Migraine is a neurological problem in which a person experiences pulses of headaches on one side of the head, which are more serious than normal headaches. The condition of migraine gets worse with any kind of physical activity, lights, sounds or smell. The duration for which migraines lasts is an hour to even some days. It causes symptoms like pain, tiredness, nausea, visual disturbances, numbness, difficulty in sleeping, temporary loss of vision and many more. Sometimes, it is also accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
“Suryavartha soola” is the term for migraine in Ayurveda, where ‘surya’ means ‘sun’ and ‘avartha’ means ‘arise of affliction’. Hence, it is aggravation of pain with light and heat. According to Ayurveda, migraines are caused due to imbalance in Pitta and Vata dosha. When Pitta dosha gets aggravated, it manifests symptoms like burning, shearing, and sharp pain within the body. This trigger to heat in the body also triggers migraines. The main reasons for Pitta imbalances are digestion, accumulation of digestive toxins, exposure of environmental pollution which is found in food, air and water. It is also triggered by stress, anger, frustration and mood swings.
The treatment for migraines in Ayurveda starts with Panchakarma procedures for detoxification in the body, which includes treatments like shirodhara, shiroabhyanga, sirovasthi, etc. Further, nasya treatment is given to eliminate the toxins accumulated in sinuses. The migraines in Ayurveda are managed by suggesting proper diet and exercise plan along with some breathing exercise that helps in avoiding this condition in future.
Ayurveda focuses on eliminating the root cause of migraines. The line of treatment includes:
Along with this, special focus is also given in maintaining proper diet and exercise routine that will help in balancing doshas and avoid further accumulation of toxins in the body.
“The ayurvedic approach of disease looks for the root cause and not merely the symptoms. The basic principles of Ayurveda consider an individual human a specific identity and hence his treatment giving importance to the treatment of the patient rather than the treatment of the disease.”
“Since Ayurveda focuses on the root-cause of the disease, it effectively reduces the risk of severe health complications arising out of the untreated underlying cause. Patients who complete their Ayurveda treatment have a reduced risk of health complications later.”
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Migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. The episodes of migraines affect one side of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from a few hours to three days.
The symptoms of migraines are food cravings, depression, fatigue, low energy, and hyperactivity.
Migraine can progress through four stages-
Migraine is caused by vitiation of vata (or vata and kapha). Ayurveda aims to stabilize these doshas through holistic treatments.
In Ayurveda, Migraine is referred to as ‘Sooryavarta’. Soorya means ‘Sun’ and avarta means ‘Affliction’ or ‘Blockage’. Some therapies which are followed in Ayurveda: Shirolepa— application of herbal pastes. Shirodhara—pouring of a thin stream of liquid over the scalp.
Acupuncture has a small effect in reducing migraine frequency, compared to sham acupuncture, a practice where needles are placed randomly or do not penetrate the skin.
A migraine usually lasts from 4—72 hours if untreated. It can cause severe, recurrent, and potentially disabling headaches that typically last upto 3 days.
In ayurveda, the line of treatment for migraine is the nasya karma, followed by whole body oil massage, intake of mild and soothing herbs and sweating therapy.
Migraines sufferers do best when they follow a routine. Regular meal times, regular sleep patterns, regular menstrual cycle and regular exercise schedule can prevent migraine. Very often, modest “tweaking” of lifestyle can result in huge decreases in the frequency and severity of headache.
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