Migraine sufferers often look to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to help in treatment of their headaches.
Past research shows that in 1990 alone, $13.7 billion was spent on unconventional therapies, three quarters of which ($10.3 billion) was “out of pocket”. Unconventional therapies include massage, exercise, acupunture, chiropractic and herbs. Most people try a CAM therapy for “potential improvement of headache”.
A study was performed to compare a yoga group over 12 weeks with a non-exercising (self-care) group. All participants were screened and had similar characteristics at baseline. There were no significant differences in demographics, clinical and psychological characteristics between the two groups before intervention.
After 3 months, yoga was shown to have a significant effect on various migraine symptoms including frequency, intensity, duration of attack, as well as reduced anxiety and depression.
In this study simple relaxation-focused postures were practiced, with no vigorous bending. It is shown that breathing and relaxation can help reduce the physical symptoms of chronic pain and can be a therapeutic intervention in a variety of disorders.