In Ayurveda, migraine is termed as “Ardhavabhedhaka” and is mainly caused due to an imbalance in the tridoshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha doshas. These doshas have negative influence on the functioning of the nervous system, hampering memory, concentration and focus, in addition it diminishes eye health, causes irregular sleep cycle or insomnia and reduced productivity be it at work or at home.
The most defining symptom of migraine is “Ardheshirsha Vedana” means pain in half the region of the head.
Other consist of stabbing pain in the region of Manya (cervical region) Bhru (eyebrows), Karna (ears), Akshi (eyes) and Lalata (frontal head). Also, people suffering from migraine, also experience high intensity of pain with Bhrama (vertigo/dizziness), Shankhamoola Darana (tearing pain in temporal regions) and Chakshu Virajyata (redness of eyes).
Suppressing migraine pain with NSAIDS and analgesics gives short-term relief and the pain can occur again. Dependency on medicines(pain killers) decreases the body’s natural pain relief mechanism and long–term dependence can damage kidneys, liver or other vital organs.
Migraine attacks are debilitating and cause a lot of suffering. Patients usually opt for painkillers, but these treatments don’t cure the problem. People who get migraine attacks are often able to identify the causes and triggers. Over a period of time some of them can develop coping abilities and a few can prevent a full -blown attack at the first warning symptom.
FACTORS THAT CAN LEAD TO MIGRAINE
People who follow a irregular lifestyle, resulting in any type of physical distress can contributes towards migraine symptoms.
Some common causes are low blood sugar, wrong posture, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, over exposure to intense lights, sounds, or smells, severe weather changes, frequent travelling and a jet lag can also trigger the attacks.
Emotional stress plays an important role when it comes to migraines. People who are perfectionists and want things to be their way are susceptible to migraines. Other than this, Stress, over excitement, depression, inability to handle emotions, overwhelming feeling and anxiety are some other factors promoting the migraine episodes.
A faulty or imbalanced diet is a major cause of migraine headaches.
Incompatible diet, skipping meals, alcohol and caffeine consumption, monosodium glutamate, soy products and artificial sweeteners are responsible create imbalance of doshas in the body. Foods that contain additive tyramine, cheese, citrus foods, too much caffeine or tea, also, dehydration can be one of the some triggers.
Migraine headaches are often associated with female hormone estrogen. So, Menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy that cause the hormonal levels to fluctuate from its normal range, can cause migraines.
Environmental factors like change in climate or weather, fluctuating temperature, humidity, exposure to cold winds and change in altitude can induce migraine. Similarly, overexposure to bright or flickering light, extensive screen time, extreme heat or cold and strong smells can start the episode.
Medicines like Anti-depressants, nasal steroids and decongestants, birth control pills, sleeping pills are considered to cause migraine. Some medicines, both prescribed and over-the -counter can trigger migraine headaches. Overuse of pain killers, can cause these headaches. Pain killers are short-term solution. If the patient consumes it too frequently it can lead to rebound headaches.
TYPES OF MIGRAINE
Migraine headaches are of different types. The most common are Classical Migraines and Common Migraines.
Classical Migraines (Migraine with Aura)
Classical migraines begin with a warning sign called Aura. The Aura often involves changes in flashing lights, colours or shadows and temporary loss of vision.
Common Migraines (Migraine without Aura)
Common Migraines doesn’t start with Aura and hence also called as Migraines Without Aura. It starts slowly and interfere with daily activities. The pain of common migraine is only on one side of the head. This is the commonest type of migraine, hence the name.
In chronic migraines patients have at least 15headaches day within a month, with at least 8 headaches day associated with migraine features, for a period of more than 3 month
Menstrual Migraine attacks occur in a pattern, and are connected with the menstrual cycle.
Hemiplegic Migraine causes weakness/numbness on one side of the body for a temporary period.
In this type migraine episodes are connected to abnormal gut functioning or Indigestion. It generally effects children under 14 years of age.
Migraine with brainstem aura
This is a rare type of migraine which can cause severe neurological symptoms, such as affected speech.
Cluster headaches are rare headaches, occuring in patterns, known as cluster periods. Cluster headaches can be very painful. They generally cause pain on one side of your head.
Cervicogenic headaches are caused by illness or physical condition, mainly associated with neck pain or cervical pain. Mostly, this type of headache can occur by a sudden movement of neck. It occurs on one side of your head or face.
A retinal migraine occurs due to temporary vision loss in one eye, which can last from minutes to months, but usually it is reversible.
Vestibular migraine is also known as migraine-associated vertigo. This migraine affects balance and causes dizziness.
Acute migraine is known as episodic migraine. People who suffer from episodic migraines can have headaches up to 14 days a month.
SYMPTOMS OF MIGRAINE
Migraines can begin in childhood, or in early adulthood. It can undergo four stages but not for everyone: Prodrome, Aura, Attack and Postdrome.
Migraine symptoms which begin one or two days before the headache is known as Prodrome stage.
- Food cravings
- Neck stiffness
MIGRAINE WITH AURA
This is the second stage. During Aura, the patient may have problems with vision, sensation, movement and speech.
- Speaking difficulty
- Tingling sensation in face, arms or legs.
- Observing light flashes or bright spots.
- Temporary loss of vision.
- Hearing noises or music
- Uncontrollable jerking
This is the most severe pain phase, accompanied with the symptoms like
- Sensitivity increase in light and sound.
- Feeling faint
- Pain on one side of head, either on left, right, front or back side of the temples.
- Pulsing head pain
During this phase, patients have mood changes and feelings such as euphoric, extremely happy, feeling very tired and apathetic. The phase length can vary person to person. Sometimes, this phase may also be skippe
HOW TO AVOID ATTACKS?
- Avoid exposure to mid-day sun and cold winds
- Follow a regular sleep schedule with 8 hours of sleep
- Make a routine of 40-60 minutes of morning/evening walk everyday
- Follow relaxation techniques(can practice pranayamas, yoga) to deal with chronic stress
- Do not supress natural urges (sneezing, tears, moving the bowels or urinating)
- Avoid drinking and smoking
FOOD INSTRUCTIONS TO AVOID THE ATTACKS
- Freshly cooked organic food
- Consume a Pitta pacifying diet, such as sweet ripe fruits, all green vegetables, coriander, mint, coconuts, pomegranates, light dairy products, pulses, nuts and seeds
- Avoid astringent, heavy, bitter, acidic, sour, salty and pungent foods
- Avoid, chillies, aged cheeses, tomatoes, garlic, radishes, butter, yogurt, meat, stale, frozen, canned and processed foods
- Drink warm water throughout the day to stay hydrated
- Have a light breakfast and dinner
- Drink milk separately, don’t take it with other food
- Oil pulling or Kavala graha is very beneficial in treating migraine. Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in mouth on an empty stomach for 15-20 minutes and spit it out, gargle with warm water afterwards. This removes bacteria and toxins from the mouth. Later you can brush too.
- Drink warm milk with a pinch of saffron, cardamom and turmeric in it, every day.
- Soak 4-5 almonds and raisins in water overnight. Eat them and drink the water every morning.
- Grind equal quantities of roasted, cumin coriander, and fennel seeds. Add 1 tablespoon of the powder to a cup of boiling water. Let it come to room temperature and drink it on an empty stomach
- GINGER TEA – Boil a piece of ginger in water and drink it.
- Apply sandalwood or nutmeg paste on the forehead, it calms down and relaxes the mind during an attack
- PEPPERMINT TEA – peppermint herb helps in relieving a headache. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe the nerves. You can drink freshly brewed peppermint tea or even massage your temples with peppermint oil, leave it on for at least half an hour. Doing this few times a day helps with the migraine pain.
- INHALE ESSENTIAL OILS – Soothing scents can help reduce pain and ease tension by directly attacking the triggers. Stress can be a trigger for migraine headache. Lavender oil works as a mild sedative that helps calm down the mind.
Rosemary oil works well in hormonal imbalances, which is one of the major causes of migraine in women. Add 5 to 10 drops of the essential oil into hot water and inhale the steam with deep breaths.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT OF MIGRAINE
Migraine in Ayurveda is stated as Ardhavabedhaka that has one-sided pain which is intense and piercing in nature.
Ayurved considers Migraine dominated with Vata-Pitta Dosha. Affected person may have intense pain feel Redness and Burning sensation in the eyes. Usually,migraine is associated with previous history of acidity, digestive issues.
Ayurveda has a comprehensive approach towards managing headaches like Migraine by practising a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (medicines) that help in maintaining the balance of all doshas for prevention & cure of the disease.
DIET RECOMMENDATIONS (AAHAR)
Food in keeping all three doshas in balance should be eaten.
Grains/dals – Old rice, moong dal,
Vegetables – Spinach, Bitter gourd, drumstick, pointed gourd
Fruits – Mango, pomegranate, Grapes,
Oil – Cow Ghee, coconut oil
Avoid cold drinks, tea, coffee, Chocolates, Tobacco, Alcohol, Pickle, Chillies
LIFESTYLE CHANGES (VIHAR)
- Proper sleep
- Meditation and exercises can bring peace of mind, strength, purity and well-being to mind and body. Yogasanas which are good for the abdomen, head, chest and neck are found to be a good combination for this disease.
- Pranayama – Suryabhedana pranayama(right nostril breathing), Chandrabhedana pranayama(left nostril breathing), Brahmri pranayama(humming bee breath)
- Asanas : Vama pada pavana muktasana, Janu shirsasana, Uttanapadasana
AUSHADHI (ORAL MEDICATIONS and PANCHKARMA)
Panchakarma therapies with oral medications works wonders in Migraine and other disorders. Depending on the persons prakruti and dosha involvement, a set of therapies are advised
In this procedure a thin stream of medicated oil/medicated decoction is poured on the forehead of the person for relief from the pain.
A herbal paste consisting of herbs which are good for the Pitta Dosha and vata dosha balancing are applied on the head.
The pouring of the medicated oils on a leather cap that is tied to the head is also an effective technique for treating migraine.
Oil pulling is another technique that is effective in treating migraine in the longer run. It can be practiced with simply sesame oil or other medicated oil good for migraine.
SESAME OIL FOR NASYAM – migraines are mostly be associated with an aggravated vata dosha, due to mental stress or insomnia. The dry nature of vata makes you dehydrated, leading to stiffness of muscles and constipation that trigger a headache. In order to relieve this condition, put 3-4 drops of sesame oil in your nostrils, once a day till the migraine attack lasts and inhale deeply. Sesame oil gives relief from the gases that causes the headache and relaxes your body
Keeping all the doshas and symptoms in mind CHANDIGARH AYURVEDA CENTRE has manufactured “MIGRAINE GO KIT” which helps in reducing the attacks of migraine and severity of the disease and cures it from its the root.
It contains : Nerve up tablet
Brain relaxant chooran
Stress care teblet
Digestion support tablet