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Acupuncture and Migraines - Integrative Medicine/Neurology

Migraines can start as a dull headache and progress to a throbbing pain in one part of the head. “Normally they can last hours to a day or so. Sometimes people will suffer from recurrent, and it will run a few days,” said Dr. Paul Driscoll, a neurologist on the medical staff of Lee Health. Patients with migraines may experience nausea, vomiting, visual changes, or confusion. Some of the most common triggers can be stress and diet. “There are actual changes that occur in the brain, where the brain actually changes some of its electrical activity during the migraine, and it’s usually one side that settles down,” said Dr. Driscoll. Massage therapist and licensed acupuncturist with Lee Health, Renee Sarra, says some of those changes can be managed through acupuncture and massage therapy. “I don’t know if people are aware that acupuncture works so well with chronic migraines.” Most migraine sufferers are women, and while possible triggers have been discovered, the exact cause for each patient isn’t always clear. “I would do a full assessment of your structural body first. Is it coming from the cervical neck, even the low back maybe? Is it hormonal? Maybe it’s hormonal. Maybe it’s stress related. So I’m going to look at all three of those aspects,” said Sarra. When the migraines occur can also help Sarra decided where to place the needles for acupuncture. “In my opinion, how I would place it is, how can I get this fire, this energy out of the head,” said Sarra. Acupuncture and massage therapy can ease the pain by helping patients relax. “I want to combine the two, so I can hit everything so that you leave without a headache,” said Sarra. Patients can also try rest, hydration and prescribed medications to help prevent and cope with a migraine. All are options to help patients manage their symptoms. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit