Survival kit for headaches
Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints. Most people experience them at some point in their life. They can affect anyone regardless of age, race and gender.
Headaches occur when we are subjected to triggers such as stress, emotional distress, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, hormone fluctuations, allergic reactions and a reaction to certain medications.
A headache can occur in any part of the head on both sides of the head or in just one location. There are different ways to define headaches. It’s the swelling and constriction of the blood vessels in the head, face and neck that cause headache pain.
The good news!!!
Finding Relief: How Yoga Can Help
Because stress is one of the main headache triggers, finding ways to reduce and manage stress is an essential part of prevention and Yoga helps to reduce stress.
When the first signs of a headache strike practice soothing yoga postures. Having experienced headaches and migraines myself I have found the following poses the most beneficial.
If possible practice this sequence when a headache first come on but what you’ll find the most effective is to try doing the poses as a preventive measure on particularly stressful days.
Child’s Pose (Adho Mukha Virasana)
- Kneel on the floor with a bolster placed horizontally before you.
- Let the knees spread apart wide, and stretch the trunk and arms forward.
- Take hold of opposite elbows and rest your forehead on the bolster.
- Close your eyes, relax completely, and remain in the pose for 3–5 minutes.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Badha Konasana)
- Place a folded blanket at the top of a bolster.
- Sit in front of the bolster, facing away from it, and bring your feet together, letting the knees move all the way apart to the floor.
- Add a folded blanket under each knee for additional support, if necessary.
- Belt a strap behind your sacrum, over and around your hips and shins, and underneath your feet.
- Tighten the strap until you feel a firm sense of support. Lie back on the bolster and rest your head on the blanket.
- Relax and rest here for 5–10 minutes.
Bridge Pose with Bolsters (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Lie on your bolster with your shoulders and head resting on the bolster also.
- Place a folded blanket under your head. Rest the arms alongside your body allowing the shoulders to drop and relax.
- Breathing slowly for 10 breaths and stay in this position for 5–10 minutes.
Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
- Sit on the floor and turn onto your right side, propping yourself up with your hands. Arrange your lower back on the bolster or a few rolled up blankets.
- Lift your legs up and inch up closer to the wall until the back of your legs rests on the wall. It’s a little tricky to get into a first but once you’re in it it’s worth it!!
- Adjust your position on the bolster so that the lower back feels lifted and supported. You may want to place a folded blanket under your head. *(This pose is an inversion so leave it out of the sequence during menstruation.)
Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
- Place a folded blanket under your head and a bolster under your thighs.
- For optimum comfort place a blanket over your body.
- Breath very slowly through your nose for 10 breaths allowing your body to release and let go of the pain with each exhalation.
- Close your eyes and rest here, letting your body relaxing your entire body for 5–10 minutes