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Migraine - Symptoms and Causes

Dr.C Manoj Kumar,Chief Physician, Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre Kalady


Headaches are broadly classified into two types, primary and secondary. Primary headaches are due to dysfunction or over activity of pain features in the head. But secondary head ache is due to some under lying pathology like brain tumour, bleeding in the brain etc.

Migraine is a primary head ache, recurrent in nature with moderate to severe pain. It typically affects one side of the head with pulsating sensation and could last from a few hours to a few days. Nausea, vomiting, irritation and sensitivity to light, sound and smell are some of the associated symptoms. Some feel visual disturbances or see an aura, which is a pre indicator of migraine and that the head ache is going to start soon. Environmental, genetic and hormonal factors are reasons for migraine and the pain usually increases with physical activities. Globally 15% of the population is suffers from migraine attacks. It usually starts at the puberty and gets worse as they age.

ARDHAVABHEDAKA is a type of head ache described in Ayurveda, which can be correlated to migraine. The word meaning of ardhavabhedaka is splitting pain on one side of the head, which is the cardinal symptom of migraine. With repeated course of panchakarma therapy, long term internal medications and regular oil application on the vertex, Ayurveda can provide very good results.

Sirobhyanga (Head massage with specific medicated oil), Sirodhara (Pouring of continuous stream of specific medicated oil on fore head), Siro pichu ( Keeping a thick cotton pad soaked in specific medicated oil on vertex). Sirovasthy ( Keeping an oil pool with specific medicated oil on head in a cap fitted on the head ), Nasal administration of few drops of warm medicated oil into both nostrils (nasya),whole body massage with medicated oil , mridu virechana ( mild purgation) are the procedures usually done in the management of migraine. Specific internal medicines along with the therapies give faster and long standing results. Practicing meditation and pranayama during and after the treatment will be helpful in the effective management of stress, which also triggers migraine headaches. Post treatment, patient has to continue with certain specialized internal medicines, medicated oil application on vertex and certain modifications in the diet and lifestyle for good results.

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