Yoga for Migraine


What is a migraine?

A recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. It may also be associated with aura which are warning signs that occur before headache starts. Aura is usually associated with visual disturbance or pins and needles feeling in face or strange taste.


What are causes of Migraine?

Migraines are caused by a misfiring of the nervous system. This first constricts the blood vessels and then suddenly dilates them. This is considered to be cause of immense pain.

What are triggering factors for Migraine?

Emotional triggers- stress, excitement, anger or shock.

Physical triggers- loss of sleep or irregular sleep, eye strain, dental problems, related to menstrual cycle, intake of hormones like contraceptives.

Dietary factors- lack of food(dieting), skipping meal, skipping regular tea or coffee intake, besides that alcohol, chocolates, citrus fruits and food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame (a sweetener), Tyramine and nitrates may cause migraine.

Environmental factors- Like bright light, loud noise and smoky environment may trigger it.

What are symptoms of Migraine?

1.Nausea – you may feel sick and this may be followed by vomiting

2. Increased sensitivity – you may have photophobia (sensitivity to light) or osmophobia (sensitivity to smells)

3. Acute or throbbing pain on one or both temples of the head

4. Lack of concentration

5. Sweating

6. Feeling very hot or very cold

7. Abdominal pain (which can sometimes cause diarrhea)

8. Frequent need to urinate

The symptoms accompanying migraine can last anywhere between four hours and three days. They will usually disappear when the headache goes. You may feel very tired for up to seven days after a migraine attack.

Can Yoga Therapy help in Migraine?

Definitely yes! Yoga is now considered the best mind body practice. Yoga helps to calm down the nervous system and gives it deep rest. This rest hence provides  a chance to stop or slow down the excess nervous bombardment which causes migraine. This is possible because deeper the rest a system gets, better it has a chance to function properly.

1. Yoga therapy is known to reduce both frequency and intensity of attacks.

2. It decreases stress, anxiety and depression. It also helps to prevent stress  by increasing the endurance power of a person.

3. Yoga works with the body’s subtle energy  or life-force by promoting its free flow as blocked  energy causes ill health.

4. Asanas [poses] helps relieve patterns of musculoskeletal tension in your body.

5.Yoga provides an antidote to the stress associated with the work, family or self.

6. Yoga  can be added to your pain management regimen.

7.  The medications taken for  head pain  works more effectively after practicing yoga.

8. Yoga practices teach us to live in the present moment. This helps to break loop of mental pain  or irritations we are carrying against others.

9. Yoga a  self awareness practices help us to identify our “trigger” and helps us to enable  disarm them.

10. Chronic neck tension often causes headaches. Regular practice of yoga relieves neck tension.

11.Yoga therapy  brings  deep positive changes in body which  will tend to be long-lasting


What  Yoga practices are good for  Migraine?

1. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) This pose is especially beneficial for headaches caused by issues related to digestion, sinus, and menopause.

2.Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist), improve the functioning of the spinal cord. These poses will help to remove toxins and regulate hormones.

3. Childs pose, increases blood circulation to brain, promotes healing.

4. Savasana (Corpse Pose), offer complete relaxation for the body and the mind, relieving stress that causes headaches and migraines.

5. Kapalbhati Pranayama – This is rapid exhalation pranayama. Sit straight and just concentrate on breathing out. Inhalation will happen automatically.

6. Anulom Vilom is alternative breathing pranayama. This pranayama will provide immense relief from any diseases of the head region and nervous system.

7. Shoulder stand is one of the excellent poses.

8. Halasana(plow pose)

9. Jal Neti is excellent practice for patients of migraine pain and head aches.

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