A migraine is a disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate or severe. A migraine typically occurs on one side of your head and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The term migraine originated from the Greek word “hemicrania” which means pain on one side of the head. Depending on the severity it can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people witness an aura before the onset of a headache. The symptoms of an attack can include craving for sweet foods, mood changes or a stiff neck.

It is believed that a migraine is a neurological disorder amplified by the two nerves on either side of your forehead. If either of your parents had it, the chances are that you inherited it from them. Historically, it was believed that there was no cure and all you could do was shut yourself in a dark room and shun all activity and wait for the pain to go away. Triggers for a migraine can vary from fluctuations in estrogen levels, drop in pressure, inflammation of the body caused by the common cold and also the overuse of medication. Obesity, smoking, drinking, and consumption of processed foods can also trigger it as can stress hunger and fatigue.

While some medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve the effects, there is no permanent cure yet. Doctors instead recommend a complete overhaul of your lifestyle. These changes include ensuring seven to eight hours of sleep, reducing stress or the effects of stress by meditating. Exercise, relaxation and even counseling can help. Sleeping the headache away seems to be one of the best medicines for those who are suffering.

If you are among the unfortunate ones, besides medical attention, do try meditation. There may not be scientific evidence linking it to migraines yet, but meditation is known to alleviate stress across vast segments of people. It might just reduce the effects of your headache.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

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