Acupuncture for Migraine Research
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), who make decisions based on clinical evidence have reported that acupuncture is effective for the prevention ot tension-type headaches and migraine, and that doctors should prescribe it.
There have now been many controlled trials of acupuncture for migraine, with some large, high-quality ones in recent years.
The results of the latest reviews are quite consistent: acupuncture is significantly better than no treatment/basic care for managing migraine, and appears to be at least as effective as prophylactic drug therapy, with few contraindications or unpleasant side effects (Linde 2009, Wang 2008, Sun 2008, Scott 2008).
Acupuncture has a similar or slightly better effect than sham procedures and has been found to be cost-effective (Witt 2008; Wonderling 2004).
As well as prevention it may also be used to alleviate symptoms in acute attacks (Li 2009). There is preliminary qualitative evidence from patients that acupuncture can increase coping mechanisms as well as relieve migraine symptoms (Rutberg 2009).