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Alternative and Complementary Medicine for Migraine and Cluster Headaches

What are some alternative approaches to headaches?

Patient Comments
  • In the United States, the field of alternative and complementary medicine is growing rapidly and includes the treatment of many health conditions, including pain.
  • Alternative and complementary medicine includes such practices as acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, meditation, herbs, homeopathy, and manipulation, to name but a few.
  • Another term, which reflects the use of these therapies within the concepts of Western medical practice, is integrative medicine.
  • Many physicians who are board-certified in their respective specialties, and who have sought additional training in alternative and complementary care, prefer to use this term because it encompasses the best of both worlds in the overall management of a patient.
  • Over the last decade, integrative medical practices have increasingly been used for the management of chronic pain.
  • This article provides a general overview of the more commonly used integrative medical approaches for the management of pain, specifically the pain of migraine and cluster headaches.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/15/2016
Medical Author:

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Alternative and Complementary Medicine for Migraine and Cluster Headaches:

Alternative Medicine for Migraines - Patient Experience

Tell us what alternative therapy was effective for your migraines or cluster headaches.

Common Migraine Symptoms

Migraine headaches can cause many different symptoms, but are characteristically associated with pain in the head. Before the onset of a migraine attack, many people notice blurring of vision, flashing lights, see “stars,” or even can have unusual smell sensations. The vision disturbances that occur prior to the onset of the head pains are referred to as the aura. This can be followed by a pounding pain on the sides or front of the head, often with a pulsating sensation.


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Migraine Headache »

Although migraine is a term applied to certain headaches with a vascular quality, overwhelming evidence suggests that migraine is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurrent vascular-quality headache, photophobia, sleep disruption, and depression.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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