Migraine again? These five lifestyle changes promise relief and a whole lot more peace
I’ve heard many of us saying that they are on pills for migraines and that it’s ‘killing’ them. But, let’s ask ourselves — what is actually a migraine? It may be a severe and agonising headache that causes severe reverberating pain or a pulsating sensation, which may last for hours or maybe days. A migraine isn’t a predictable disorder for all people. Keep track of when migraines occur by employing a paper or digital headache diary log to trace pain levels, triggers, and symptoms. This will help identify patterns that precede a migraine and factors that contribute to the event of the headache. Once these are known, lifestyle modifications can lessen their impact. Simple things like changes to a traditional routine can disable a migraine attack. Understanding how lifestyle affects the severity and frequency of attacks are often a large part of successful migraine prevention.
It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to completely change a particular lifestyle. However, certain things are relatively easy to try out. For instance:
Sleep: Maintain a regular sleep pattern. Sleep and awaken at the same time everyday.
Activity: Follow a thumb rule of exercising regularly. For example, aerobics for a minimum of half an hour three times each week will help reduce the frequency or severity of migraine. Regular aerobics reduces tension and may help prevent migraines. If your doctor agrees, choose any aerobics you enjoy, including walking, swimming and cycling. Warm-up gradually and slowly, because sudden and intense exercise can cause headaches. Regular exercise also can help to reduce or maintain a healthy weight, and obesity is assumed to be an element in migraines.
Progressive muscle relaxation: It’s a way of relaxation that teaches us ways to calm and relax our muscles through a two-step process. First, you systematically tense particular muscle groups in your body, like your neck and shoulders. Next, you release the strain and see how your muscles feel once you relax them. This exercise will assist in lowering overall tension and stress levels, and help one relax when feeling anxious. It also can help reduce physical problems like stomach aches and headaches, as well as improve your sleep.
Certain yoga postures are extremely beneficial for migraines. A number of these are moon salutation, boat pose, bow pose (dhanurasan), spinal twist (matsyendrassana), tree pose and standing on your toes. Also pranayam (breathing exercises) has a future impact in maintaining good health.
Eat regular meals: Don’t skip meals and eat an honest and healthy breakfast. Avoid eating high-sugar foods on an empty stomach, when excessively hungry, or in situ of a meal. All food, especially high protein foods, should be prepared and eaten fresh (storage can raise tyrosine content). Take care of leftovers held for one or two days at refrigerator temperature. Freeze leftovers that you simply want to store for two or three days.
Massage: Massage the temples with peppermint volatile oil or lavender oil. Aromatherapy or steam inhalations with essential oils or by rubbing oils on the temples during a migraine helps to relax the mind. Essential oils are thought to vary the perception of pain and to encourage relaxation and calm our senses. Oils that are beneficial are lavender, ginger, tulsi and peppermint oils.
The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.