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Yoga for Migraine Pain Management

Can yoga heal migraine headaches?

Some people may have the misconception that yoga means purely a person wearing a loincloth and contorting his or her body into impossible positions. The primary goal of yoga therapy is not achieving a state of acrobatic agility.

In fact yoga comes from the Sanskrit work “yuj” which actually means to harness or to fix together the mind, body and breathing of an individual into perfect balance. Yoga applies to achieving balance in three different arenas:

  1. The first is the physical, which is actually the various exercise postures known as asanas. The important goal is to try to perform the postures in a particular sequence that will help in improving circulation, restoring normal body alignment, the relaxation and toning of the muscles as well in providing deep massage to the inner muscles. Proceed to the second aspect after mastering the physical aspect.
  2. The second aspect of yoga is the breathing techniques called pranayama. These are the slow, appropriate breathing techniques that fills the lungs, restore the body’s vital energies and are essential for meditation and relaxation.
  3. The third aspect of yoga is the role of meditation, called dhyanas, which aims to quiet the mind from all of life’s busyness, brings enlightenment, peace and tranquility.  Indeed meditation will be made more achievable by the proper posture and breathing techniques.

Types of yoga

There are many types of yoga and a variety of forms but the two most popular are:

  1. Raja Yoga which refers to the yoga therapy that focuses on the mind. This is consistent with the prior relaxation therapies.
  2. Hatha Yoga is the yoga of willpower and this attempts to help reach a spiritual cleansing through refocusing the body’s energy centers.

As mentioned, yoga can take many techniques and is definitely very appropriate for use in the prevention of migraine when it is fully mastered. It would be rather difficult to begin yoga therapy for the first time when in the throes of the sick, nauseating migraine. However, if one has mastered these therapies such as stretching, breathing, and meditation processes, whether singly or in a combined fashion, they can be quite powerful tools to refocus the body’s attention from the migraine onto more positive images.

Yoga has also been proven to be equally beneficial in many other ailments which includes:

  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Painful menstruation

In the past decade, yoga therapy has exploded in Canada and the United States as more and more people are seeking natural healing ways for treatment of chronic health problems and improving their overall mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.