In a German study: The results revealed that there was a statistically significant therapeutic effect and marked decrease in migraine attacks observed in the patients in the acupuncture treatment group which was not observed in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that their results indicated that acupuncture ‘is a useful interval therapeutical agent for migraine sufferers’ and called for further studies to be carried out to try and identify and understand the exact mechanism or trigger that is responsible for the treatment.
The first Cochrane review by Linde and his colleagues focused on acupuncture for tension headaches. The researchers evaluated 11 studies that investigated 2,317 participants. The studies compared participants who had undergone acupuncture therapy with those who had no treatment except painkillers for acute headaches, or had a sham therapy, which mimicked “true” acupuncture. Researchers followed the patients for at least eight weeks.
The studies found that those patients who received acupuncture had fewer headaches. Forty-seven percent of patients who received acupuncture reported a decrease in the number of headache days by at least half, compared with 16 percent of patients in the control groups.
Linde K, et al. Acupuncture for tension-type headaches. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1.