Migraines are intense and debilitating. If you suffer from migraines you are not alone. It is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world and 6th most disabling illness in the world (1).  In Australia at least 4.9 milion people suffer from migraine and 7.6% of these experience chronic migraines (≥15 migraine days per month) (1), which normally last from 4- 72 hours but can, in severe cases, extend to weeks.

Of migraine sufferers 71% are women (2) and it is most common in the age group 18-45 years old (1).

A migraine may occur with other symptoms such as nausea, visual disturbance, vomiting, or dizziness (to name but a few). For women the cause may be linked to the changing oestrogen levels in her monthly cycle and there are higher tendencies for female migraine sufferers to also have severe period pain and endometriosis

The migraine is at it’s foundation is a disorder with the body’s neurological system. During a migraine attack the cranial nerves (nerves of the brain) release substances that cause local and peripheral responses including;

1) increased inflammation,

2) increased sensory to pain and;

3) Dilation of the brain’s blood vessels.

There are other possible lifestyle and environmental factors that can play a role in causing endometriosis and these can be discussed during a consultation with one of our practitioners.

This triplet is what causes the debilitating intensity of migraines.

Western medical therapies attempt to prevent, stop or slow these actions and common treatments include pain killers, triptans, botox, ice caps and CGRP inhibitors. These can be successful at dealing with a migraine or preventing it from occurring, however this is not guaranteed and, sometimes not without side effects (3,4,5)

What about other alternatives?

The first area to look at is to ensure your body has the right micro nutrients to limit inflammation and moderate neurological action. Sufficient levels of B vitamins and magnesium are important to maintain a healthy nervous system. (6) There is evidence that increasing Coq10 levels can also help (6) as this helps with improving cellular efficiency and activity.  Lastly PEA, Vitamin D and certain herbs can also help improve the inner functions of the body – specifically the nervous system and lower inflammation (6,7,8)

At Ben&biao our clinical experience has shown us that effective supplementation to alleviate Migraine requires careful individual tailoring to ensure that optimal absorption of the supplements occurs.  We take into account your specific, relevant health factors which play a role in which supplements will work best for you, not all cases will respond in the same ways. This is why we recommend you speak to a professional before purchasing off the shelf and possibly wasting your money. Our practitioners at the clinic can help in this regard

Acupuncture for migraines and headaches

Migraines are a neurological disorder and acupuncture is a neurological therapy.

Systematic studies have shown that acupuncture may alleviate or reduce the symptoms of migraine and that long term acupuncture may modify the neurological pathways that trigger the migraines. (9,10, 12).

How acupuncture works for migraines and headaches

When needling active acupoints in migraine patients, key neurological receptors in the brain are targeted and the effect is to reduce pain and lower inflammation. (13,14,15,16)

There are generally no side effects as acupuncture is used to target and correct the nerve expression. However, very occasionally acupuncture may not give the expected result.

How much acupuncture is needed?

A one-off acupuncture treatment may assist with an acute migraine but studies show that long term relief comes from a course of treatment. How much is dependent on the person, the cause and the length of time that the individual has been suffering migraines and if there are other areas of the body impacted by inflammation and pain.

At ben&biao our highly skilled clinicians have experience in treating migraines and tailor a treatment and treatment plan to the individual needs of the person.

Please book here with one of our experienced acupuncture practitioners

Migraines during pregnancy?

Acupuncture has been shown to have great potential to treat expectant mothers suffering with migraines and who are wanting to avoid medications. A pilot study of 6 acupuncture sessions over 4 weeks significantly decreased intensity of migraines as well as other unwanted neurological events. (11)

If you need any further information please contact the clinic at or call 0403 273 008.


  1. https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/
  2. https://headacheaustralia.org.au/what-is-headache/prevalence-and-cost-of-headache/
  3. https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/triptans-migraines
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5612904/
  5. https://www.rxlist.com/botox-side-effects-drug-center.htm
  6. https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/supplements-and-herbs/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726843/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6109682/
  9. Acupuncture versus Various Control Treatments in the Treatment of Migraine: A Review of Randomized Controlled Trials from the Past 10 Years. J Pain Res. 2020 Aug 12;13:2033-2064.
  10.  Effects of long-term acupuncture treatment on resting-state brain activity in migraine patients: a randomized controlled trial on active acupoints and inactive acupoints. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 10;9(6):e99538). ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915066
  11. Acupuncture treatment of migraine, nausea, and vomiting in pregnancy. Neurol Sci. 2019 May;40(Suppl 1):213-215
  12. A meta-analysis comparing acupuncture with topiramate and botox have found them to be equally effective for treating chronic migraines. The authors analysed 15 RCTs with 2545 participants, of which eleven were deemed to have a low risk of bias. Analysis showed that acupuncture and topiramate were most effective in reduction of monthly headache and migraine days, closely followed by botox. Acupuncture also resulted in the fewest treatment-related adverse events https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33393102/
    Further Research for acupuncture in treating migraines:
  13. Stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurochemical factors and lowers the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord Zhao ZQ.  Neural mechanism underlying acupuncture analgesia. Prog Neurobiol. 2008 Aug;85(4):355-75.
  14. Reducing inflammation – by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim HW, Uh DK, Yoon SY et al. Low-frequency electroacupuncture suppresses carrageenan-induced paw inflammation in mice via sympathetic post-ganglionic neurons, while high-frequency EA suppression is mediated by the sympathoadrenal medullary axis. Brain Res Bull. 2008 Mar 28;75(5):698-705.and Kavoussi B, Ross BE. The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture. Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Sep;6(3):251-7.
  15. Modulating extracranial and intracranial blood flow (Park K.-H. Kim H.-J. Baek S.-Y. Cho B.-M. Yoo T.-W. Effect of acupuncture on blood flow velocity and volume in common carotid and vertebral arteries in migraine patients. Medical Acupuncture.  2009; 21(1)(pp 47-54)
  • There is significant and strong evidence that acupuncture can be used to treat chronic headaches and migraines. If you would like more information, feel free to contact the clinic.

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