Yoga Practices may Help Prevent Migraine Headaches

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website. It affects more than 12% of the world’s population. Women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines when compared to men.

is a 5,000-year-old tradition with its roots of origination in India. It is

Yoga also helps in lowering blood pressure and heart rate, which further allows for the body’s recovery from stressful events (like episodes of migraine).

Types of Yoga

Some of the yoga poses that can help relieve migraines are:

  • Balansana (Child’s pose)
    — Involves gentle stretching of various body parts (hips, back, thighs, and ankles). The pose not only composes and relaxes the brain but also helps relieve stress, back pain, and neck pain.

    “You can do it by carrying your big toes in touch and walking your knees out widespread to the girth of the mat. Then free your chest onto the ground between your thighs as you stride your fingertips to the front of your mat. And let your forehead relax mildly on the floor and prop your head from side to side to massage out the strain,”
    states Aniket Ukey, a fitness consultant at Shivaay Yoga & Fitness.

  • Sukshma Vyayama Pose
    — Involves organization of bodily and breathing exercises for sequential work out (flexibility), enlivening and vitality of all body joints (head to toes tip) with its three components — a breathing pattern, concentration point or area in your body, and the actual exercise. The pose not only helps in developing coordination and equilibrium but also advances blood circulation and metabolism.

  • Cat and Cow Pose

    “The cat and cow pose also rises suppleness and relieves tightness in the spine, and it can easily be done. All you have to do is put your hands and knees in a table pose, with a neutral spine. While inhaling, try to move into cow pose, lift your sit bones a bit high, place your chest forward and permit your belly to drop. Lift your head, ease your shoulders away from your ears, and look straight ahead. As you breathe out, come into cat pose though turning your spine noticeable, inserting in your tailbone, and portraying your pubic bone onward. Release your head toward the floor calmly and relax,”
    says Ukey.

    Uplifting of legs straight against the wall also allows more blood and oxygen in your brain, which may help ease the throbbing headache.

  • Prasarita Padottanasana or Wide-Legged Forward Bend
    — Stretches the backs of the legs and the inner groins to bestow a good warm-up for other wide-stance standing poses. It also helps calm the brain and ease fatigue.

  • Halasana or Plough Pose
    — Helps reduce stress, calms the mind, and improves blood flows through the spine and the brain, thereby aiding against migraine.

  • Setubhandhasana/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose
    — Increases blood circulation and helps stretch the chest, neck, and spine, thereby alleviating stress.
  • Viparita Karani or Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose — Helps stimulate the hormone system, refresh the circulatory system, strengthen the core and completely relax the mind and body.

Migraine and Physical Therapy

Nearly 5 million Australian people suffer from migraine, among which 7.6% (400,000 people) experience chronic migraine (more than 15 migraine attacks per month) as per a 2018 Deloitte Access Economics Report.

A recent study has also reported that yoga practice (as add-on therapy) among 114 migraine patients (aged 18-50 years) reduced the frequency and intensity of migraines.

Another study involving 82 Chinese women with episodic migraines revealed that tai chi training (a slow, focused form of exercise) of 12 weeks had resulted in a significant reduction of migraine attacks.

A systematic review published in The Journal of Headache and Pain shows that moderate-intensity exercise helps decrease the number of migraine days.

Avoid Triggers

“Certain foods, dehydration, and lack of sleep can all trigger migraine. People should identify their migraine triggers, and keep a diary to help remember what set off previous episodes. Doctors may recommend certain medications to manage migraine, such as the anti-seizure medication topiramate. They may also prescribe other medications, such as the high blood pressure medication propranolol and the antidepressant amitriptyline, to help prevent migraine,”
states Medical News Today.

Although lying in a cold dark room and not doing anything may seem to be a coping strategy against migraine flare-ups, exercise may be a better preventive measure against migraine intensity as it allows the release of endorphins (natural painkillers).

However, it is advisable to consult with your health professional before boarding on a new exercise.

Management Strategies for Migraine

Although physical therapies have multiple beneficial effects on migraine, it is warned to refrain from very high-intensity exercise in cases where it triggers the migraine attack.

Hence, some of the strategies like slow movements, chin tuck or cervical retraction (for strengthening neck muscles), hydrotherapy pool exercise, walking, running, jogging, cycling, and relaxation may help mitigate the migraine severity and fatigue.

Source: Medindia

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