Research, Case Studies & Testimonials

Acupuncture changes brain activity in migraine patients

Published On: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Category: Pain Clinic

Effects of long-term acupuncture treatment on resting-state brain activity in migraine patients: a randomized controlled trial on active acupoints and inactive acupoints

Chinese scientists have shown that needling active acupoints in migraine patients reduces pain and affects key disease-affected brain regions involving pain. A randomised controlled trial enrolled 80 migraineurs to receive either active acupoint acupuncture (at bilateral Waiguan SJ-5, Fengchi GB-20, Yanglingquan GB-34 and Qiuxu GB-40), or control acupuncture (at bilateral Erheliao SJ-22, Daling P-7, Guangming GB37 and Taibai SP-3) for eight weeks. Twenty patients in each group were randomly selected for fMRI scanning at baseline and at the end of treatment. The results showed that both active and control acupuncture methods alleviated the clinical symptoms of migraine (intensity of pain, attack frequency and days with migraine) and improved patients’ quality of life. However, acupuncture at active acupoints was significantly superior to acupuncture at control acupoints in alleviating pain intensity. The neuroimaging data indicated that active acupoint therapy resulted in a more extensive and remarkable cerebral response compared with acupuncture at control points. Most of the brain regions affected by active acupuncture were involved in the pain matrix, lateral pain system, medial pain system, default mode network and cognitive components of pain processing.

Effects of long-term acupuncture treatment on resting-state brain activity in migraine patients: a randomized controlled trial on active acupoints and inactive acupoints. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 10;9(6):e99538

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915066

Return to the previous page




Wimpole Street Clinic

Rush Hill Clinic

Chiswick Health Clinic

Make an Appointment

By telephone:

Rush Hill Clinic:01225 444001

Wimpole Street Clinic:0207 935 2030

Chiswick Health Clinic:0208 742 7423

Talk with Jason: 07985 918 237


Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine Professional Standards Authority BAcC Member British Holistic Medical Association