People with migraines can attest to how incapacitating this condition is. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defined migraine as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head that can last for up to three days.
This can be particularly burdensome because this led people to decline jobs, have poor performance in school, and experience a low quality of life. There are 10% of people worldwide who are experiencing migraines, but up to this day, there is still no known sufficient treatment for it.
In fact, according to Andrew Russo from the University of Iowa, migraine medications only work for about half of the migraine patients. These medications even have some adverse effects, or they don’t eliminate the pain.
Migraines, Stress, and Yoga
Some of the causes of migraines included depression, anxiety, exhaustion, muscle tension, and sensory overload. But one of the most common triggers is stress.
Yoga, being a gentle exercise, is believed to help alleviate migraines. Researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) in New Delhi, India, conducted a study to prove this.
They had a sample group of 114 individuals. The participants were divided into two groups: the first one took only medications while the second one has a standard yoga module on top of their medications. The yoga group is made to follow a module through a qualified yoga therapist and other yoga medical professionals. After three months, the results were promising. Twelve (12) percent of the yoga group, who had more headaches at the beginning of the study, has become headache-free. 47% of them also have a lesser pill intake compared to the medication-only group.
Yoga for Stress Relief
The researchers believe that the study’s positive result can be connected to physical, biochemical, psychological, and neurological health.
As a gentle exercise, yoga helps reduce the sympathetic nervous system’s activity, the one responsible for controlling our body’s involuntary reaction to stressful situations. If sympathetic activity is high, it would mean higher stress levels, and doing yoga addresses that. Yoga also helps improve your body’s nitric oxide levels. Nitric Oxide is produced by your body to relax blood vessels, increase blood flow, and lower blood pressure.
Yoga also helps in loosening stiff muscles in migraine pain areas like the head, neck, and shoulders. When your muscles are tight, it makes you feel stressed; therefore, triggering migraines.
Don’t jump ahead and search for online videos about yoga. It would be advisable to seek help from a professional yoga practitioner so he/she can guide you through different poses that can help you address your migraine and change them if necessary.
It would be best if you practiced the yoga that is appropriate for your condition. Some yoga classes can be intense, involve a lot of activities and complicated poses, and doing those can do you more harm than good.
Besides yoga, don’t forget to get enough sleep, eat regularly, and exercise consistently to help you manage your migraine.