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Combining acupuncture with tuina can significantly increase its therapeutic effect in migraine treatment. Chinese investigators assigned 135 patients to acupuncture combined with tuina, acupuncture, or drug therapy (flunarizine hydrochloride). All patients were needled at acupoints Yintang M-HN-3, Touwei ST-8, Taiyang M-HN-9, Shuaigu GB-8, Fengchi GB-20, Baihui DU-20 and Touqiaoyin GB-11. Additional acupoints were used according to each patient’s individual TCM syndrome differentiation: Hegu L.I.-4, Shangxing DU-23, Zusanli ST-36 and Sanyinjiao SP-6 for deficiency of qi and Blood; Zhongwan REN-12, Fenglong ST-40 and Yinlingquan SP-9 for stagnation of phlegm-dampness; Taichong LIV-3, Taixi KID-3 and Xiaxi GB-43 for hyperactivity of liver yang; Neiguan P-6, Xuehai SP-10 and Geshu BL-17 for blood stasis. For the acupuncture plus tuina group, tuina was applied after acupuncture with the patient in a sitting position. Tuina was performed along seven lines from Yintang M-HN-3 to Fengfu DU-16, from Zanzhu BL-2 to Tianzhu BL-10 bilaterally, from Yuyao (M-HN-6) to Fengchi GB-20 bilaterally and from Sizhukong SJ-23 to Wangu GB-12 bilaterally, with both hands applying pushing, rubbing, pressing or kneading, for 10 minutes. Treatments were performed for 12 weeks with a 4-week follow-up. Significant reductions in attack frequency, severity of pain, duration of migraine, and associated symptoms were seen in all groups at post-treatment and follow-up compared to pre-treatment. The total effective rate (calculated as [(number of patients recovered + markedly effective + improved) / number of patients in each group] × 100) was 95.6 percent for tuina plus acupuncture, 88.9 percent for acupuncture alone and 75.6 percent for drug therapy. Patient-reported outcome scores and frequency of analgesic consumption were also significantly improved in all groups, with tuina plus acupuncture resulting in the greatest improvements. Differences measured pre-/post-treatment and pre-treatment/follow-up were significantly improved in groups A and B compared with group C.

The Effectiveness of Acupuncture Combined with Tuina Therapy in Patients with Migraine. Complement Med Res. 2019 Mar 14:1-13

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