Ayurvedic lifestyle can bring significant improvements in the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
Before we look at the ideal lifestyle for a migraine patient, it is essential to note that Ayurveda suggests gradual changes, at a maximum speed of one change one day. Therefore, do not try to implement all the changes at the same time.
Also, lifestyle changes should come at a moderate speed. For example, if you go to sleep at 1 am, start by going to bed at 12.30 am and gradually reduce by 5 to 20 minutes each day according to convenience.
If you try to implement all the changes at the same time, it might disturb the metabolic momentum of your body. So, as you have to slow down the speed of your car before taking a turn, you must slow down before redirecting your physiology. Otherwise, the body and the mind might revolt, and the entire effort might end up in a failure.
But, it is vital to make the change, in any sequence. So, you can choose any change that looks practical and applicable. It is not possible to go to sleep early if you work on a night shift. You cannot change that without a meaningful life declutter. But, there are other changes that you can quickly implement. Do what’s doable, and leave the rest. I have made an exhaustive list, but I confess that I am not able to follow all the rules myself. Take the slip and make it flip!
These are the primary health protocols that each person, whether healthy or sick, must strive to follow. According to Ayurveda, Agni or digestive fire is the core of entire metabolism. And for permanent relief from any disorder, we must preserve this fire that burns the evil and nourishes the good!
Migraine Special Lifestyle
What to Avoid
A migraine patient should avoid vata vitiation at all costs. And therefore he should avoid the following factors –
- Excessive exercise
- Excessive indulgence in sexual activity
- Heavy manual labor
- Controlling natural urges like defecation, hunger, sleep, burping etc.
- Exposure to extreme temperature fluctuations
- Cold water bath
- Excessive use of a hairdryer
- Exposure to harsh sunlight, strong wind, etc. for a long duration.
- Eating extremely cold/hot food together in a meal – e.g., ice-cream with soup/hot chocolate.
- Frequent mid-meal snacking
- Cold food like Ice-creams, soft drinks, etc.
- Eating excessive amount of dry food
- Digging nose (if you do)
- Alcohol intake
- Any intoxicant – drugs, weed, etc.
- Sleeping in the day time or daily light transition period (sunrise/sunset)
- Eating heavy food after sunset or before sunrise
All these factors disrupt the healthy metabolism of the body. They can trigger excess mucus production and clog the channels (ice creams, soft drinks), create dryness and lose of moisture (manual labour, alcohol etc.) and thus vitiate vata dosha as a result.
You might also have your unique triggers for migraine stimulation. I know a person who gets a migraine attack whenever he consumes Ashwagandha (an Ayurvedic medicinal herb). Be careful about your triggers and try to avoid them till the treatment protocol is over.
What to Do
Some of the Lifestyle changes highly recommended for migraine patients are –
Brahma Muhurata Jagarana
Waking up early morning before sunset can solve more than 50% aggrarvation problems in migraine. However, as stated earlier, you should take it easy and go for a gradual change over a few months.
Usha Paan is a traditional morning ritual of drinking water. Ideally, you should store water in the copper vessel overnight and drink it in the morning. You can drink water normal or lukewarm according to your comfort and the external climatic condition.
The above link for ushapaan is the primary method. The advanced form of Usha paan drinking water in the morning is done not through the mouth but the nasal passage. Before the advanced stage, you must practice neti kriya, which is another important migraine prevention factor. I will have a future post on this procedure.
In this method, you insert the lukewarm water through the nasal cavity(nostrils) instead of the oral cavity (mouth).
After regular use practice of Advanced ushapaan. After daily use of advanced ushapaan, You will notice a definite decrease in the intensity and of Migraine within one month.
After you are comfortable with the basic stage, you can move to drink water through the nose, just like an elephant. Just like yoga, Ayyurvedic procedures also emerge from the nature. And elephants have the most remarkable memory among all animals, even better than humans!
Kill the Pain
Try to avoid pain killers for migraine pain. They don’t kill the pain. Pain killers hide the pain and kill our liver and kidney in exchange. Here are some alternatives that might help you combat the pain in a simple manner –
Nasya (painkiller nasal drops)
According to Ayurveda, the nose is the entrance to the head. And nasal drops are the primary treatment for all kinds of head disorders, right from the common cold to facial paralysis. Nasal drops can also effectively bring down the migraine pain without any side-effects. They have a faster action as compared to the medicines that go through the oral route.
Precaution – all nasal drops should be used at an average temperature, except cow’s Ghee. Solidified cow’s Ghee should be heated to a mildly high temperature to make it liquid again, before using it as a nasal drops.
For use in mild migraine pain or a pre-migraine aura
Almond oil: 5-6 drops
Cow’s Ghee: 5-6 drops
For severe migraine pain
Anu tailam: 5-6 drops
This Ayurvedic preparation might cause pain in the nasal passage. However, it effectively clears the mucus and reduces swelling in the nasal vessels. In fact, initially the pain is so sharp that it will put aside your migraine pain, ha ha ha, just kidding! I have personally used it many times and have found it incredibly useful. But yes, it does pain initially. To get used to the pain, you can start with 1-2 drops and gradually increase the dosage.
It is beneficial in short term pain control as well as long term migraine relief. In fact, Acharya Charak recommends use of Anu Taila everyday as a prevention of all imaginable disorders in head region, right from hair-loss to dementia. If you are fine with the piercing feeling, you can use it even before the migraine starts.
This is the savior preparation for all migraine patients. Shat-bindu Tailam is a stronger and more effective option than Anu Tailam. And it also pains a little as Anu tailam.
You can safely use these nasal drops SOS in case of migraine pain. In future posts, I will cover their systematic intake for complete relief from migraine.
I sincerely hope that this information brings you the best of Ayurvedic benefits.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!