Migraine headaches are defined as pain occurring on either one or both sides of the head that is throbbing or pulsating in nature. The pain may be combined with nausea or vomiting or both. A person feels extreme sensitivity to light and may suffer from distorted vision too because of the severity of the headache. Any sound can seem menacingly high and can increase the headache. The pain can last from several hours to several days. Migraine headaches can triggered off randomly but it is not without a cause.
There is a general understanding that Migraines can also be caused because of genetic reasons. This is not true. It is important however to note that Migraines can be triggered because of Menstrual irregularities in women, because of vision impairment caused because of ophthalmic reasons and because of stress of any sort, and of course, wrong dietary habits and lifestyle.
ONLY A NADI PARIKSHA CAN DETECT A MIGRAINE ACCURATELY. A NADI VAIDYA WHO IS WELL VERSED AND VERY EXPERIENCED CAN DETECT IT.
My own experience is mentioned in this article where I suffered Migraine attacks for 19 years but was cured by my Guru. He has come as a blessing in every walk of my life and has transformed me completely in every respect.
A few causative factors in a disease manifestation need to be understood before we approach the topic of migraine. This is important as this information will forewarn you of all the actions that you should not do that will prevent a migraine attack.
Ayurveda is a science of prevention. Treatments do exist but preventing an attack can help you get rid of your problem along with some detoxification treatments and medication.
Migraines happen because of the vitiation of two primary doshas namely Vayu and Pitta.
What can aggravate Vata (imbalance of the air element) in the body ?
1. Excessive consumption of foods containing Pungent, Bitter and/or Astringent tastes.
2. Eating Cold and Dry foods
3. Eating food in a hurry
4. Being awake till late in the night
5. Holding natural urges like Urine, and Stools
6. Having excessive fear and anxiety
The following are the symptoms of Vata aggravation in relation to a Migraine (not all symptoms are addressed here);
1. Pain in the Head / Forehead
2. Pain the bones
4. Lack of sleep
5. Fullness or heaviness in the abdomen
6. Astringent taste in the mouth
7. Feeling of tiredness and fatigue
What can aggravate Pitta (imbalance of the fire element) in the body?
1. Excess intake of Sesame oil or seeds in any form
2. Unregulated intake of Alcohol, Curd (Yoghurt), Fish, and Pungent foods
3. Excessive indulgence in Salty, Pungent and Sour foods
4. Over indulgence in sexual activity during mid day and mid night
5. Over exposure to the Sun
6. Unscientific fasting
The following are the symptoms of Pitta aggravation in relation to a Migraine (not all symptoms are addressed here);
1. Giddiness with or without Vertigo
2. Feeling excessive thirst
3. Pain in various parts of the body
4. Excessive sweating
5. Looseness of stools
6. Yellowness inn Eyes, Urine and Stools and Nails
7. Bitter or salty taste in the mouth
8. Elevated body heat
An acid attack triggers of a migraine. You can read my article on acid reflux https://ayurvedantayoga.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/curing-acid-reflux/
Please note all these symptoms do not have to manifest in a Migraine but a couple of them will definitely be present before or during a Migraine attack.
THE INVOLVEMENT OF MIND AND EMOTIONS – The subtler causes of a Migraine are also Emotional and Psychological suffering because of deep seated emotions that want expression. This aspect is not understood or considered while understanding a Migraine attack, though it is a very important one.
All actions that we do in life are triggered by emotional or brashly analytical choices we make. This holds good for our lifestyle, our choice of foods, our choices we make in our conversations and also in our social interactions.
I have personally suffered Migraine attacks for 19 years and have suffered in the hands of a science that thought it could be genetic or driven by some reasons not understood by them. Yet they preferred to treat me for many years, without ascertaining any cause. I went through various ridiculous treatments and harmful medications that involved drugs and antibiotics. I was ultimately cured by my Guru who saw a big fault in dietary preferences and lifestyle disorders.
A detoxification programme called Panchakarma can help immensely in treating migraines. Dietary Counselling and Emotional counselling sessions are mandatory for patients suffering from migraines. Lifestyle changes are mandatory to being healing to the body and its deeper tissues.
There are certain home remedies and some Pranayama techniques mentioned below that can effectively dull a Migraine attack and also nullify it in the initial stages. But these cannot in any way replace professional help through Ayurveda. Please note these home remedies will work only if you have decided to change your lifestyle and food habits. There are no miraculous remedies.
The home remedies are;
- On empty stomach in the morning, cut half of a fully ripe Banana in small pieces. Add 1 tsp warm desi cow’s Ghee + 1 tsp Date sugar/Brown Sugar + 1 pinch of Cardamom powder. Mash all together and consume on empty stomach for 15 days to reduce your Pitta.
- Add 1 tsp each of Jeera & Dhania powder in 100 ml of water. Add 10 leaves of Pudina, 1 pinch Cardamom and bring the water to a boil. Add brown sugar or Jaggery for taste. Drink it hot on an empty stomach to control and settle Vayu.
The 4 simple Pranayama techniques are;
- There is a Kriya called Danda Kriya. You stick both the thumbs under the opposite armpits. This helps in balancing the flow of energy in Ida (left nostril) & Pingla (Right nostril). Thus there is equal suppy of oxygen to both sides of the brain. This harmonious flow of energy is curative in nature and will balance the flow of the 5 Pranas in the body.
- Check which nostril is actively breathing. Keep the active nostril closed and breathe through the other nostril. This will again balance the energies in both the nostrils and bring healing effects.
- There is process of breathing called the reverse yogic breathing. Here you focus on the anus and gently apply pressure to push it down. Simultaneously feel breathe entering the nostrils and flowing down towards the abdomen. This kriya will open up Apana Vayu and settle Udana and Prana Vayu. This will ease the migraine pain and bring relief.
- Lastly, practice Anuloma Viloma or alternate nostril breathing. They leave a calming, relaxing effect on the mind for a long time. It also soothes nerves, cleanses energy pathways and restores balance of energy in the mind and body. It improves body mind coordination too.
To conclude, a Migraine is not to be treated as an unknown disorder. And if it is unknown, then there cannot be known medicines for an unknown ailment.