Manage migraine with acupuncture: a review of acupuncture protocols in randomized controlled trials.

Author: Zheng H, Chen M, Wu X, Li Y, Liang FR.
Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, Sichuan Province, China.
Conference/Journal: Am J Chin Med.
Date published: 2010
Other: Volume ID: 38 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 639-50 , Word Count: 217

The aim of this article is to present a standardized protocol of acupuncture for the management of migraine. A systematic review of available randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for migraineurs was conducted in the five following electronic databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL. Information of selected acupoints and treatment course was extracted from the included trials. Then we analyzed the treatment methods used in these trials, to identify any similarities of therapeutic approaches. Additionally, quality of all the included trials was assessed. At last, the extracted information of acupuncture protocols was analyzed, and the similarities of therapeutic approaches were summed up. Bilateral use of the following points is recommended: Fengchi (GB20), Taiyang (EX-HN5), etc. De-qi sensation is requested in acupuncture manipulating procedure, and manual stimulation is suggested. The optimal treatment frequency is twice a week with one week rest between the first 10 and the last 10 sessions. Additionally, the duration of one treatment session ought to be 30 minutes, while it is recommended to use about 20 needles in one session. The total duration of an acupuncture treatment should be at least 10 weeks. The protocol analyzed from trials with positive results is different from trials with negative in number of treatment sessions. Therefore in future trials, enough acupuncture treatment sessions should be fully considered.