Eating, Working, and Living with Chronic Migraine

Why deep breathing will be your lifeline

Why deep breathing will be your lifeline

It’s 7am Tuesday morning and your alarm goes off, but this time it’s raging at you. The blaring and pulsating of the alarm feels like it’s begging for your head explode. You open your eyes. Everything is blurred, you feel disoriented, and the ache beneath your skull is rising. You know what this is and you whisper to yourself, “please, not today.” But it is happening, it’s here and you’re panicked. Your initial migraine symptoms are creeping in…

This may be just one of the countless scenarios all too familiar for migraineurs. When faced with initial migraine symptoms, it can often feel like you’re on a slippery slope and there’s little you can do to stop falling. Luckily, recent studies have shown that certain techniques related to deep breathing may actually slow or ease migraine symptoms. So of course, I tested this method myself and have found that not only can deep breathing help lessen my migraine symptoms, it reduces overall stress which happens to be a huge trigger for chronic migraine.

Here are four steps to deep breathing that will help you develop a breathing practice that works for you:

  1. Bring your attention to your breath. Start to control your breathing through elongated inhalations and exhalations
  2. Ball your right hand into a fist.
  3. Release your pinky finger and ring finger. Relax your thumb.
  4. Using the pinky and ring finger, close left nostril, breath in through the right. Hold the breath gently at the top of the inhalation. Release the left nostril, then hold the right nostril closed with using the thumb. Exhale. Breath in and out in this pattern 2-3 times before switching sides.

Give deep breathing a try next time you’re faced with migraine symptoms. I hope it will become your go-to lifeline, just like it has been for me.

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