for those suffering from migraine, the practice of yoga promises improvements. Studies indicate that combining some stretching exercises with medical treatment can be more efficient to control the problem. The practice reduces the frequency and intensity of headaches and decreases stress hormones, which can intensify the symptom.
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When done regularly, the stretching it can help calm the body and mind, relax muscles, and release physical tension. However, not all types of exercises are suitable for migraine control. According to the American Migraine Foundation, smooth movements are ideal. Rigorous sequences with intense and complex postures can worsen the symptom. Here are five simple and ideal movements to relieve headaches:
1. Lateral neck flexion
A lateral neck bend is a gentle stretch that releases tension in the region and upper back. See how to do it:
- Start sitting or standing. Keep your spine straight, relax your shoulders, and rest your arms at your sides.
- Hold the top of your head towards your raised arm. Wait for 30 seconds, return to starting position and repeat on the other side.
2. Bend forward seated
The act of resting your head on something can be very comforting. It is an important element of the seated forward bend, also called the two-legged forward bend. Posture also relaxes your lower muscles. See how to do it:
- Sit on the floor and stretch your legs forward. Place a towel or folded blanket under your buttocks if you need support.
- Point your toes up, as if the soles of your feet are against a wall. Lengthen your spine.
- Lean forward from your hips and lower as far as you can. Bend your knees gently if it’s more comfortable.
- If possible, lie your forehead on your legs and place your hands on your feet. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. Child’s posture
Child Pose is a classic yoga movement that stretches the upper back while calming the mind. See how to do it:
- Kneel on the floor with your legs spread across the width of the mat. Sit on your legs and rest your buttocks on your heels.
- Lower your torso between your thighs, extending your hands toward the top of the mat. Place your forehead on the mat and relax your neck, shoulders and arms. Hold for 30 seconds. Another option is to rest your arms at your sides, with your hands under your buttocks and your palms facing up.
4. Needle Thread Posture
If you feel your shoulders tense, it’s worth betting on the needle-thread posture to stretch your upper back. The movement also involves a slight twist of the bottom, releasing even more tension. See how to do it:
- Start on all fours. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Keep your spine neutral and rest the tops of your feet on the mat.
- Extend your right arm under your left arm. Lower your right ear and shoulder onto the mat, keeping your knees and feet in place. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Go back to the four. Repeat on the other side.
5. Dog looking down
The downward looking dog stretch is another classic as it relieves migraine pain by promoting blood circulation in the head and releasing tension throughout the body. See how to do it:
- Start on all fours. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Keep your spine neutral.
- Press your hands into the mat and place your toes under. Lift your hips to straighten your legs, but avoid locking your knees.
- Lengthen your spine, creating an upside-down “V” with your body. Reach your heels towards the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
Include stretching in your daily life and look for doctors and yoga professionals to help you with the ideal treatment for your migraine.
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