Acupuncture on migraine


A SHAM version of acupuncture works just as well for treating migraine headaches as the real thing, and both fake and real acupuncture work better than no treatment at all, a new study has found.

German researchers divided 302 migraine sufferers into three groups, the first receiving real acupuncture, the second fake and the third were told to wait for treatment. By this measure, real acupuncture succeeded with 51 per cent, and the sham procedure succeeded with 53 per cent, a statistically insignificant difference.

Only 15 per cent of the waiting list group attained the 50 per cent reduction in headache days. The effectiveness of both the sham and the real acupuncture is about the same as treatment with drugs and has fewer side effects. The results, they conclude, “may be due to non-specific physiological effects of needling, to a powerful placebo effect, or to a combination of both.”

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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