Tense, nervous headache? Wait, don't reach for the Anadin - nip down to the local acupuncturist instead. Not only is it an effective treatment, it's one that has long-lasting benefits, and can safeguard the sufferer against further headaches for 12 weeks or more.
It's been tried out on 270 people with chronic tension-type headache, who were either given full acupuncture treatment, or 'minimal acupuncture', a mock form of acupuncture which utilizes the wrong points on the body, and the rest enjoyed the full benefit of the National Health Service, which involved being put at the end of an interminable waiting list and seeing nobody.
Those in the acupuncture and mock acupuncture groups each received 12 sessions, and 46 per cent in the acupuncture group reported a halving of the days they suffered headaches. Interestingly, 35 per cent in the mock acupuncture group reported a similar positive benefit, even though they didn't have proper treatment. And, most amazing of all, 4 per cent in the NHS group also reported a reduction in their headaches, so there may be wisdom in the madness of the NHS waiting list, after all.
Source: British Medical Journal, 2005; 331: 376-9