Yoga for Migraine Headaches

Written by Colette Barry.

You have heard it right - yoga can help cure migraine and relieve you from recurrent attacks of headache! With migraine affecting over 28 million Americans, yoga undoubtedly proves to be a blessing in disguise. Many migraine sufferers can benefit from regular practice of yoga. According to a study published in May 2007 in the Headache journal, three months of yoga therapy, comprising gentle postures and breathing exercises can play a therapeutic role in reducing the intensity as well as frequency of migraine attacks. Since migraine is usually attributed to the development of intense stress in the body, yoga, as a mind-body exercise, can help release tension and stress.

migraine headache

Yoga for Migraine

Yoga exercises help alleviate the physical and mental impact of chronic headaches, which frequently originate due to muscular imbalances and stiffness emanating from the neck and back. A combination of deep breathing and relaxation techniques and yoga postures can have a calming effect on the nervous system, thus helping reduce intensity and frequency of tension headache. According to researchers at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson Medical College and Yoga Research Society, yoga reduces level of stress hormone cortisol and brings the body to balance.

Regular practice of yoga causes change in the way you think normally and your tendency to be fearful and anxious. Yoga helps you unconsciously step out of your habit of thinking while refreshing your body, mind, and spirit, thus bringing peace and helping you relax. With yoga, you learn to feel your body and become aware of the warning signs of pain in your body.

Migraine is often known to be triggered by low serotonin levels. Serotonin helps in the proper functioning of the brain, including appetite, sleep, moods, depression; however, with stress, serotonin levels become low, causing hypertension and high blood pressure, thus triggering migraine headaches. Regular practice of yoga and breathing techniques helps improve levels of serotonin, improve heart variability, promote relaxation, and reduce stress.

Different Yoga Poses for Migraine

Yoga, when used in combination with Pilates and gravity, can help in muscle-memory contact and bring better control and perfect alignment. Unhealthy alignment is often known to be the cause of back pain and migraines. When the posture is out of alignment, the body experiences muscle tightness and reduced flexibility, eventually causing pain. However, different restorative yoga poses fix the underlying problem behind the pain and help bring perfect alignment in the body. As a result, with perfect alignment, the body begins a mechanism of self-healing.

Following are some of the restorative poses, which, if practiced regularly, can help treat chronic headaches.

Besides, Child's pose, Easy pose, Downward dog pose, Mountain pose, Relaxation pose are some of the other restorative poses that can help treat your headache and liberate you from the discomfort arising from stress and imbalances.

5 Yoga Poses to Reduce Headaches Video
VIDEO - Having bad posture and a lack of oxygen can affect your respiratory system, resulting in headaches. Practicing these yoga postures daily can reduce and prevent headaches.

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