Yoga For Migraine Relief: Research Reveals Big Benefits

Minneapolis, MN, June 9 2020—New research by the American Academy of Neurology reveals significant benefits of yoga for migraine relief.

As someone who personally suffers from migraines, I know how devastating they can be. They make it completely impossible to get on with the day. The painful symptoms of the condition include sensitivity to light, noise and odours, upset stomach, feeling hot or cold, turning pallor, feeling exhausted, blurred vision, and headaches, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Worse, migraines can sometimes last for several days.

Unfortunately, migraines are very common, affecting more than a billion people worldwide, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

I previously wrote about how meditation helps headaches. And it turns out that we can use yoga for migraine relief too.

New research published in the journal Neurology reveals that adding yoga to your migraine treatment can reduce the severity of the pain, decrease its frequency, and reduce the amount of pills you need to take.

 

I’ve personally believed that yoga helps to alleviate migraines for many years. When I practice yoga, it helps my neck to feel better (I noticed that for me, one of the early signs of a migraine is neck ache). It also makes me breathe properly, which is certain to help overall wellbeing, and just from my personal experience, yoga makes my migraines less frequent. And now, the research from the Cleveland Clinic backs that up.

The Cleveland Clinic examined the effectiveness of yoga compared to meds for people who have migraines. And they discovered that one of the core reasons yoga helps is that it improves mood. Dr. Gautam Sharma [coauthor of the study, cardiology professor & head of the Center for Integrative Medicine and Research] said that yoga is helping for “improving the mood, decreasing depression. It’s acting like one of the anti-anxiety medicines, and all of these medicines are used for migraine.” [WebMD]

The Research
To investigate the effectiveness of yoga for migraine relief, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic has patients complete a headache log-book to record the intensity and frequency of their migraines, as well as the causes that the effects that they observed after taking pills.

The group was then divided in two. One half practised yoga with a therapist for 30 days, and the other took meds. They then continued their practices at home for 5 days a week for 30 days. The researchers found that the yoga group gradually saw a reduction in the number and frequency of headaches and took less pills. By the conclusion of the study, participants who had practised yoga saw a 47% reduction in their pill consumption and 12% were headache-free.

YogaJournal Recommends The Following Poses For Migraine Relief.
Childs pose
Forward fold
Viparita Karani (Leg-up-wall pose)
Tadasana (Mountain Pose):
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Garudasana