Yoga As Medicine

Yoga for Migraines

Migraine is a neurological disorder that causes recurring headaches ranging from moderate to high intensity. Typically it effects only one half of the head and can last from 2 hours to up to more than 2 days. When under a migraine attack, the sufferer may become extremely sensitive towards light or noise. Other common symptoms include vomiting, nausea and pain aggravation due to physical activity.

More than 4 million people experience chronic daily migraine – with at least 15 migraine days per month. Medication overuse is the most common reason why episodic migraine turns chronic. Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are common for those with chronic migraine. It is also believed that migraine is the most common neurological condition and is more common than asthma, epilepsy and diabetes combined together.


What’s the way out?

If you have been suffering from head-splitting ache for years or have recently been diagnosed with migraine, there are ways other than medication to help overcome your pain. Arterial surgery, muscle surgery, Occipital nerve stimulation, Botox, beta-blockers and anti-depressants are a few of the various preventive methods available today to fight migraine attacks. But beware: Not all of these methods come without side-effects. Opting for some of these methods may increase the risk of hpyotension, heart attacks, insomnia and nausea to name a few.

So, is there a natural way to fight against migraine without hurting the body in the process?

Yoga to the rescue!

Yoga is an ancient technique that promotes holistic living through a combination of postures and breathing techniques. Yoga is a side-effect free method to fight migraine. Practicing these simple yoga postures for a few minutes everyday will help prepare yourself better for the next migraine attack:

Standing Forward bend

The Standing Forward bend invigorates the nervous system by increasing blood supply and also calms the mind.

Bridge pose

The Bridge pose calms the brain and reduces anxiety.

Child pose

The Child pose calms down the nervous system and effectively reduces the pain.

Cat Pose

The Cat stretch improves blood circulation and also relaxes the mind.

Two-legged Forward bend

The Two-legged Forward bend calms the brain and relieves stress. This yoga posture also relieves headache.

Downward Facing Dog

The Downward Facing Dog pose increases blood circulation to the brain and thus relieves headache.

Lotus pose

The Lotus pose relaxes the mind and alleviates headache.

Shavasana (Corpse pose)

The Corpse pose rejuvenates the body by bringing it into a deep state of meditative rest. The yoga routine should be ended by lying down in this pose for a couple of minutes.

Migraine attacks cause unbearable pain and can hamper one’s personal as well as professional life. Explaining your situation to family, friends and colleagues will encourage moral and emotional support from them. It will also help them have an open-minded view about your situation. Also, don’t stop your medication till your doctor advises so. Yoga is a means to make your resistance against migraine better and should not used as an alternative to medication.

Practicing these simple yoga postures will lessen the impact of a migraine attack and may eventually stop them permanently. So, roll out the yoga mat, repose for some time everyday and shut migraine out of your life for good!

Courtesy of The Art of Living. Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives.

Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor. 

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