A common neurological syndrome, Migraine is characterized by altered bodily perceptions, severe pounding headaches, nausea and irritability. This pounding or pain usually begins in the forehead, the side of the head or around the eyes and gradually gets worse. Bright lights or loud noises can worsen the condition. The headache can last for two hours or even up to two or three days.
Change in weather conditions, missing a meal, stress, alcohol and certain types of food items are considered to be common causative factors of Migraine. About 50% of women claim that their menstrual periods happen to be a significant trigger. Additionally, allergic reactions, exposure to loud noises or certain odors, smoking, or long exposures to computer screens/televisions could lead to Migraine attacks.
· Nausea and vomiting
· Altered mood
· Depression or euphoria
· Excessive sleepiness
· Craving for certain food items
· Stiff muscles (especially in the neck)
· Constipation or diarrhoea
· Increased urination
The traditional science of Ayurveda does not regard Migraine as a case of prolonged headaches. On the contrary, it considers this condition to be caused by deep-rooted problems, including a sensitive nervous system and impaired digestion.
Improper diet and lifestyle causes aggravation of Pitta (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire) in the body. In an aggravated state, Pitta impairs digestion, leading to production of digestive impurities (known as ama). This ama gets stored in the manovahi strotas (mind channels), thereby becoming the cause for pains in migraine.
A sensitive nervous system lowers the ojas (energy) in the body. Ojas is the essence of all body tissues and provides strength to the nervous system and body. If you have a strong nervous system, you are able to fight against problems and carry on with your work with a healthy mind. Lowering of ojas causes migraine-like problems.
Ayurvedic treatment of Migraine therefore is centered on the pacification of Pitta Dosha, and restoration of digestive function in the body. Nervine tonics are also recommended to enhance the ojas, relax the mind and give strength to the nervous system.