There’s nothing worse than having to work through a migraine. Small tasks become behemoth mountains that need to be climbed, and every sound or movement feels like a thousand daggers.
While popping a few pills will help alleviate some pain, a great natural alternative is incorporating a few specific stretches to help release tension in your upper body.
The side neck bend
You’ve probably attempted to use this stretch when you felt a migraine coming on, as it’s quite a common and versatile stretch. Here’s what you need to do.
- Start by sitting or standing while keeping your spine in a neutral position. Release all the tension from your shoulders and allow your arms to relax alongside your body.
- Lower your right ear towards your right shoulder while extending your left hand towards the floor, ensuring that you flex your fingers upwards. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
- Return to the original position and do the same for the other side.
Possibly the most relaxing yoga position to be in as this stretch is incredibly restorative and allows you to enjoy a delicious upper backstretch. A little titbit for the ladies, it’s also a great position to help alleviate menstrual cramps.
- Kneel on the floor with your toes touching and your knees on either side of the mat (hip-width apart). Rest your hands on your thighs.
- Make sure you exhale before lowering your torso, hands outstretched and reaching for the top of the mat. Place your forehead on the mat, relaxing your neck, shoulders, and arms. Hold this position for 30 seconds or as long as you need.
Downward facing dog
This is another classic yoga pose that’s said to alleviate migraines thanks to its blood circulation promoting abilities.
- The position starts on all fours but makes sure that your knees are slightly behind your hips. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and try to keep your spine as relaxed and neutral as possible.
- Press your hands into the mat and gently tuck your toes under and take a deep inhale. Ensure that you lift your hips and straighten your legs without locking your knees.
Thread the Needle
This is a great pose to use when you’re feeling a bit tense in your shoulders, as it gives you a wonderful stretch in your lower back. It also offers an excellent lower back twist to help release any tension.
- Start the position on all fours and place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Tuck your toes under.
- Extend your right arm under your left arm and reach towards the ceiling. Direct your gaze towards your raised hand. Make sure that your knees and feet remain in place as you hold this position for 30 seconds.
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Seated forward fold
This pose is an excellent way to stretch your spine and open your shoulders, which helps alleviate some tension when it comes to migraines. It’s also a great way to help your upper body and neck fully relax as you rest your head on your legs.
- Sit on the mat and extend your legs forward, straightening them in front of you.
- Take a deep breath in and allow your arms to extend overhead, folding forward from your hips and reaching for your shins and feet.
- Remember to lengthen your spine as you fold and draw your forehead towards your toes. It’s not vital to have your legs straightened, so a slight bend is okay if it’s more comfortable for you.
Picture/s: Unsplash / Instagram