Yoga Practice for Drug Free Migraine Therapy

October 24, 2012

Believe it or not, there’s actually an App for That!  Yoga for migraines, that is.  We learned in one of our recent articles, that yoga has been proven to help individuals with chronic migraine and headaches.  So if you are open to exploring this ancient practice and find out if you too can derive the benefits and pleasure from yoga, here is some information that may help you get started in your new drug free migraine therapy.

Since stress is one of the major chronic migraine triggers, yoga’s relaxing and restorative nature has a therapeutic effect on your nervous system.  As with any exercise form, make sure your doctor gives you the OK to proceed.

Who Should Teach You?
If you decide to try a class, make sure the instructor is qualified to teach the type of yoga you will be practicing in the class.  As with most sports and therapies, it’s wise to make the investment of learning from someone who is competent to teach you the correct technique so that you reap the rewards, without putting yourself at risk for injury.  Health clubs, community centers, wellness centers and dedicated yoga studios all offer classes.  Be sure to let the instructor know about your medical condition so that he can help you modify your poses to suit your needs.  Also, start with a beginner class.

What Type of Yoga Should You Look For?
As a preventative drug free migraine solution, gentle yoga will yield the best results.  Avoid inverted poses, especially if you are experiencing a headache, as this will worsen matters.  Varieties like Hot Yoga, Power Yoga or Vinyasa will be too demanding and stressful rather than therapeutic and should be avoided as well.  Restorative Yoga uses props like blankets and blocks to help you hold poses.  According to the American Headache Society this variant may be helpful to headache sufferers, and the types of yoga that allow you to move continuously without holding difficult poses for too long may be good for beginners.

Some Helpful Poses

  • For prevention try: Downward Dog.  Beginning in the crawl position with hands flat on the floor, lift your butt toward the ceiling while pressing your heels flat into the floor.  Hold this V-position for about 15 seconds before releasing back onto your knees and hands.
  • For restoration (during a headache) try: Reclining Bound. Lying flat on the floor, with your knees bent and spread outward, and the soles of your feet touching each other and drawn upward toward your body while resting on the floor, bring your hands to rest on your tummy.  Have some pillows to tuck under your knees, if the stretch is uncomfortable, and a cool compress to cover your eyes.  Relax for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Practicing yoga helps chronic migraine sufferers and other individuals with medical conditions release stress and tension.  According to the American Headache Society musculoskeletal stiffness, poor posture and imbalances aggravate headache conditions.  Since yoga may help correct all of these ailments, it may work as a terrific drug free migraine treatment also.  So if Yoga is something you want to try, go for it….  ‘Namaste’!

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