Acupuncture has been used to treat various diseases, and there are many reports from various countries around the world as a therapy for headaches. Acupuncture has been used to relieve tension‐type headaches and prevent migraine attacks. In patients with migraine without aura, the number of headache attacks and analgesic use among patients who received acupuncture was significantly decreased compared to those who were treated with flunarizine. However, few articles have classified headaches in detail and examined the effectiveness of acupuncture. Thus, there is no clear evidence of the types of headache for which acupuncture is effective or whether acupuncture should be performed in the attack phase or intermittent phase. Functional MRI (fMRI) is a form of objective imaging study. Recently, a study was performed to investigate brain dysfunction in patients with migraine and chronic tension‐type headache. In the study of the pain‐induced activation of fMRI, migraine patients demonstrated specific brain activation in the interictal period compared to controls. We hypothesize that acupuncture affects not only peripheral circulation, but also central nervous function. However, few scientific studies have investigated the effects of acupuncture for headache by assessing cerebral function.
Part of the book: Current Perspectives on Less-known Aspects of Headache