Rx for Headaches
not only provides relief for the pain and cause of headaches,
but can also prevent headaches from occurring in the future.
Most headaches are due to stress and tension held in the head,
neck, shoulders and upper back. When these muscles are continuously
contracted, they constrict the flow of blood, oxygen and prana
(energy) to the head. Since the brain is the first part of
the body that will die if denied this blood and oxygen, it
gets cranky really fast and usually lets you know via a pain
in your head.
When you feel a headache coming on, the first thing to do
is stop what you are doing and take a break. Close your eyes,
relax and take a few deep breaths through the nose into the
belly. Scan your upper body for tension and tightness and
consciously allow it to release and relax. Adjust your posture:
reach the crown of the head up to lengthen the spine, let
the shoulders drop down and back to open the chest. If you
cannot consciously release the tension, you may want to give
yourself a shoulder, neck and face massage. Gently press and
lightly circle on the tops of the shoulders, the back of the
neck, the third eye and temples.
During a headache, yoga postures and pranayama can help alleviate
pain and release tension and stress. Practice in a calming
environment with low lights and soft music. Focus on calming
and restorative postures like child, puppy dog, seated forward
fold, supine bound angle, bridge, plow and knee down twist.
Finish your yoga practice with shavasana using an eye pillow
or a small,
folded towel placed over the eyes. Start your shavasana with
Dirga pranayama slow deep breathing in the belly and
A general yoga practice is the best preventative medicine
for headaches. Focus on postures that will release tension
in neck and shoulders, increase circulation to head and stimulate
the nervous system. A general practice will reduce stress
and tension in the whole body while increasing circulation
and absorption of oxygen. Dirga, Ujjayi and Nadi Sodhana Pranayama
will calm the mind, release tension, and increase circulation
of blood and oxygen.
Talk to your doctor if you are having more than two or three
headaches per week, or if a bad headache lasts for several
days. Migraines and cluster headaches can be helped with yoga,
but you must have the supervision and approval of your doctor.
Therapy resource page for Headaches