Practicing yoga helps reduce headaches. The new study confirms it

A new Indian study has highlighted how yoga practice can help manage migraines better than simply using drugs

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Practicing yoga offers several benefits, including the ability to reduce headaches. This is confirmed by a new Indian study that evaluated the effectiveness of this practice in combination with drug treatments for migraines.

Yoga is a precious ally for various health problems. Now new research has found that, when combined with prescription migraine medications, it can reduce both the frequency of the problem and the amount of medicine needed to stem it.

The study was conducted by a team from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, coordinated by Rohit Bhatia, took as a sample a group of volunteers who suffered from frequent migraines and who, for this reason, were taking medications regularly prescribed by doctors.

More specifically, it involved 114 people between the ages of 17 and 50 who suffered from headaches 4 to 14 times on a monthly basis. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: yoga plus medication or medication only.

Those who were part of the yoga group practiced one hour a day 3 times a week under the supervision of a teacher. The lesson included breathing and relaxation exercises, as well as postures. After one month, the participants were instructed so that they could do yoga sessions on their own at home for five days a week for the next two months.

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In addition to medications, participants in both groups were briefed on lifestyle changes that can reduce the incidence of migraines, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising.

All participants achieved improvements in managing migraine frequency and intensity. However, participants in the yoga group saw significantly better results.

In fact, at the beginning of the study, the participants in the yoga group had an average of 9,1 headaches per month while at the end of the experiment only 4,7 headaches per month (the reduction in migraine frequency was 48%).

On the other hand, those taking drugs exclusively experienced an average of 7,7 headaches per month at the start of the study, and 6,8 headaches per month at the end (the reduction was 12%).

The conclusion of the research therefore suggests that adding yoga practice to your routine can help you manage migraines better compared to the simple use of drugs.

“Migraines are one of the most common forms of headaches but only about half of people who take medications get real relief. The good news is that practicing something as simple and accessible as yoga can help you a lot more than just drugs. And all you need is a mat, ”said Professor Bhatia.

Furthermore the study also noted that participants who practiced yoga needed less medication to manage their migraines. By the end of the three months, the yoga group used 47 percent fewer pills, while the drug-only group cut its usage by 12 percent.

However, this is only an observational study as the causal relationship between yoga practice and the incidence of migraines has not been investigated.

The authors note in their study, published in the journal Neurology, that more research is needed to see if the effects of yoga practice can last longer.

Reference source: Neurology / Science Daily

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