What is a migraine?
Nearly half of the adult population has experienced a headache at least once in their lives. And about 12 per cent of this population has experienced those throbbing headaches that nearly debilitate a person. The latter is known as migraines.
There are almost 150 different types of headaches categorised into primary and secondary headaches. Migraine is a neurological condition that’s one of the primary headaches. There are 8 known types of migraines that range from migraine with aura, chronic migraine, status migrainosus, hemiplegic migraine, and more. There are 4 phases of a migraine including prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome.
What are the symptoms of migraine?
Some of the most common migraine symptoms include:
- A pounding or throbbing headache that moves from one side of the head to the other.
- Pain around the jaws, temples, or neck.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Speech changes.
- Sensitivity to light, strong smells, and sounds.
- Sweating or cold chills.
- Blurred vision
- Mood changes.
Some rare symptoms of migraine include fever and diarrhoea.
Most of these symptoms last for around 4 hours though in severe cases, they may last up to 15 days.
What causes migraine?
Migraines are caused due to several reasons and triggers including:
- Hormonal changes in women
- Consuming too much alcohol or coffee
- Being a chain smoker.
- Constant and chronic stress and anxiety.
- Not resting enough or broken sleep patterns.
- Sudden changes in the weather or barometric pressure.
- Foods and drinks with strong smells or preservatives.
- Missing out on a meal.
- Dependence on pain killers.
- Flashing lights and bright sounds.
What is yoga for migraine?
There are several medications for migraine, including painkillers, beta-blockers, and antidepressants, that help in relieving its symptoms. But most of these come with their own set of side effects.
So, which is the most natural and holistic way to treat and prevent a migraine? The answer is yoga asanas for migraine.
According to several studies, coupling these with yoga for migraine makes people react better to the treatment.
As the name suggests, yoga for migraine headache refers to a set of postures that help alleviate the painful symptoms of migraine and offer relief. These yoga poses for migraines, not just reduce migraine symptoms but also prepare your body to react better to the triggers of migraine.
How does yoga help in migraine?
Several studies have pointed to the tremendous benefits of yoga for migraine in managing and preventing this painful condition.
Here are some of the most important benefits of yoga poses for migraines:
- Yoga for migraine helps in reducing stress and anxiety, which are amongst the most common triggers of migraine. It promotes the production of endorphins and a reduction in the levels of cortisol that give you a positive mindset and make you feel happier.
- Yoga asanas for migraine help improve the flow of blood by bettering your circulation. This relaxes and loosens stiffness in your neck, shoulders, and back, which prevents headaches.
- Yoga for migraine headache helps you respond better to medication, which reduces the painful symptoms faster.
- Migraine treatment yoga enhances your cardiac autonomic balance. This improves your nervous system interactions helping reduce migraine in the longer run.
- Pranayama for migraine when coupled with yoga asanas has been known to alleviate the painful symptoms of migraine by helping you relax.
Which are some of the best yoga for migraine asanas?
Wondering how to do yoga for migraine to get relief from pain and other debilitating symptoms?
Here are some of the most effective poses of migraine treatment yoga that you can include in your home workout routine. These are simple to do practise and can easily be learnt during online yoga classes.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose): This inversion pose of yoga for migraine improves the blood circulation to your brain, which relieves you from the distressing symptoms of migraine.
- Come into all fours.
- Exhale and lift your hips gently to bring your body in an inverted ‘V’ position.
- Keep your palms and feet flat on the floor.
- Gaze down while engaging your core and hold the pose for 7-10 seconds.
- Return to the original position.
- Shishuasana (Child Pose): This is amongst the most effective asanas for migraine that helps calm your mind and relax your body.
- Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels.
- Gently bend your body forward so that your forehead touches the floor.
- Stretch your hands straight ahead and hold this position for 5-6 seconds.
- Return to the original position.
- Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose): This is one of the most effective yoga asanas for migraine that calms your mind and improves circulation to relieve you of pain and muscular soreness.
- Start by standing straight with your hands by your side.
- Inhale and lift your hands above your head.
- Exhale and bend from your hips as you bring your hands towards your feet. Try to hold your ankles with your hands.
- Hold this pose for 25-30 seconds and return to the starting position.
- Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breathing Technique): This pranayama for migraine exercise gives you instant relief from stress and anxiety, which helps in preventing migraine.
- Sit in a cross-legged position while keeping your back erect.
- Close your eyes and place your thumbs on the cartilage between your cheeks and ears.
- Inhale deeply.
- Exhale while making a long humming noise like that of a bee.
- Repeat this pranayama for migraine 15-20 times.
- Anulom Vilom (Alternate Breathing Technique): This technique of pranayam for migraine alleviates stress and anxiety and instantly calms you down.
- Sit in a comfortable and upright position.
- Use your right thumb to block your right nostril.
- Inhale through the left nostril deeply.
- Release your thumb and close your left nostril with your ring finger.
- Exhale through your right nostril.
- Repeat the cycle for 5-10 minutes.
Though yoga for migraine is an excellent way to manage and prevent migraine, it should be done mindfully. You should avoid any rigorous poses that involve fast movements. People who experience frequent migraine attacks should also skip poses of yoga for migraine that involve heat such as Bikram yoga.
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