The Pain Clinic and Medical Department of Skodsborg Sanatorium in Denmark conducted a randomized double-blind study which compared acupuncture needling with the drug metoprolol in controlling migraines.
Both groups showed a significant reduction in frequency or duration of attacks, with no significant difference between the two groups. The metoprolol group showed a greater reduction in severity of attacks while the acupuncture group reported fewer side-effects.
It should be noted, however, that 1. the acupuncture group all received the same treatment (i.e. there was no selection of points according to differentiation of pattern), and 2. that the metoprolol group received ’sham’ acupuncture, which has been shown in other studies (see ‘Acupuncture in Pulmonary Disease, NEWS, May 1995) to have a significant subjective and objective effect.