Acupuncture and acupressure could be a safe alternative intervention for preventing menstrual migraine (MM). Canadian researchers carried out a randomised pilot study of 18 women allocated to three groups: verum acupuncture, acupressure and control acupuncture. Primary acupoints used in the verum acupuncture group were Taichong LIV-3, Hegu L.I.-4, Sanyinjiao SP-6 and Fengchi GB-20. Extra acupoints were selected based on TCM pattern: Zusanli ST-36 for qi and blood deficiency, Xuehai SP-10 for qi stagnation and blood stasis, Taixi KID-3 for Liver and Kidney yin deficiency, and Xingjian LIV-2 for Liver fire. The same points were used in the acupressure group. In the control acupuncture group, acupoints that should have had no therapeutic effect on either menstruation or migraines were needled; Xiguan LIV-7, Yangjiao GB-35, Zhouliao L.I.-12 and Dingchuan M-BW-1. The study lasted for seven months, with a baseline month, a three month intervention with treatment three times per month and a three month follow-up. Both verum acupuncture and acupressure were significantly more effective than control acupuncture for reducing MM days, as well as for reducing peak pain during the intervention period. The proportion of responders (participants reporting over 50% reduction in the number of MM days each month) was significantly greater in both the acupuncture and acupressure groups, compared with control acupuncture. No significant differences for the outcomes were observed between groups during the follow-up period.
Comparison of the Prophylactic Effect Between Acupuncture and Acupressure on Menstrual Migraine: Results of a Pilot Study. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2018 Apr 11. pii: S2005-2901(17)30189-9.