Imagine the sudden onset of debilitating head pain, nausea, and visual disturbances; it’s the beginning of a severe headache called a migraine.
“Migraines usually present as a severe, strong headache that usually involves the forehead and temporal region,” said Dr. Yonghua Zhang, a neurologist at Edward Hospital. “It can last hours, it’s a very painful situation and it affects women more than men.”
As far as treatment goes, there’s the Western medicine route.
“The most important thing is there’s medication called Triptans, which is migraine medicine that you take immediately that can help as soon as you take it,” said Dr. Zhang.
Isis Servin knows the pain all too well.
“My migraines, they come almost on a daily basis. They like to go usually at the top of my head or right at the front of the head and then they’ll kind of just linger there, I’ll get really sensitive to light,” said Servin, who suffers from migraines.
The pain has only gotten worse for Isis since she’s become pregnant.
After trying different methods of treatment Isis turned to a different form of medicine called acupuncture- a form of Chinese medicine that uses small needles to stimulate points on the body to relieve pain.
“My job as an acupuncturist is to go through and figure out what that cause is, and we can work on the branch, which is the actual pain, and depending on where it is in your head, that helps me pick out what points to use,” explained Dr. Jeremy Cornish, an Acupuncturist at The Healing Place.
Through an appointment that can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, Dr. Cornish inserts small needles into specific points on Isis’ body to relive her cause of the migraine by way of distal treatment.
“Distal is where you have some point on your hand that speaks to your nervous system and controls that specific part of your body,” explained Dr. Cornish.
Isis makes her way to Dr. Cornish for routine visits to help permanently correct the problem and for immediate relief when she does suffer a migraine.
While they haven’t completely cleared up, and some doctors agree it’s not the best form of treatment, she says she’s on her way to recovery.
“Just with one treatment, it was astounding how the difference was. After the treatment I still had the lingering migraine, but the next day it was so different, I could work out and do normal things instead of just lying down and hiding my face,” said Servin.
Typically young women are most at risk for migraines due to hormonal changes in the body. Other risk factors include stress, poor sleep patterns and having a family history.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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