Migraines, often misunderstood as just another headache, are a complex condition with a broad spectrum of symptoms. For many people, the main feature is a painful headache lasting from hours to days.
Other symptoms include disturbances in vision, sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, feeling sick, and vomiting. Migraines can be an extremely debilitating condition that significantly impacts everyday life. However, with the right treatment, they can be managed effectively.
Ayurveda, an ancient Indian form of medicine, has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions, including migraines. Ayurvedic remedies focus on balancing the body’s physical and mental states by incorporating natural ingredients and lifestyle modifications. These remedies not only provide quick relief but also prevent future migraine attacks.
What causes migraine?
Migraines are a type of headache characterized by intense, throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but they are believed to result from abnormal brain activity affecting nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain.
Several factors are thought to trigger migraines. These include hormonal changes (especially in women), certain foods and drinks (like aged cheeses, alcohol, and caffeine), stress, sensory stimuli, changes in sleep patterns, physical exertion, and changes in weather or barometric pressure. Some people may also have a genetic predisposition to migraines, as the condition tends to run in families.
It’s important to note that triggers can vary from person to person, and what causes a migraine in one individual may not cause it in another. Moreover, migraines are complex and can be influenced by multiple factors simultaneously.
Ayurvedic remedies for migraine:
Shirolepa is a traditional Ayurvedic therapy that involves applying herbal pastes to the forehead region. The paste, made from herbs like sandalwood, camphor, and ginger, has a cooling effect that helps alleviate migraine pain. The main aspect of this treatment is that it targets the root cause of migraines by detoxifying the body and promoting relaxation. During the therapy, the paste is applied to the forehead and kept for a specific duration. It is then cleaned off with warm water, leaving a soothing effect on the head and mind.
In this Ayurvedic treatment, a continuous stream of warm herbal oil is poured over the forehead region. Shirodhara works by calming and balancing the mind, making it highly effective for managing migraines caused by stress or anxiety. The rhythmic flow of oil over the forehead also has a sedative effect on the nervous system, promoting deep relaxation. It is recommended to undergo a series of Shirodhara sessions for long-term relief from migraines.
Kavala Graha, also known as oil pulling, is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing herbal oils in the mouth for several minutes. Apart from its dental benefits, Kavala Graha has been found to be effective in managing migraines caused by sinus congestion or allergies. The practice helps clear the sinuses and promote detoxification, leading to a reduction in migraine episodes. Moreover, Kavala Graha can also improve overall oral and immune health.
Nasya is a therapeutic practice in Ayurveda that involves administering herbal oils into the nasal passage. It helps stimulate the nerves in the brain, calming the mind and reducing migraine pain. The oils used in this treatment have anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate sinus-related migraines. In this process, the person lies down, and the herbal oils are instilled into one nostril at a time. Nasya is also known to improve overall respiratory health.
Sneha Basti is a type of Ayurvedic enema that uses herbal oils or ghee to lubricate and nourish the colon. This treatment helps in balancing Vata dosha, which is responsible for causing migraines, according to Ayurveda. It also has a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and tension that can trigger migraines. Sneha Basti is usually recommended as a preventive therapy for chronic migraines. It can also improve digestion and relieve constipation, contributing to overall well-being.
What to do in case of extreme migraine pain?
In case of extreme migraine pain, it’s recommended that one should rest in a quiet and dark room. The person can also apply a cold compress on the forehead, temples, or neck to alleviate pain. However, if the migraine persists for more than 72 hours, it’s essential to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment. Seeking medical help is important as chronic migraines can have a severe impact on daily life and mental health.
To summarize, Ayurveda offers various effective remedies for treating and preventing migraines. Nasya and Sneha Basti are two popular treatments that can provide relief from migraine pain. In addition, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper diet, exercise, and stress management techniques to prevent recurring migraines. Consulting an Ayurvedic practitioner and following their recommendations can help get rid of migraines and improve overall health.