A study in the British Medical Journal showed that acupuncture is an effective technique for treating tension headaches. What’s more, “minimal” acupuncture techniques -- needles inserted superficially into the skin at nontraditional points -- work almost as well as the full, traditional version used in China.
Researchers in Germany divided 270 patients with similar symptoms into three groups for a randomized, controlled trial. Over an eight-week period, one group was treated with full traditional acupuncture, one with minimal acupuncture, and one with neither method.
Headache Rates Cut In Half
Headache rates dropped by almost half among those in the “traditional acupuncture” group. On average, they experienced 7 fewer days of headaches in the four weeks following the trial than they did in the four weeks preceding it.
Those in the “minimal acupuncture group” fared almost as well, with an average drop of 6.6 days with headaches. The third group only saw an average drop of 1.5 days -- just a tenth less than what they had experienced prior to the study.
The researchers concluded that acupuncture works as well or better for tension headaches than treatments already accepted.