CASE STUDY: Headache for one year

By Tona Marquez on Mar 27, 2024 at 12:29 AM in Santa Barbara Acupuncture

I treat headaches frequently at Neighborhood Acupuncture. How frequently? I average about 5 patients per week that are seeking treatment for headaches. And when I say headaches, I mean any condition where there is pain in the head.  

  • Tension Headache
  • Sinus Headaches
  • Exertion Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Hormone Headaches
  • Cluster Headache
  • Hypertension Headaches
  • Hangover Headaches

Now, typically a patient comes in and complains of headaches that come and go. Sometimes they come very frequently and sometimes less frequently. Sometimes the headache has a particlar location and sometimes its all over. Many times they have been ongoing for years. 

Recently a patient visited Neighborhood Acupuncture who complained of a headache that had lasted one (1) year. This is her story...

I've had a headache that has lasted a year

My patient was a 28 year old female that was very concerned about needles but had heard that acupuncture had great bennifits. She complained about a left sided headache that had been going on for 1 year. The pain was constant and varied in intensity but was always very very bothersome. Over time the patient also began to have pain around and behind her left eye and left side of her forehead. This pain had a negative effect on the patient's vision out of the left eye. 

When the patient arrived on February 28, 2024 she had pain on the left side of her face, left side of her head and at the top of the neck on the left side. The patient rated her pain as fairly severe. 

Balance Method Acupuncture, Session One

As with all my patients, I never apply needles where the pain is.

Since the patient was concerned about needles I applied needles to the left thigh since this area is much less sensitive to the poking senstion of acupuncture needles. After applying needles to the thigh, imaging the location of the side of the head, the patient felt an immediate significant decrease in pain level to the side of the head. Now the patient felt more pain around the left eye.

I pick a location below the patient's right knee that imaged the location of the eye. After applying one needle the patient felt a decrease in pain around the left eye. Now the patient felt more pain on the left side of the neck and shoulder. 

I then applied one needle just above the right ankle and one needle near the right wrist. Both theses areas imaged the neck and shoulder. The pain moved immediately from the shoulder to the neck. I then adjusted the needle near right wrist and the neck pain diminished significantly. 

The patient then rested for 40 minutes with the needles in place. Most patients at Neighborhood Acupuncture rest with needles for about 40 minutes. 

Second visit 

The patient returned for a second session of acupuncture therapy two (2) weeks later. The patient had been advised to return for acupuncture therapy every other day until pain remained diminished but the patient explained she would be out of town. 

Upon the patient's return, the patient noted the pain on the left side of the head and face along with the pain around and behind the L eye had remained improved. There were moments when there would be a wave of pain but overall the pain level was much less bothersome. 

But now the patient noted more pain on the left side of the neck. Needles were applied above the left ankle and near the right wrist. The patient noted the neck pain level diminished significantly with some lingering pain along the spine of the neck. One additional needle was applied to the scalp and the pain along the spine of the neck improved. 

Again the patient rested for 40 minutes with needles in place. 

What happened next?

This patient is concerned with needles. The patient tolerated both sessions of acupuncture very very well. Tomorrow will be two (2) weeks since the patient's last visit so when the patient returns her story will continue.