Migraine headaches are both painful and disabling. They usually involve only one side of the head and may be accompanied by nausea, dizziness and visual distortions, such as making any light seem much brighter than it is. Research has indicated that they may have a genetic or allergic cause, and some people refer to them as "histamine headaches:. On this theory, physicians have tried histamine desensitization, injections, and antihistamine drugs, but the results have usually been disappointing.
Drugs which can give temporary relief from migraine have serious side effects and have no lasting therapeutic effect. Narcotics are habit-forming. Aspirin can cause stomach ulcers or other internal bleeding. Acetaminophen (Tylenol and Datril) cause liver damage. Cafergot constricts the blood vessels and thereby promotes hypertension and other circulatory problems. Sansert causes fibrosis of lungs, heart valves, major blood vessels and other vital organs. Tranquilizers damage the basal ganglia of the brain and are seldom effective. Antihistamines causes drowsiness.
Acupuncture has relieved migraine headaches safely, even in people who have had them for as long as 30 years. Usually 6 - 10 treatments are enough for relief, but some patients need more treatments and have to return for another series of treatments once or twice a year.