What is Migraine?
Migraine headache is one among the foremost severe styles of headaches. an oversized share of patients fail pharmaceutical treatments for acute migraine attacks or preventing measures. Headaches in Ayurveda are classified supported doshic involvement (body-mind-spirit). Migraine is generally a vata-pitta dosha or tridoshic condition however it can even be triggered by anybody of the individual doshas. Ayurveda believes in treating the illness at its root cause from inside. Therefore, treatments specialize in reconciliation with the vitiated dosha within the biological process and nervous systems. this could be achieved by avoiding triggers and prescribing doshic-specific diet, stress management (meditation, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, yoga, and mantra), herbal formulas, lifestyle modification, panchakarma and alternative holistic modalities to make a balanced physiology.
Migraine could be a genetic neurological disease that affects thirty-six million Americans. Migraines are powerful headaches that usually are characterized by severe throbbing head pain on one aspect of the top which will last from four to seventy-two hours. a minimum of two to three of the subsequent symptoms could co-occur: nausea, vomiting, loss of craving, blurred vision, sensitivity to lightweight, noise and smells, lightheadedness, looseness of the bowels and scalp tenderness. Currently, migraines are primarily managed by avoiding triggers, taking preventive medications or aborting acute attacks with the utilization of prescribed medications.
Rare varieties of migraine disease:
a) Basilar type migraine: This migraine is with aura and rises from the bottom of the brain (brain stem). The aura includes vertigo, visual symptoms like diplopia, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), nausea or projection, problem speaking, ablated level of consciousness and unsteady body movements.
b) a Confusional migraine: this is often a migraine with aura that affects the brain’s centres of consciousness within the neural structure. Persons with a confusional headache may have a cognitive state, confusion, speech impairment and disorientation.
c) a Retinal migraine: this sort of migraine has AN aura that has blind spots and visual issues that originate from the membrane. The visual aura of retinal migraines typically last many minutes and might occur in one solely eye.
e) Status migrainosus: This headache is often either with or while not aura and is incredibly painful. It will last over seventy-two hours and even up to 1 week. Most of the time patients expertise severe pain and nausea and need hospitalization.
f) Ophthalmologic migraine: This type o a migraine-like headache is currently thought-about an inflammatory bone pathology.
g) Late-life migraine: this sort of migraine has the visual issues of AN aura, however, the patient has no head pain. It develops in older adults World Health Organization might have had a history of a headache or World Health Organization might ne’er have had a headache before. The person can have blind spots that slowly seem within the field of vision additionally to having some tingling or symptom and different motor or sensory issues.
h) Menstrual migraine: This type is due to drop in estrogen level before menses which causes a loss of serotonergic tone. They are more painful, less responsive 2 to treatment and last longer compared to other headaches that occur during the cycle.
Migraine triggers: Avoiding migraine triggers is one of the best ways to prevent headaches. A migraine trigger is something that can initiate or set off a migraine attack. Each individual may react differently to triggers.
Some common triggers include:
i. Sleep: Adults need to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and children and teens at least 9 hours. Migraine patients who get 6 hours of sleep or less have more frequent headaches. In addition, one should have a regular sleep schedule. If there are numerous changes in sleep hours and bedtime routine, sleeping in on the weekend or even taking an afternoon nap can trigger a headache in migraine sufferers.
ii. Stress: Stress is one of the most common migraine triggers. Biological changes and hormonal fluctuations during stress can make migraine patients more sensitive to other triggers.
iii. Meals: Skipping meals ( low blood sugar) or not having a regular meal schedule can be a problem for migraineurs. Stress hormones are released during fasting may also be an important factor in causing migraine.
Food triggers: Some foods and drinks (alcohol, caffeine, vitamin waters, energy drinks) can trigger a migraine attack. Tyramine-containing foods 5 (hard cheeses, fermented or pickled foods, smoked meats, chocolate, soy sauce, onions, nuts), phenylethylamine (chocolate), histamine (eggplant, spinach, certain fish species), drinks that ferment (vinegar, wine, beer, sauerkraut). Many food additives, preservatives, and color can also trigger migraines. There is monosodium glutamate ( MSG) in Chinese food, seasonings, sauces, parmesan cheese and meat tenderizers, sodium nitrite (sausage, hot dogs, deli meat, canned and packaged meat, smoked and dehydrated food products); FD&C yellow #5 (tartrazine) in soft drinks, cosmetics, many medicines and ice cream.
Weather Triggers: Any changes in temperature, barometric pressure and humidity can trigger migraine.
Travel triggers: Traveling can create irregular sleep and meal schedule and the stress of keeping track of budget and itinerary.
Sensory triggers: Sight (sensitivity to bright or flickering lights, certain colours, pattern glare, fluorescent lights), sound (loud noises), smell (certain chemicals in fumes, perfumes, smoke, pollution, automobile exhaust and odours) can cause migraine.
Hormonal triggers: Some women have migraine due to hormonal changes (mainly estrogen) during their monthly menstrual cycle.
Ayurvedic treatment modalities for migraine headache:
Lifestyle modification: Migraine (Ardhavabhedaka) and other type headaches can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, eating routine and working habits and avoiding migraine triggers can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Some of this healthy lifestyle include:
A. Proper morning routine: Daily elimination to empty bowels, inspecting tongue for any coating, brushing/flossing teeth, massaging gums, cleaning nasal passages (neti pot), self-abhyanga (daily oil application on skin and massaging), massaging ears with oils, practising meditation, washing eyes at least once per week.
B. Proper sleep routine: Proper sleep pattern means that one must go to bed and rise according to the rhythms of nature. Vata nature people must wake up with the sun and pitta wake up half an hour before the sun and kapha one hour before the sun. It is suggested that one go to bed by 10 pm for all constitutions
C. Stress (Sahasa) management: One must both avoid factors that induce stress and vitiate doshas and also learn coping mechanisms for life stressors.
Yoga for headaches: Since stress is an important factor in creating both migraine and tension headaches, yoga can without doubt help in preventing these types of headaches. Yoga can also help with tension in the muscles of the neck, back and head which contribute to headaches. Yoga helps to release tight muscles and improve blood circulation in that region. Yoga helps relax the mind as well. Rodney Yee recommends a sequence of practices and instructions as follows: Legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita karani) for five minutes or longer, supported cobbler’s pose, half plow pose (Ardha Halasana), one-legged forward bend (Janu Sirasasana) with head support, seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana) with head support.
Meditation: Stress is a major contributor to both tension and migraine headaches. AH-OM Breath meditation can reduce stress. In this meditation, sit in a comfortable position. There are many types of meditations available. One can focus on the mantra and/or awareness of breath and let thoughts fade away. With an exhalation, silently say or hear AAAAHHHHH and take a deep long inhalation filling your lungs and abdomen. When you exhale which is longer than inhalation, say/hear in your mind OOOOOMMMM while exhaling all the air and pull the navel in towards the 16 spines. Walking meditation, Zen breathing exercises, yoga complete breath (Ujjayi), pebble meditation, music meditation, well-being meditation are other options. In addition, keeping a proper posture and alignment of the head and neck during breathing meditation can help reduce tension and migraine headaches. Massage therapy, topical heat or cold and stretching exercises can also help minimize the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. It is very important that migraineurs get the proper amount of sleep.
Balms/herbal pastes for headaches: A mixture of herbal essential oils can help to alleviate a headache. Peppermint essential oil in massage oils and balm can with help with migraine. Combine the following essential oils in a base oil (almond, coconut or sesame oil) for quick relief of a headache: 5 parts eucalyptus oil, 1 part anise oil, 1 part menthol crystals, 1 part camphor.
Pranayama (breathing exercises): Different types of breathing exercises have different effects on the body, mind, and spirit. Breathing practices purify nadis (subtle channels that carry prana through the field of mind). If a headache is due to vata vitiation, one can benefit from alternate nostril breathing (Anuloma Viloma). If a headache is due to pitta vitiation, doing lunar and shitali pranayama can help and if due to kapha dosha vitiation, solar and kapalabhati pranayama can be beneficial.
Soothing nose drops (Nasya): Putting about 5 drops of Brahmi ghee in each nostril can alleviate the pain of migraine headache. In vata-type headaches, placing 3-5 drops of warm ghee in each nostril can help to calm down a headache.