Tired of popping pills for headaches? Try these Yoga poses instead
Given our present lifestyle choices, headaches (especially migraines) are becoming a common condition nowadays and include symptoms like throbbing pain in the head which are often accompanied by vomiting and nausea and also causes sensitivity to light or a partial loss of vision but fitness experts believe that relief can be sought through Yogic practises as an aligned Yoga practice will open all blockages in the body and will ensure the proper flow of blood and oxygen. Yoga asanas can relieve people from the discomfort of chronic disorders and can benefit them in the condition of migraine or throbbing headaches.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Hansaji Yogendra, Director of The Yoga Institute shared, “There are over 150 types of headaches. Tension headaches, migraine headaches, sinus headaches due to sinusitis, hormonal headache due to menstrual cycle etc. are some of the common causes of headaches. Yoga has some powerful techniques which can give you instant relief from these headaches.”
Echoing the same, Yogini Deepal Modi, Celebrity Yoga Therapist, gushed, “Headache is the most common problem. Yoga is for healing. It is good for correction and repair of disorders. It helps you to heal in a holistic way.” Asserting that Yoga has a solution to all problems of humanity, Dr Mickey Mehta, leading fitness guru and holistic expert elaborated, “Headaches are very often experienced in our stressful lives due to various reasons. It is a pain in your head or face that could be throbbing, constant, sharp or dull.”
He added, "It is the major cause of absenteeism from work or school, which hampers our social and family lives. It can be treated with medications and stress management techniques like Yoga. Headaches have a tendency to run in families especially migraines. Kids are up to four times more likely to develop migraines, whose parents have it too. They can be also triggered by environmental factors.
Yoga poses for treating headaches:
While occasional, mild headaches can be treated with pain relievers at home and other self-care treatment like applying heat or cold packs to you head, Dr Mickey Mehta insisted on doing stretching exercises, massaging your head, neck or back, using bhringraj oil or brahmi oil for foot and scalp massage, resting in a dark and quiet room and taking a walk outdoors. He advised, “Yogic forward bends like Balasana (child pose), hasta padasana (hand to foot pose), Naukasana (boat pose), Dhanurasana (bow pose), Tadasana (palm tree pose, spinal twist and leg raise in supine position are helpful. Brahmari (Humming bee sound) pranayama can be very effective.”
Apart from these, he suggested that Nasya technique with ghee is beneficial according to Ayurveda while steam inhalation with a few drops of eucalyptus oil is also beneficial. According to Yogini Deepal Modi, “Forward bend poses like Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend pose), Balasana (child pose), upward stretch like tadasana (tree pose) and Gaumukhasana (cow pose) with breathing awareness are helpful for curing headache. Pranayam like anulom - vilom helps cure headache immediately.”
Adding to the list of Yoga asanas for treating headaches, Dr Hansaji Yogendra suggested, “Kriyas like kapal randhra dhauti, kapal bhati, and jal neti can help in relieving the pain. These techniques clear your sinuses and tensions in your facial muscles and make you breathe better. When you breathe well, there will be no headaches. Relaxation asanas like shavasana and makarasana works wonders. Also, asanas that improve blood supply to head region like Hastapadasna, Viparitkarni and Yoga mudra can instantly help in overcoming headaches.”
It is important to note that though these tips are useful in relieving headache, consult a doctor if it persists for a long period of time along with neurological symptoms such as blurred vision, difficulty in coordination or speech, memory loss, numbness or weakness in your arms or legs etc.