It is difficult, if not impossible, to find someone who has never suffered a headache. Mild and tolerable at times, head splitting at others – a headache is best kept at arm’s length. Tension, sinus, cluster and migraine headaches are particularly painful. And avoidable.
Why are headaches caused?
Headaches are primarily triggered off by stress, excessive physical and mental exertion, insufficient sleep and hunger. Motion-sickness; loud, jarring noises; and overuse of electronic devices can also cause headaches. Sometimes, simply over-thinking can cause a headache!
Meditation can relieve headaches
So, how do you get relief from headaches? Typically, you hold your head between your hands and clench your fists. Sometimes, you press the aching portion of your head. You may pop pills. Maybe you have even considered banging your head against a wall!
Why don’t we just explore a simpler solution that works? Something that is free from side effects? Why not try meditation for relief from headaches?
How can meditation help reduce headaches?
- It provides relief from stress, a great factor in headaches.
- It can help improve circulation of blood to the head region. This can keep headaches at bay.
- It provides rest to the immune and nervous system that is affected by repeated use of electronic devices. It also relaxes the whole body, and relieves tension in the facial muscles, jaws and neck.
- It helps flush out toxins from the body, thus cleansing your system.
- It helps moderate your food intake. You become more aware of the connection between diet and physical and mental health. This will ensure there are no imbalances in your system, thus warding off headaches.
- Meditation also helps improve the quality of your sleep. Inadequate nocturnal sleep is one of the main factors responsible for headaches.
- Meditation keeps you in the present moment. This safeguards you from the world of past issues and future plans. Your mind is not crowded with thoughts and you are free from headaches!
- One of the best things about meditation is that it does not have side effects.
How to get rid of headaches with meditation?
Sit with eyes closed in a quiet and dark room. Leave the outside world and enter the realm of the inner world. Relax completely. Here, you can rest without disturbance and surrender to the cosmos. You will be surprised by how effective just 20 minutes of meditation can be. If you meditate every day, you may relieve yourself of headaches!
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has conducted some guided meditations that can help provide relief from headaches. Do explore them.
Yoga asanas and pranayamas for headache relief
- Strengthens the neck and shoulders.
- Ensures that stress does not build up in the head region.
- Reduces tension and fatigue.
- Increases blood supply to the brain.
- Strengthens the spine and shoulders.
- Reduces stress in the head region.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
- Nadi Shodhan helps in stress relief.
- Centers the mind.
- Keeps the mind in the present moment.
- Reduces migraine attacks.
- Relieves tension, anxiety and stress.
It is advisable to round off your sessions with 20 minutes of meditation.
Other ways to get relief from headaches
Consider these tips:
- Drink lots of water. Sometimes you may get a headache even after you practice yoga and meditation! This is because meditation helps flush away toxins from the body. After this, you need to rehydrate your body to cleanse the system thoroughly. Water is a great preventive and curative measure to provide relief from headaches.
- Plan a healthy diet that also caters to your taste buds. This is the only way you can continue it in the long run.
- Some herbs in Ayurveda are effective in providing relief from headaches. These include betel leaves, cloves, garlic, ginger and henna.
- If you suffer from migraine attacks, you can try meditation for migraine and some special yoga asanas.
- Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Sudarshan Kriya can also provide relief from headaches.
Meditation alleviates a number of problems. And enhances your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It enables you to accept and face challenges more confidently. It also inculcates a positive approach to life that relieves you of anxiety and stress. We all know that we cannot change the outside world. However, a change in perspective can help ease the burden off your shoulders and your head!
Many guided meditations with Gurudev are available online. There is also a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation program which can pretty much transform your life. Find a Sri Sri Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you.