A pilot study carried out on American soldiers, has shown acupuncture to be beneficial for chronic headaches. Twenty-six participants suffering from chronic headache (mostly migraine), were treated using a standardised set of acupuncture points over a twelve week period.
The results showed a reduction in headache frequency and intensity, and this benefit was still apparent over a twelve week follow-up. There were also improvements in general quality of life scores, and reductions in depression and use of medication. Pain scores continued to decline until eight weeks after acupuncture treatment ended, and although they began to rise again by twelve weeks, they never reached baseline levels. The report authors contrast this with medication trials, where headaches return after cessation of treatment; they go on to suggest that monthly maintenance acupuncture treatments might help prevent this rise.
(The Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Chronic Daily Headache: An Outcomes Study. Military Medicine Dec 2009.)