Ayurveda Can Relieve Your Migraine Headaches
Migraines are debilitating. They are not just an intense headache. There is no official known cure for migraines, although there are medications and various treatments that can help keep the symptoms at bay and ease the pain. There is a great deal of public misconception when it comes to migraines in general. According to Tammy Rome of Migraines.com, “A migraine is a genetic, neurological disorder characterized by periodic attacks involving symptoms such as head pain, nausea & vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, odors.”
Migraines can cause an agonizing and pounding type of pain or a pulsing sensation, ordinarily on just one side of the head. It's frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and acute sensitivity to both light and sound. Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling. Many people who suffer from regular bouts of severe migraines, that don’t respond to conventional treatments, live an eternal life that is filled with hopelessness.
Some medications can help prevent some migraines and make them less painful. Those are the lucky ones. It takes months, sometimes even years, before the right medicine combination, including self-help remedies and lifestyle changes help. If Western medicine isn’t helping a patient with this horrific neurological condition, it’s reassuring to know that one of the oldest systems of holistic medicine around, Ayurveda, could be the answer to finally providing real pain relief to longtime sufferers of this condition.
A migraine, known as Ardhavbhedak (meaning 'half region of the head') in Ayurveda, is often misdiagnosed as a tension headache or a sinus-related headache. There are no tests that can accurately diagnose a migraine. It’s simply communicating with your physician what signs and symptoms you are experiencing, the frequency and duration, and some other pieces of information that bring a physician to diagnosing someone who suffers from migraines.
Ayurveda and Migraines
If you’re reading this blog, then I know you’ve heard of Ayurveda, and the mind-body principle. With Ayurveda, Migraines are often considered to be caused by deep-rooted problems such as a sensitive nervous system or impaired digestion. According to Jiva Ayurveda of Faridabad, India (http://jiva.com), “Ayurveda does not propagate short-term pain relief for migraine patients. Rather, it believes in cleaning the body from within and eradicating the disease from its roots." Ayurvedic treatment of a migraine, therefore, is centered on the pacification of Pitta Dosha (the Pitta Dosha normally controls heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body) , and restoration of digestive function in the body. Nervine tonics are also recommended to enhance the ojas (the ultimate energy reserve of the body and mind ), relax the mind and give strength to the nervous system.
Patients are given herbal medicines as well as customized diet and lifestyle plans by their body constitution and the cause of disease. When the body's digestion is enhanced, ama production gets controlled, leading to a cleansing of manovahi strotas. As a result, patients can get long-term relief from the most chronic of pains.
Ayurveda focuses on the root problems. We believe digestive, and lifestyle issues are the underlying factors that precipitate migraines. Ingestion of certain types of food, according to the Ayurveda lifestyle, could be the culprit. Here are some of the most common treatments for migraine headaches utilizing Ayurvedic principles :
- Change in diet
- Change in lifestyle (less stress)
- Improved sleep
- Deep meditation
- Potent Herbal supplements such as feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) and Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)
According to the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California, (http://chopra.com), “Regarding Ayurvedic medicine, migraine headaches are largely considered an imbalance in the Pitta dosha, which combines the elements of fire and water. When too much heat builds up in the blood vessels, they can dilate and create pressure on the nervous system, leading to migraines. Following a Pitta-pacifying diet and lifestyle may help you reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines”.For the millions that suffer from this debilitating condition who have tried everything in the books, all hope is not lost. There is hope out there, and it begins with exploring the science-backed system of Ayurvedic lifestyle treatments.