Doing Yoga 3 Times a Week May Help to cure Migraine Symptoms
Spending time on a yoga mat could do wonders for people with migraine. Those who added yoga to their routine found it provided better relief than medication alone.
Yoga as a migraine treatment
The yoga group underwent a 1-hour yoga practice 3 days a week for 1 month. The practice included breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga postures. After the first month, they practiced yoga at home 5 days a week for an additional 2 months.
Participants wrote down all migraine information, including the duration of the episode, severity, and medication taken.
While everyone saw improvements, the benefit was higher in those who added yoga. That group began with an average of 9.1 headaches per month and ended the 3-month study period with 4.7 headaches per month — a 48 percent reduction.
The medication-only group began the study reporting 7.7 headaches per month and reported 6.8 per month at the end of the study period. They saw a 12 percent decrease.
Yoga as medicine
Though there are questions on its efficacy, there is some evidence for relaxation therapy as a nonpharmacological treatment for migraine. 2007 studyTrusted Source in Headache that found positive benefits of yoga to treat migraine without aura.
Aside from stress reduction, there could be other effects from doing yoga that alleviate migraine symptoms.
Yoga may alter the autonomic nervous system and thus the interconnections with the trigeminal vascular system. Imaging studies have also shown a positive effect of yoga on the limbic system, pain matrix, and the brain networks including the default mode network.
Yoga may be also helpful for a number of factors that are associated with migraine, such as sleep, physical function, and quality of life.