A combination of yoga postures, breathing exercises and relaxation may help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine. Gentle yoga postures and breathing techniques are believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system, and studies have suggested that yoga can help alleviate various forms of pain, from chronic back pain to the joint pain of arthritis. Indian Researchers from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, randomly divided 72 migraine sufferers into two groups. One group received education on managing their pain by avoiding migraine triggers and making diet and lifestyle changes. The other group received yoga therapy, which included gentle yoga postures, breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation. Participants practiced five days a week for one hour each day, except on days when they were having a migraine attack or just recovering from one. After three months, the yoga group showed an overall improvement in the frequency and intensity of their migraine attacks, whereas the comparison group showed either no change or worsened symptoms. It was found that among 72 adults suffering from migraine, patients undergoing yoga programme started having less headaches and endured less pain with each migraine attack, when compared with patients assigned to a self-care group. The pain relief also brought considerable improvement in symptoms of anxiety and depression. The findings provide preliminary evidence that integrated yoga therapy can be an effective treatment for migraine. However, larger, longer-term studies are needed to confirm these results.
Asked On : Thu, 25 Dec 2008