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Botox or Acupuncture for Migraines?

Suffer from Migraines? Skip the Botox and Try Acupuncture

If this were my Gramps, I'd tell him to go get acupuncture for his migraine. Based on research.
If this were my Gramps, I’d tell him to go get acupuncture for his migraine. Based on research.

If you deal with migraines, your doctor may have suggested Botox as a form of treatment.

Botox is an injectable drug made from a toxic bacterium called Clostridium botulinum (yes, the same toxin that causes botulism). Initially introduced to the cosmetic market as a “wrinkle-cure,” some people who used Botox treatments to de-wrinkle their wrinkles reported unexpected side effects: less migraines. For this reason, many migraine sufferers may opt for botox treatment – from somewhere similar to New York City BOTOX – to see if they can benefit from the unexpected side-effect now turned treatment.

Years of research was done to investigate these claims. The results were…let’s just say, problematic. Of course, we didn’t hear much about the problematic details, but we did hear all about Botox for the prophylaxis of chronic migraines, even though it’s quite possible that it was simply the needles, and not the Botox, that was providing the migraine relief.

Wait, what?

Read this fascinating piece by Mel Hopper Koppelman, and see what conclusion you reach… Or you could alternatively visit your local botox clinic and ask about the benefits for migraines and see if they could recommend botox treatment, or to venture down a completely different treatment route such as acupuncture, prescription drugs or nasal sprays, or consult a migraine specialist that can work with you to find the best personal treatment.

Does Acupuncture Work?

I’m asked this question at least once a week, and it’s become one of my favorite questions to answer. All I have to do is mention that I am an acupuncturist in a crowd of relatively “newish” people and one of three things happens:

1. A barrage of questions.

“Does acupuncture really…work?” “Is Chinese Medicine real?” (this is normally followed by some mild pinking of the face, as the inquirer usually has the delayed realization that they are questioning the legitimacy of a practice to which I’ve devoted my life… but hey, I take no offense, and more importantly, it gives me a chance to dork out about what I love.

2. A bright eyed and bushy-tailed love.

“Oh my god, I love acupuncture! My brother didn’t poop for, like, 3 years, and then he went to see this acupuncturist and he’s been POOPING EVERY DAY SINCE. Unbelievable! So, I have this neck pain…”

Is this what you think about when someone mentions Chinese medicine?
Is this what you think about when someone mentions Chinese medicine?

3. The Acupuncture- is- Quackery Roll of the Eyes, And I Will Remain True to This Notion No Matter What You Say, Therefore I’m Going To Ignore You and Help Myself to a Large Serving of BBQ’d mini-weiners…

Truth be told, these people often become patients of mine, but arrive in my office (initially) with the proclamation that they don’t believe in what I do. In other words, I sometimes get lucky enough to help this kind of person, but usually they are in chronic or acute pain for which they have not yet found relief, and at the urging of some family member, they begrudgingly come to see me.

They almost always come back. Dig?

Addendum (I forgot one): This kind of scenario usually involves an older man who will look at me with amusement, call me “Hon”, and talk to me as if my head is a balloon filled with silly string: “Hey, Hon, can that ah-coo-punctsha make my wife bettah’ between the sheets?” Which, truth be told, is a question I usually interpret to mean: “Can acupuncture help with erectile dysfunction?” When in reality they should probably be reading a male enhancement pills article on Continue reading…