LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Yoga and Migraines, Sleep Disorder

Yoga Provided Relief From Migraines and Sleep Issues

(From Vol. 4, No. 1 – Jan. 2016)

[Mrs. Veena Kumar of Yorktown, VA used yoga poses and alternate nostril breathing among treatments that have worked to relieve migraines and sleeping issues. She writes as follows:]

Since the mid-1980s, I have had migraines almost two to three times each month. The intensity of the pain used to last for 48 to 56 hours. I would feel dizzy with pain, which I felt mostly in the middle section of the head and with a pull under the eyes.  Migraines also happened during long-distance travel. I couldn’t stand being in the sun, the heat from the sun hurt my head, so I used to plan for grocery shopping in the mornings or evenings. Even then, I had to put a wet washcloth over my head and then put a hat over it while going out. It affected my lifestyle. The migraine medications didn’t help much.

Then, around 1990, I started having problems falling asleep. The doctor prescribed Elavil but I was still not able to get sound sleep.

In 2009, I started doing Yoga, mainly pranayama (anulom-vilom – the alternate nostril breathing) along with some asanas. I also started on a gluten free diet. I used to practice asanas (postures) for about 50 minutes and do alternate nostril breathing for 108 times every day. Slowly my migraines started to minimize and in two years around 2011, I stopped having migraines. I had stopped taking medications completely. However, my sleep issues continued for quite some time before they stopped as well. Now, I continue to do anulom-vilom, which is like my daily dose of medication. I believe that it is due to the breathing exercise that I got relief from migraines and maybe even my sleep issues.

VeenaMrs. Veena Kumar
Yorktown, Virginia