Daily Yoga Classes Could 'Help Treat Migraines'
Yoga could be used as a way of treating migraines, a new study has suggested.
Researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, have found adding yoga to your daily routine could help reduce migraines and pain associated with headaches.
The study - which was published in the Neurology journal - used 114 participants aged between 18 and 50 who reported episodic migraines of between four to 14 times a month.
The participants were randomly split into two groups - one received medication-only while the other received both medication and yoga.
The latter were taught a one-hour yoga class - including breathing, relaxation exercises and stretching - and were supervised by instructors three days a week for one month.
They then went on to practice online, at home, for five days a week over the course of two months.
Both groups received the same medication as well as counselling over lifestyle choices which could also impact the severity of their migraines (such as sleep, exercise and eating regular meals).
They were then asked to keep a diary of their symptoms, including information on how long their migraines lasted, the severity of pain and other symptoms, and which medications they had taken and when.
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Once the study was complete, researchers discovered participants in both groups had improved, but those who had also included yoga in their routines benefitted the most.
Initially, those in the yoga group had on overage 9.1 headaches a month, but ended the study with just 4.7 - a reduction of 48 per cent.
In comparison, the medication only group had an average of 7.7 headaches per month, which reduced by 12 per cent, to 6.8 by the end of the investigation.
Added to that, the average number of medication pills used in the yoga group decreased by 47 per cent after three months, compared to just 12 per cent among the medication-only participants.
Study lead author Dr Rohit Bhatia, of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, said: "Migraine is one of the most common headache disorders, but only about half the people taking medication for it get real relief.
"The good news is that practising something as simple and accessible as yoga may help much more than medications alone. And all you need is a mat.
"Our results show that yoga can reduce not just the pain, but also the treatment cost of migraines.
"That can be a real game changer, especially for people who struggle to afford their medication. Medications are usually prescribed first, and some can be expensive."
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