Can Yoga Help with Headaches?

Can Yoga Help with Headaches?

Few things are more painful and irritating than a headache. Whether you’re suffering from a headache due to dehydration or have been diagnosed with a chronic migraine condition, both are likely to leave you feeling less than inclined to participate in daily activities.

For those who suffer from consistent headaches, understanding what triggers your pain is paramount in preventing it. Depending on the root cause, your doctor may recommend certain forms of exercise — like yoga — as a strategy to improve your lifestyle and reduce the intensity and frequency of headache episodes.

Can yoga in Mornington help with headaches? Read on to find out!

What is a headache?

A headache is pain that is experienced in any part of your head or face. There are different types of headaches, each characterised by different symptoms. Some types of headaches are easily resolved through rest, food, and hydrating liquid. Others have no clear cause and may take days to clear up.

Common headaches include:

Migraine:

A migraine is a throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head. It tends to come accompanied by other symptoms, including nausea, disturbed vision, and sensitivity to light.

Migraines have distinct phases, which can help someone suffering from this condition identify what is happening. There is generally a premonition phase, where symptoms including a change of mood, neck stiffness, and fluid retention can indicate an attack is coming. Next is the aura phase, where distinct visual, sensory, and motor symptoms are experienced. The migraine ‘attack’ will then occur, which can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Finally, the resolution phase will usually see a reduction in symptoms and even elevation.

Tension headache:

The most common type of headache, a tension headache is usually caused by either stress or tight muscles in the neck and back. Pain tends to be quite moderate and a tension headache does not usually involve nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. The pain may, however, extend down the neck and affect both sides of the head.

Cluster headache:

As the name suggests, the main factor that defines a cluster headache is the pattern in which pain occurs — in frequent attacks that last weeks (or months) before disappearing for long periods of time.

Cluster headaches tend to involve severe pain behind one eye and may also involve nasal discharge and swelling on the affected side of the face.

 

Yoga and Headaches

If you suffer frequent headaches without any discernible cause, your first step should be to contact your doctor. They may be able to determine what is causing your headaches and confirm whether exercise is an appropriate way of managing and preventing symptoms.

If they give you the okay to try yoga classes near me, here are the benefits you can expect to receive.

Mindfulness:

If your headaches are linked with stress and tension, the mental benefits associated with yoga may bring relief. Yoga teaches mindfulness, which is the ability to remain aware and in the present moment. You can apply mindfulness in your everyday life when you feel yourself becoming particularly stressed and anxious, which will hopefully reduce the frequency of tension headache attacks.

Improved posture:

Poor posture can have significant effects on your health and wellbeing. Rounded shoulders and a hunched back are linked with pain, tension, poor sleep, disrupted digestion, and reduced lung capacity. None of these symptoms will help prevent headaches. Yoga teaches you to distribute your weight evenly throughout the body and engage your core muscles, both of which may help reduce the occurrence of tension headaches.

Improved sleep:

Few things are as important for our health as sleep — the maximum restorative time for our body. Practising yoga before bed encourages relaxation and may help improve the quality and quantity of sleep. If your headaches are linked to a generally unhealthy lifestyle, this could be a game-changer for you.

Finding the right yoga class

If your goal in trying yoga is to reduce symptoms associated with headaches, it’s best to start with a private class. You will be able to speak with the instructor about your concerns and they will have the opportunity to tailor sessions that target your specific aims.

Do not expect to experience benefits overnight. Like any type of physical activity, consistency is key when it comes to yoga. While you don’t necessarily have to practise every day, a few times a week will see your skills quickly improve and you should be able to progress to the point where you start to see improvements in your physical and mental wellbeing.

Yoga in Mornington is a healthy, proactive way to help manage symptoms associated with headaches and migraines. Try yoga classes near me today to experience the positive impact yoga has on your physical health.