Naturalistic practices such as yoga and reflexology can provide relief from migraine pain. Yoga helps increase blood flow as it relaxes the body’s muscles. Yoga can also help decrease stress, which can lessen the frequency of migraines. Reflexology can also increase blood flow and reduce stress to relieve migraines and reduce their frequency.
Practice Yoga Daily
Naturally, before going into any potentially strenuous physical regimen, we recommend consulting with your primary care physician to ensure that you’re physically fit to perform yoga. Once you’re cleared however, the benefits of going through a number of yoga poses each morning are amazing, and also extend into helping alleviate migraines and reduce their frequency. Be sure to hold each of these poses for up to a minute, relaxing and breathing as you hold them. Repeat the sequence up to four times.
Big Toe Pose: Fold forward and grab your big toes, pulling your torso to your knees. This pose gently lengthens and strengthens even stubbornly tight hamstrings. It increases blood flow and flexibility which can help soothe headaches.
Downward Dog: Transition to Downward Dog by stepping back from your standing fold into a sharp upside down V shape. Palms flat on the floor, with thighs and spine at about a 90° angle. This is a rejuvenating stretch for the entire body.
Child’s Pose: Now, bend the knees and lower them to the floor. Kneel with your knees wide. Lower your head to the mat and walk your fingers forward to stretch the shoulders. This relieves stress in the back and the shoulders.
Dolphin: Now, come up into Dolphin’s pose. Curl your toes under as if you were coming back up into Down Dog, but leave your elbows on the floor. This pose strengthens the core and stretches your shoulders.
Standing Wide Angle Fold: Stand all the way up with your feet spaced wide apart. Tuck the tailbone under and lengthen the lower back. Fold forward taking the hands to the ankles. Bend your elbows to help draw your head to the floor. This is good for the hips and spine.
Seated Forward Fold: Sit on the mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Flex your toes back towards you. Press the sitting bones into the floor and lift your spine. Inhale with your arms up, then exhale and bend forward reaching the hands towards the toes. Take your chin towards the chest and lengthen the back of the neck. This pose wakes up the peripatetic nervous system, which can help alleviate migraines.
Legs Up the Wall: Finally, end with Legs Up the Wall. Many yogis believe this pose can cure anything. Sit next to a wall and turn sideways; swing your legs up the wall. You can be several inches from the wall if that feels more comfortable. Hold the pose for several minutes.
Reflexology is another technique that helps the body increase blood flow. This ancient healing method uses pressure applied to points on the hands and feet to release energy throughout the body. Pressure applied to certain points can help relieve migraines.
The reflexology point for migraines is said to be located on the inside of the big toe between the big toe and second toe. Massaging this point with the thumb and fingers can be helpful. Press and rub this area, starting at the tip of the toe and working down to the base. When you get to the base, pick up your thumb and go back to the top of the toe, starting all over again. Do this for about a minute. If your migraine is on the left side of your head, massage the right toe and vice versa.
Houston Headache Institute
At the Houston Headache Institute, we know that migraines are painful and we want to help you get rid of them. Try these techniques daily. Contact us today to set up a consultation to let us see what we can do to relieve your pain!