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Is Acupuncture or massage better for migraine?

Is acupuncture or massage better for migraine? I seem to have structural problems in neck and shoulders due to court reporting that may be one cause of migraine.

Community Answers
  • rachel20
    2 years ago

    I had the best luck with the acupuncturist with a dr referral than just going any where. I have seen her 4 times and already seen a decrease in severity. I find massage aggravates my muscles so much that i get a migraine but feel better after a couple of days. I find good results with getting chiropractic for my neck bones 2 times a month seem to help. I haven’t found anything that cured the pain but if i stay on top of the treatments they help have fewer days where i can’t do anything.

  • alixnc
    2 years ago

    My neurologist got my migraines from 4-5 ER/urgent care trips a week down to 1 trip every month-month and a half. When I got a new primary care doctor back in January, he was not impressed with these results due to the amount of medications I was taking. He wanted to try acupuncture to see if we could lower some of the doses and potentially cut out some abortive medicines. I saw him once a week where we initially did full body acupuncture with focus on my neck and shoulders because I hold a lot of tension there. He said “it is like strumming a string on a guitar”, they were extremely tight. To finish off a session I was getting semi-permanent acupuncture in my ears in 3 points. This offered relief but the tension was relentless and would still cause daily migraines. He started “scraping” a Chinese method using a porcelain spoon. This initially helped relieve some tension but it kept coming back. Now along with my weekly acupuncture I get trigger point injections of lidocaine. It is crazy to see how my body reacts to the acupuncture when my nervous system is on “high” as we refer to it. It will literally push the needles out during the treatment. We have been able to cut the amount of migraines and the doses of preventitative medicines I take. We have not been able to cut out any abortitives yet but it is still a work in progress, within the next month we are going to try cupping on my shoulders to see if that offers relief. While what we are currently doing offers some relief, at about 2-3 days out from my appointment, I can tell I need to go back. I think it is worth giving it a shot.

  • SearchingForAnswers
    2 years ago

    Here is my experience for what it’s worth. First of all, it depends on what kind of migraine you’ve got and how bad. I am a PIlates instructor and Massage Therapist myself (sucks to be me as I’m too sick to do much Pilates for myself and can’t afford much Massage right now as I can’t work much). If you have a SEVERE migraine, deep tissue massage will/can aggravate you and make you worse. Finding a/some pressure point if you know that you have issues with neck and shoulders, can alleviate pain indeed. Massage can help in between migraines, and even make a regular headache go away. There’s a lot we can do on our own with La Cross balls at the wall in the muscles. Acupuncture I find if you can get someone with a good 20 years experience, it lasts for a few days anyway. But that’s about it all I have found in terms of it lasting. Hope that is useful.

  • Emae
    2 years ago

    I did two sessions of acupuncture and it has really helped me. First session, 2 days without any migraines or headaches. Second session, 4 days without any migraines or headaches. Even though I would have the discomfort before a migraine or headache, after a while it will just go away, which never happens.

  • Carolelaine
    2 years ago

    I have found that doing a combination of the two is the best for me. Because I have an extreme amount of muscle tension in my neck and shoulders I get deep tissue massage. I get both treatments on the same day, right now I am going every 2 weeks as my migraines are pretty constant right now, the goal is to go once a month and maybe even every other. I also do yin yoga once or twice a week.

    If you are going to try any of these I would suggest trying out several therapist before committing to one and be sure that they are certified. I chose to try a chain massage outlet that was close to my home and was so surprised to find the best massage therapist I have had yet. My acupuncturist was a referral from my doctor.

    The only downside to these treatments is that, for the most part they are not covered by insurance so it can be expensive. Because they help me I make sure to have room in my budget for them.

    I hope this answers some of your questions.


  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi there lohnaburns, Thanks so much for your question. As you wait for possible feedback from the community regarding their experiences with acupuncture and massage, I thought I’d share some information with you. However, as I do…it is important to remember that everyone responds to therapies differently. Here are some good resources can review when you have some time.

    Acupuncture –

    Expert Answer: Can massage help with my migraines? –

    Wishing you ALL the best at finding a treatment that will provide you with the relief that you need!
    -Joanna ( Team)

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