Imagine you are in a room filled with one hundred people who were all asked to raise their hands if they have had a headache this year. Are you one of the approximately fifty people who would raise their hand? There is a 50/50 chance that you are, because around 50% of the population experience headaches in any given year. (5)
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, and it’s no wonder why. Many of us work jobs requiring us to hold our bodies in awkward positions for long hours; this includes sitting at a desk job all day. We live in a high stress society with demanding jobs, lifestyles, societal pressures, tense politics, and social hardships that can make us emotionally and physically cringe on a daily basis.
No matter what our contributing factors are, many people hold their physical and emotional stress in the upper back, neck and shoulders and are unable to fully relax the muscles which attach to the base of the skull. These tense muscles, pull on the scalp and create a tension headaches.
Cupping is a suction therapy used to stretch the muscles and fascia, increase blood flow and break up knots and adhesions. For headaches, we often place a number of cups on the upper back, neck and shoulders to release the muscles attached to the occiput (base of the skull).
Acupuncture has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the intensity and duration of headaches (1, 3), often even better than drugs (2). Acupuncture stimulates the release of natural painkillers, decreases inflammation, increases healthy blood flow, and resets the nervous system (4). In Chinese medicine all pain is considered to have a stagnant quality in the channels and pathways of the body and the pain relieving function of acupuncture comes from acupuncture's ability to move Qi and blood and unblock the channels.
Here at Lakewood Community Acupuncture, we work with patients who have headaches regularly and have great results! Schedule an appointment today for an acupuncture and cupping session to get rid of those debilitating headaches.