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Observation on Acupuncture Treatment for 58 Cases of Migraine

Clinical Materials:

This series of treatments are composed of 58 patients with migraine, including 32 females and 26 males. The oldest is 65 years old and the youngest 21 years old with most of them being 30 to 45 years old. The duration of disease is between 15 days and 15 years. Most of them came to me asking for acupuncture treatment due to repeated attack despite of continuous treatment with conventional medicine.

Methods of Treatment:

Main points: Needle Zulinqi point on the healthy side first, then Houtaiyang point (at the edge of temple hair and at the horizontal level of the Sizhukong) through Shuaigu point on the ill side. According to patient’s conditions and tolerability, lift, thrust and twirl needles with reducing method for a while. Then the needles are connected to an Electrical Stimulator for further stimulation for patients who suffer from violent pain. The stimulation usually remains about 20 to 30 minutes.

Auxiliary points: Fengchi and Hegu are added for affection of pathogenic wind; Zhongwan and Fenglong added for stagnation of phlegm in the middle-jiao; Fengchi and Xingjian added for stagnation of liver-qi; Hegu and Sanyinjiao added for obstruction of blood stasis; Touwei and Neiting supplemented for hyperactivity of stomach-heat; and Baihui, Zusanli and Xuehai supplemented for deficiency of both qi and blood.

Criteria for clinical Therapeutic Effects:

  1. Cure: The clinical symptoms disappeared after 1 - 2 courses of treatment and the clinical symptoms had no relapse one year.
  2. Marked effect: There was only slight attack occasionally after 1-3 courses of treatment
  3. Effective: There was slight attack after 2 courses of treatment, but the duration of attack reduced obviously and the interval between two times of attack increased.
  4. Ineffective: symptoms had no change before and after treatment.


Of the 58 cases, 34 were cured, 14 markedly effective, 8 effective and 2 ineffective. The total effective rate was 96.55%.

Discussion and Comments:

Patients can experience pain relief immediately, after needling Zulinqi and Houtaiyang points. However, if wanting to obtain remote effect, I have to search for the fundmental cause of the disease and apply some auxiliary points based on differentiation of symptoms, signs and types in order to treat both the principal and secondary aspects of the disease.

Houtaiyang is a proven point for treating migraine. When needled, the needling sensation appears rapidly. This point can function in promoting blood circulation in the local area, resulting in unblocked flow of meridians and pain relief. When the cerebral circulation bettered, the ischemic region obtains sufficient blood supply, then oxygen and nutritional substances supply. As a result, the angioneurotic headache is cured.

Traditional Chinese medicine holds that any kind of pain results from blood stasis in the meridians, such is the case of migraine. The blood stasis refers to disturbance of blood circulation, including venous congestion, embolism, etc. This is consistent with the current viewpoint that angioneurotic headache results from blood circulation disturbance-induced ischemia in the local tissues. Through clinical practice, we found that acupuncture treatment can promote blood circulation, remove blood stasis, dredge meridians and relieve headache at last. The earlier the treatment is given, the better is the curative effect.


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