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Old 07-31-2010, 05:29 AM
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Question acupuncture or no acupuncture... that is the question

hello everybody, i'm a 23 year old female. i suffer from headaches most days of the week and i've had them for as long as i remember, my mother also has them... even though they're not migraines, but they're very annoying and they're interfering with my job and my personal life. the last doctor i went to said that they're due to stress and suggested acupuncture.
since i don't know anyone who has tried acupuncture, i searched the net and found an article.

the part that i think is talking about my condition says:
"There are conflicting results on acupuncture for headache. Evidence that support the use of acupuncture for headache has been found by some literature reviews, but those studies were noted by others to be of poor quality. All this aside, tension headaches were found to be relieved with acupuncture, according to a review done in 2009."

i don't know what to do, i'm sick of taking medications, but i'm also worried that instead of getting rid of my headaches, acupuncture may cause other conditions; i mean what if the person who's gonna perform this on me does something wrong, and i lose my sight for instance???

is acupuncture effective?
what are its risks?
are those risks serious?
is there any other way?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:19 AM
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Hi Arazzz,

First, acupuncture is completely safe and effective. I have been around Chinese martial arts most of my life and by osmosis, have been exposed to acupuncture, massage, herbs, etc.

Since you have tried other approaches and they failed, there is no reason not to give it a try but do find a qualified practitioner. I have never done a search for one because I am "connected" but certainly there are online resources that list accreditation.

BUT, since you said that your doctor said they are stress related, I would consider finding something that relieves stress. As a tai chi teacher, I am tooting my own horn when I say that you should learn tai chi, but its true. Tai chi has been proven to provide lasting stress relief (the effects of practice last long after you are done unlike many stress relievers).

The next best thing as an anecdote would be swimming, followed by yoga.

Working backwards though, the first thing you should consider is finding what causes the stress and limiting or eliminating them/it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:30 PM
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Default hmmm

well tcguy, thank you for your suggestions.
actually i swim almost every morning for about an hour... and i know where my stress originates from.. my work!!! and i can't quit my job just because i'm stressed..
the tai chi idea is interesting.. can you tell me more about it??
thank you again for replying
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:33 AM
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Well, I could talk about the subject for quite some time! I wasn't always big on tai chi and my Sifu (teacher) always tried to get me to do more tai chi and less kung fu...years later, I finally caught on...

Tai Chi Chuan (grand ultimate fist) is the most practiced martial art in the world. It benefits one's health in many, many ways but one having to do with acupuncture (since you mentioned it) is that it moves chi or Qi throughout the body. Acupuncture essentially undoes blocked chi or stimulates it to make it stronger/weaker as need be. Tai chi practice keeps it running smooth and increases its strength (think clearing a stream of water so that it runs smooth/strong).

For stress, tai chi it is sometimes called moving meditation, which allows the practitioner to focus on the moment and leave cares behind.

Do you realize that stress basically signals the so called fight or flight response in your body? Stress is a far more serious health threat than many people think. Imagine how "charged" you feel in fight or flight mode, like when you nearly miss getting into a car accident or something.

I cannot overemphasize how important it is for you to reevaluate your job. Perhaps you cannot up and quit but perhaps you can pick it apart and remove some of the stressors there (you know like make your opinion about problems known so that they can be fixed), or begin to look into another one in the same or a different field.

Just look at the current or past presidents; you can see the dramatic change in their appearance as their terms in office progress...stress may not cause you to drop dead on the spot (but can!) but it will literally strangle the life out of you.

You can't just take my word for the benefits of tai chi after all, I'm just a faceless voice on a health forum, so here are some professional resources to learn more.

Oh, and your swim routine is awesome but if you choose not to do tai chi, it may help your situation to swim after your stress instead of before; as a release.

Mayo Clinic
Harvard Medical School
Over 600 studies at U.S. Library of medicine
My site
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