Here it comes…again, another migraine and another day (or more) of mind-blowing pain. I’ve been getting migraines for 16 years. I have nailed down my warning signs, but sometimes I don’t whip out my medication fast enough to head off an attack or sometimes: it just plain doesn’t work. Here, I’ve put together a list of my go-to’s for surviving a migraine that won’t let go.
YogaShelf ‘s Migraine Survival Tips:
- Block Head Roll: Lie down with the base of your skull on the edge of your yoga block, right where it meets your neck. Slowly roll your head a little bit to one side and stop and let the pressure sink in. Roll your head a little more and stop again. Repeat until you have gone across your whole head. Don’t push down too hard, be gentle. You will probably notice a tingle-type feeling after you move your head as sensation returns to that spot.
- Pigeon: Forward folds are often suggested for migraines but I find they demand too much from my achy migraine back. Plus any pose that sends my head too directly forward also sends a rush of blood to my head. I can feel the blood pounding now. Pigeon is my solution, you can prop your head up on your arms. I also like pigeon because it loosens up those hips that are stiff from lying down, trying to sleep off the migraine.
- Child’s Pose (on the bathroom floor if need be): Sometimes this morphs into the fetal position.
- Eagle Arms Easy Pose: Stretch out that tight upper back while keeping your head upright and ensuring blood isn’t rushing up there.
- Supine Crescent Moon: I saw this one recently and have loved it ever since — great stretch for your sides and arms. I wouldn’t want to try a standing crescent moon as migraine and balancing don’t mix.
Non-yoga tips for migraines…
- Ice: Put a cube in a ziploc and hold the bag where the throbbing is the worst. For me, it’s one eye or the other. Just don’t keep it there too long, don’t want to end up with freezer burn.
- Air: Blast a fan directly at your face while you attempt to sleep. Also, I find stepping outside at night, particularly in cooler weather, helps.
- Water: Gulp it, sip it, whatever way you can get it into you. This will be especially helpful if you do get sick to your stomach. Live and learn.
- Elevate Head: What I’m getting at here: don’t lie flat. The blood starts to go to your head. Prop yourself up in bed or on the coach.
- Eye Mask: I use a soft cloth type that has some sort of beads or grains in it that shift to conform to my eyes. The pressure is comforting and so is the absolute darkness.
After your migraine has passed, try to get back on track with your routines as soon as possible. But, don’t beat yourself up if you have a migraine hangover (postdrome) the next day. Just be gentle and patient with yourself. Sweating a bit to a moderate yoga practice usually feels pretty good.
In brief, Migraine Survival Tips:
- Block Head Roll
- Child’s Pose
- Eagle Arm Easy Pose
- Supine Crescent Moon
- Elevate Head
- Eye Mask