Yoga Therapy for Migraines

MigraineMigraine headaches affect more than 28 million Americans, and about 75% are women. I believe that yoga practice can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.

A migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or pulsing in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and be so severe that all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down. Some migraines are preceded or accompanied by sensory warning symptoms (aura), such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg. Yoga and lifestyle changes, may make a tremendous difference. (Mayo Clinic Staff)

One contemporary theory of how migraines occur states that the arteries that feed the brain narrow temporarily due to a variety of factors, stress and muscular tension being two common ones. For a migraine sufferer, there is then a sudden shift in the blood vessels and they abruptly dilate, increasing the blood flow to the head. This sudden shift results in the intense pain of the migraine episode. If you can somehow keep your body’s nervous system more relaxed from day to day, the initial narrowing of the blood vessels that predisposes someone to a migraine might be eliminated and the chance of the migraine minimized.

If one of your triggers is sinus pressure, you might try a neti-pot. A neti-pot is as ancient as yoga and has been used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic/yoga medical tradition. The basic explanation of how the Neti pot works is that it thins mucus and helps flush it out of the nasal passages.

A more biological explanation for how the Neti pot works has to do with tiny, hair-like structures called cilia that line the inside of the nasal and sinus cavities. These cilia wave back and forth to push mucus either to the back of the throat where it can be swallowed, or to the nose to be blown out. Saline solution can help increase the speed and improve coordination of the cilia so that they may more effectively remove the allergens and other irritants that cause sinus problems. (WebMD)

For more information about what you can do for migraines go to:

Contributed by Evon Rubenstein, E-R.Y.T 200 , YTRx