Managing Migraine with Hydrotherapy
A migraine or “a recurrent, throbbing typically one-sided headache that is often accompanied by nausea and vision problems” can be a debilitating condition. These headaches that typically last from 4-24 hours most often find an association with triggers that can range from stress, strong smells, lighting, loud music, lack of sleep, weather changes and so on!
While the best method of countering a migraine is to understand the ‘trigger’, finding one could be an arduous task given the vagueness of the causes. Hence, some quick and effective home remedies, besides regular prescription medication, goes a long way to help people who suffer from frequent attacks.
Of the many alternative remedies, in recent times, hydrotherapy has shown promising results in providing maximum relief against a migraine attack. Involving just a few simple steps, and almost negligible know-how or need for equipment, hydrotherapy can be easily accomplished at home with natural and effective results.
Let us start by understanding what exactly hydrotherapy entails.
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy, or aqua-therapy as it is alternatively known, is a form of physiotherapy treatment that involves the use of water for relief from pain and inflammation. In other words, it is therapy with water. Though humankind has a long history relating to the therapeutic use of water since ancient times, it was Vincent Priessnitz and Father Kneipp who brought and promoted hydrotherapy for the cure of several ailments in the USA. Steadily, with the profound success that this alternative therapy exhibited in the treatment of pain, hydrotherapy found a foothold in the rest of the world as well.
How does Hydrotherapy work?
Hydrotherapy uses the intrinsic properties of water to stimulate the healing process within the body. It uses water’s thermal and mechanical effects, alternating from hot to cold, to provide stimuli to the body to react to the pressure and the protracted thermal changes exerted by water.
Hydrotherapy, thus, helps the nerves to stimulate the immune system, improving the circulation within the blood and lymph vessels, promoting digestion, decreasing the body’s sensitivity to pain and influencing the production of stress hormones. All these changes, inevitably, encourage the healing mechanism of the body.
Hydrotherapy for Migraines
Migraines cause the dilation of blood vessels in your head, leading to a more substantial quantum of blood to flow in the blood vessels within the skull. This excess flow causes the throbbing effect that one experiences during a migraine attack.
Hydrotherapy involves placing of the feet in a hot water bath while simultaneously placing an ice pack or a towel soaked in icy cold water to the head and the back of the neck, or vice versa with heat application on the head and neck with feet placed in icy cold water. This therapy usually takes 15-20 minutes, providing effective relief from a migraine headache.
Application of hydrotherapy with alternating hot and cold application stimulates the circulation and eases muscle tension. While the cold water works on the body’s innate action to keep the body warm by shrinking the blood vessels and moving them deeper into the skin; the hot water does the exact opposite to the area near the feet. Thus, while the cold application contracts the blood vessels in the head, relieving the throbbing, the warm water dilates the blood vessels at the feet and diverges the blood flow there.
The result is a natural relief to the symptoms of a migraine!
In conclusion, hydrotherapy provides natural and cost-effective relief from a migraine or a tension headache, without being tied down with elaborate equipment or in-depth know-how of the procedure involved.
Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new nutritional or fitness program.