To help you relax and disengage your mental and emotional energy, I use the analogy that a breeze gives me. Ian Livingstone, M.D., neurologist, wrote Breaking the Headache Cycle. Although Migraineurs may be more stressed than others, they are not necessarily more anxious or more stressed (despite the myths that still linger about the “Migraine personality”).

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However, our nervous systems are more sensitive and more susceptible to stimuli. The higher our stress load, however, the lower our resistance against Migraine triggers. Dr. Livingstone cites research that shows that regular relaxation can reduce migraine severity and frequency by an average 40%. According to Liz Somes, Psychology Today, a study done at the University of Rajasthan in India found that intensive yoga practice for three months (one hour per day, five days per semaine) reduces migraine intensity by 70%. Imagine a gentle breeze blowing through your mind and body, taking away all stress.


We rarely breathe fully but it can induce relaxation. We hold our inspiration and don’t breathe out fully. Deep breathing is a practice that involves deep breathing. This can be done for three counts, then exhale completely for five. When I first started working with Dr. Livingstone, I began to do this type of breathing for 10 to 15 minutes each day. I also did it whenever I felt anxious, tense, or upset. I was driving to the airport on a business trip later that month. This made me very anxious and made it difficult for me to get there in time for my departure. My stress level was increasing and tension in my neck, shoulders, and arms started to increase. I felt a sharp pain in my right temple a few minutes later. I tried the 3 in – 5, out breathing exercise and felt my body calm down. My head pain disappeared by the time I reached the airport half an hour later.

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Relaxation is completely different from excitation for our nervous system. Both are necessary for health. Many people don’t relax often enough. Relaxation can be found in sleep, meditation, visualization, enjoying a conversation with a friend, loved one, exercise or sexual activity, and listening to or reading music. Some activities that we consider relaxing, such as video games or computers, actually increase our stress levels and excite us. I started a daily practice of deep breathing, meditation, and visualizations for 15 minutes each day. Within a few months, my migraine frequency had dropped to half. After I stopped doing it every day, my migraines started to return within a few months. It’s easy – stop worrying, let it go, and don’t worry. Anxiety and stress are physiological states. They are also present in our minds, which we can recognize. I have adopted a practice of detachment, love, creative disengagement, and stepping down. Meditation is a great way to make this easier. I can see the things I need to let go and visualize myself dropping them.


cultivate gratitude, humor, and joy. You don’t have to be negative or angry. But, you must make a commitment to get past the negative thoughts and find your inner strength. Life isn’t worth living without gratitude, humor, and joy. It actually has a positive effect on our physical, emotional and mental health when we smile. You may not want to smile, but you should try. You might say, this is just the power and positive thinking!” While I don’t disagree with you, I will say that most people spend their time succumbing to negative thinking. Try this for a change. You can watch, listen, or read gentle comedy. Take a look at something beautiful. Talk to someone you care about. Play with a child. Find something to smile about.

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