Migraine can be defined as a paroxysmal ailment, accompanied by a severe headache, generally on one side of the head, and associated with disorders of the digestion, the liver and the vision. It usually occurs when a person is under great mental tension or has suddenly got over that state.
Persons who suffer from this disease have a particular type of personality. They are intelligent, sensitive, rigid, and methodical, and tend to be perfectionist. Migraine comes on suddenly. The head and neck muscles, reacting from continuous stress, become overworked. The tight muscles squeeze the arteries and reduce the blood flow. Then when the person relaxes suddenly the constricted muscles expand, stretching the blood vessels walls. With each heartbeat, the blood pushes through these vessels and expands them further, causing intense pain.
From Ayurveda perspective, migraine headaches are due to a disorder in tridosha - the mind-body constitution. Although it is possible to get headaches from disorders in vata, pitta, or kapha, migraines frequently occur when systemic pitta moves into the cardiovascular system, circulates, and affects the blood vessels around the brain. The blood vessels dilate due to the hot, sharp quality of pitta. This, in turn, creates pressure on the nerves, resulting in migraines. Pitta disorders are characterized by the red complexion and eyes, light sensitivity, burning sensation, anger, irritability, and nose bleeds. Liver and blood toxicity are often associated with these symptoms.
There is a definite pattern of a migraine. The pain is on only one side of the head and often radiates from the eye. The right side of the head may be affected in one attack and the next time, the concentration of pain may be on the left side. Migraine attacks are usually preceded by a short period of depression, irritability, and loss of appetite. Some person's get attacks daily, others every month or every two or three months. The main symptoms of migraine are a pounding pain; nausea and vomiting .The blood vessels on the affected side of the head become prominent and pulsating. A migraine gives a fair warning before striking. The patient sees flashes of light or back spots or only parts of the objects in front of him. He may also feel numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, or on one side of the face.
Root Causes of Migraine
Migraine may also results from a variety of causes such as low blood sugar, allergy, infection, excessive intake of certain drugs a weak constitution, low energy, nutritional deficiency, overwork, improper sleep and rest, excessive smoking and drinking. Menstruation in women is also the important causes of migraine. This forms of migraine usually decreases menopause.
As mentioned migraines can also originate due to imbalance in vata dosha. The symptoms of vata imbalance are: anxiety, depression, dry skin, constipation, and extreme pain.
Migraine may originate also due to imbalance in kapha dosha. This condition is characterized by dull headache, heaviness, fatigue, nausea, white or clear phlegm, vomiting, and excess salivation. Respiratory disorders are often associated with these symptoms.
Ayurvedic treatment for Migraine include some lifestyle management guidelines and herbo mineral medication derived from very potential herbs and sodhita dhatus. Recommended herbs are triphata as a purgative, jatamanshi, brahmi, and rest. Shiro dhara (hot oil head massage) is also recommended.