European Headache Alliance

YOGA AND MIGRAINE

What Can Yoga Do for Migraine Relief?

Yoga can provide more than just physical fitness. It can bring calm and peace to your mind and body, as well as help with ailments such as anxiety, depression, and pain.

It isn’t clear exactly how yoga changes the body in this manner, though the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) may play a role. During yoga, the PNS can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. This allows your body to recover after a stressful event, such as a migraine.

Not only is yoga a holistic approach to fighting migraines as they’re happening, it’s also a proactive approach to reduce the pain.

2014 study found that headache frequency and intensity was reduced in people who practiced yoga in addition to their regular treatment regimen. These participants also experienced an improvement in vagal tone, which refers to the amount of activity in the PNS.

Overall, yoga improved the cardiac autonomic balance. Disturbances in the autonomic nervous system and in the regulation of the circulatory system are associated with migraines. If the balance is restored, the likelihood of a migraine is reduced.

Specific yoga poses can target tension and stress, which may be contributing to your migraines. Certain poses can help boost circulation and improve blood flow to your brain. This may lessen any pain or throbbing sensations that you’re having.

Aside from yoga, there are other things you can do to reduce your risk of migraines. This includes:

  1. Watching your diet. You should limit your intake of trigger foods, such as chocolate, alcohol, and caffeine.
  2. Limiting exposure to the sun. Bright lights and sunshine can aggravate migraines.
  3. Keeping a daily schedule. Try to stay on the same sleeping pattern, eat proper foods, and exercise daily.

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