The Best Yoga Poses For Migraine Relief
Yoga is a great relaxing exercise that helps calm the mind and body. Research has shown it to be beneficial for migraine sufferers. Stress is one of the major trigger points for those with headaches and migraines. A single yoga session will go a long way to helping reduce stress levels and in turn migraine frequency or severity. It is thought that yoga provides an excellent way to complement a treatment regimen for migraine. Because biofeedback and relaxation have been found to be useful for migraines, yoga has also been considered.
When moving through poses it is important to stay in tune with your breathing. Taking focused deep breaths is one of the key components of yoga’s stress-relieving powers! Oxygen levels in the body increase and blood flow throughout the body improves. This combination helps the body physically relax via muscles releasing tension. Deep and controlled breathing also allow for what is known as the default mode network to become engaged in the brain.
A 2014 study by Kisan demonstrated that headache frequency and intensity were reduced more in a group that added yoga to conventional treatment protocols.
Here we offer a few positions that could be utilized to augment your current treatment protocol. It is best to go to a class with a yogi knowledgeable regarding migraines, but many do not have the time to do so and a home program is all that is possible.
If you cannot fold forward due to stiffness or a larger belly, simply spread the knees apart a bit more to provide more room.
This position is exactly what it sounds like. While standing with your feet hip-width apart, bend forward at the hips until the top of your head is facing toward the floor. Keep your heels flat on the floor. You can gently bend your knees to allow the stretch to happen if you lack full flexibility. Try to focus your eyes on the backend of your mat. You can rest your hands on the mat, a block, or you can hold your elbows. Hold this position for 6-8 breaths.
When returning to a standing position, do so slowly to reduce any sense of dizziness.
With your back flat on the mat, bring your knees up towards your chest then twist. You will be lowering your legs to one side such that the side of the knee touches the floor. While keeping your hips stacked on top of each other and your shoulders flat on the mat, stretch your arms out and gaze at the ceiling or over your opposite shoulder. Hold for six breaths and repeat on the other side.
If you cannot achieve this position at first, just go as far as you are able to do comfortably.
Legs Up The Wall
While lying on your back, place your buttock against a wall and extend your legs against the wall. Relax your upper body with your arms against your sides. Hold for at least 10 breaths. This position should stimulate the vagus nerve and that has been shown to assist with headache symptom reduction.
Many believe that migraines are in part due to autonomic nervous system imbalance and yoga can help to restore that balance (parasympathetic – sympathetic).
Supine Twist and Shoulder Stretch
Place a rolled-up towel or large roller long ways on your mat and lie down with the towel/roller under the length of your spine. Extend your arms out in the form of a T with your palms facing upward with your shoulders relaxed and dropped towards the floor. Hold for at least 10 breaths.
Schedule A Consultation Today
Dr. Meredith Warner is certified in the state of Louisiana to recommend medical marijuana to qualifying patients for a variety of conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, intractable pain, multiple sclerosis, and more.