Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncturist

How quickly does acupuncture work for migraines?

I am a 46 year old female. I want to know how quickly does acupuncture with massage work for migraines?

25 Answers

Should be instant. Don’t know the general combination with massage.
It depends, usually if you are having a migraine and come in for acupuncture it can relieve the symptoms immediately. You will need more treatments to stop them from happening all together. I encourage you to book a session with your practitioner of choice to get help with relief.
It depends on the cause of the pain and how your body respond. Also how long you have migraines. Usually pain will improve quickly but severity and frequency may need more time. Good luck.
The time to heal with acupuncture alone or with acupuncture and massage could vary, depending on each individual patient's genetics, habits and lifestyle needs.
It depends on the root of the problems. In cost cases, in 3-5 Tx.
95 % one treatment
Yes acupuncture might work right away and you will feel gradually better after sessions
Acupuncture alone (without massage) can resolve the migraines in 1- 3 treatments, no matter how long you have had the migraines.
I have had dozens of migraine patients report over 50% reduction in head pain within 10 minutes.

It depends on how long you've had migraines for, but people can resolve migraines if they're experiencing one almost immediately in a lot of cases. To keep them away often requires at least 6-8 treatments done weekly, sometimes more depending on their severity.
It depends on the cause of it. The pain can be released right away or it may take a couple of days to reduce the pain.

Thanks, stay healthy,

Dr. Chang
Thank you for the question.
You can get relief from a migraine after one treatment and the effect can last hours or a day or two. It is important to understand the root cause of the migraines and the individual patient is properly assessed. Typically, a series of treatments are recommended to treat underlying causes and balance the body.
It depends on whether the practitioner can figure out the cause of the migraine or not. Everybody is different. Not everyone will respond the same.
It depends - I have had patients respond in just a couple sessions and have had others for whom it takes 3-4 months, it just depends on your individual case.
It can work within 15 minutes for an acute migraine, and if you receive treatments 2-3 times a week can lessen their frequency from 30-100% within 3 weeks.
i always use diet restriction (dairy and gluten) and supplements for the liver and gut.
Dr Beilin

To your health.
Hi - The honest answer is that it is variable by person. Some people respond very quickly (after their first or second treatment they notice a difference), while others may take a while (4-6 sessions to start noticing a difference). This can be due to the severity of the condition, how long it's been going on, the vitality of the individual, and some people respond better to energetic medicine (like acupuncture) faster than others in general.
In my experience, one treatment and migraines are gone. But not everyone had my teachers.
Migraine HA needs a series of acupuncture treatments.
I have been able to stop a migraine while the patient is on the table. Continued treatments can stop re-occurring from coming back.
Acupuncture is often helpful for many types of pain. The only sure way to know is to give it a try.
I had a patient who had migraines for 51 years. He came to see me, I in total gave him 4 treatments, and his migraines totally went away.
That depends on how long you've been experiencing migraines, the cause, the frequency of treament, and your compliance with your practitioners treatment protocol. Typically, the longer any complaint has been in existence, the longer it will take to resolve. As for acupuncture alone, if you don't feel some improvement or changes in your body within 5-8 treatments, I recommend trying a different practitioner or style. With the addition of massage, you should see quicker results if the cause of your migraines is releated to the musculoskeletal system.
There are different protocols in acupuncture for migraines.
1. Pain Control - acupuncture to stop the episode of migraines. The 1-hour long acupuncture session usually can stop the episode of acupuncture.
2. Migraine treatment. This protocol assumes a permanent treatment or a long term remission.
You can find more info here:

Most of the time, combining modalities (acupuncture + massage or acupuncture + chiropractic or acupuncture + prescription medication) will provide relief more quickly than either modality alone.

As for how quickly - there's no way to predict. There are several different root causes for headache in the Chinese diagnostic model. The differentiation is based on where the pain is felt, how the patient experiences that pain subjectively, where the headache starts, whether the pain moves and what other symptoms might be associated. Migraine usually falls into one of a couple different buckets and without seeing, diagnosing and treating you, I have no way to know which bucket your migraine experience falls into.

I specialize in pain management - including headache/migraine. I usually tell people that they should be noticing a decrease in episodes, pain levels, or both after 3-4 treatments.