Anyone who has ever suffered from migraines knows that the headaches can be debilitating. More than 10 percent of people worldwide suffer from the condition. Stress can cause migraines, and, for some people, medication isn’t enough to prevent them. That’s why the news that gentle yoga can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines is so great! In fact, some people who added gentle yoga to their routine actually reduced their need for pills when a migraine occurred.
Yoga helps both the body and mind. As stress in the most common cause of the brutal headaches, it makes sense that yoga could be used to combat them. Gentle yoga is a type that uses slow-paces movement, relaxation and breathing exercises. That means it a great activity for people who are less mobile and aren’t up to the rigors of more strenuous exercise! We can all add a little stretching and breathing to our days.
High-intensity workouts, like running, can spark a migraine. None of the people in the study reported the yoga exercises triggering headaches. But, they didn’t do hot yoga or one of the intense versions. Researchers performing a study saw those migraine sufferers who already took medication had about half as many headaches as they usually had after three months of yoga. More than 12 percent were headache-free.
“The good news is that practicing something as simple and accessible as yoga may help much more than medications alone,” said Dr. Rohit Bhatia, the lead researcher in the study. “And all you need is a mat.” The participants had classes with a yoga instructor three times a week for a month but then continued on at home. At home, they did yoga five days a week. If you don’t have access to gym classes, you can still practice yoga. Talk to your doctor and read a book about gentle yoga.
Older trials of yoga to combat migraine pain only lasted for about a month, never considering the frequency people did yoga or the type of yoga the participants practiced. That’s why they focused on one kind of yoga, a set number of times a week, for three months.
“Yoga brings down stress, and stress is a precipitant for migraine,” said co-author Dr. Gautam Sharma. “It’s improving the mood, decreasing depression. It’s acting like one of the anti-anxiety medicines, and all of these medicines are used for migraine.”
Our team are huge fans of behaviors we can change to live better. Knowing that yoga can help people so much is a thrill for us. We want our customers to live their best lives, and this can make a difference with a healthy action. We would love to hear about your stress-busting activities. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!