005). Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1), CD001218.
  • Jiang, Y., Liang, J., Tian, X., Zhu, X., Zhang, S., Liu, Y., … Liu, Z. (2019). The Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Migraine: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 59(4), 532–542.