Migraine is a neurological disorder that causes intense, pulsing attacks that feel like headaches. It’s also associated with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to sound or light. When these symptoms occur, it’s called a migraine attack.
In conventional medicine, migraine is typically treated with pharmaceutical medications and lifestyle changes. If these treatments don’t relieve your symptoms or if you prefer more natural remedies, you may be interested in adding an integrative approach.
One option is Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine. Ayurveda uses nonconventional treatments, like herbal remedies, to manage your symptoms. Although some people have found migraine relief with Ayurveda, there isn’t scientific evidence to support its use. Some treatments might also be harmful. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Ayurvedic treatment for migraine and how it differs from traditional treatment.
To treat migraine, Ayurveda uses natural methods meant to promote doshic balance.
Panchakarma therapy is meant to detoxify, or purify, the body. This is said to remove toxins contributing to your migraine. Examples of purification treatments include:
- pouring medicated oil into the nose (nasya karma)
- whole body oil massage
- eating medicated ghee
- sweating therapy
Panchakarma therapy may also involve lifestyle changes meant to promote overall wellness. Let’s take a closer look at some of these options.
Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together your mind and body. It incorporates various breathing techniques and poses to promote relaxation. By calming your mind and body, yoga helps ease stress and anxiety and may also reduce sensitivity to pain, including migraine pain. According to a 2014 study, people who practiced yoga while following their regular migraine treatment reduced the frequency and severity of their migraine attacks Specific yoga poses may help boost your circulation and increase blood flow to your brain specifically.Poses that may be especially beneficial for migraine relief include:
- Child’s Pose
- Downward-Facing Dog
- Bridge Pose
Various relaxation techniques use the link between your mind and body to help reduce stress and tension.Some relaxation techniques that may be especially helpful for reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety include the following:
- Deep breathing. Also known as diaphragmatic or belly breathing, this technique involves breathing deeply from your belly, not from your chest. When you breathe more deeply, you nourish your body with oxygen, creating a calming effect.
- Meditation or mindfulness. Meditation and other mindfulness practices help you focus on the present moment instead of distracting thoughts of the past or future. This can help you think more clearly and change the the way you respond to stress.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Also known as Jacobson’s relaxation technique, this involves tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. You usually start at your head or feet and work your way up or down, focusing on one muscle group at a time. This may help reduce stress, ease anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
- Mental imagery. Also known as guided imagery, this technique involves conjuring up a picture in your mind of a place that makes you feel happy and relaxed. These mental images can have a calming effect on your body.