There has been a significant increase in the use of complementary and integrative medicine to provide long-term healing solutions in migraine headache patients. Knowing the limitations of conventional medical approach, the present study evaluated the influence of two Indian traditional systems of medicine on migraine-related disability, autonomic variables, perceived stress, and muscle activity in patients with migraine headache without aura.
Thirty subjects recruited to the Ayurveda and Yoga (AY) group underwent traditional Panchakarma (Bio-purification) using therapeutic Purgation followed by yoga therapy, while 30 subjects of control (CT) group continued on symptomatic treatment (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAID's]) for 90 days. Migraine disability assessment score, perceived stress, heart rate variability (HRV), and surface electromyography (EMG) of frontalis muscle were measured on day 1, day 30, and day 90 in both groups.
Significant reduction in migraine disability and perceived stress scores were observed in the AY group. The low-frequency component of the HRV decreased significantly, the high-frequency component increased and their ratio showed improved sympathovagal balance. The EMG showed decreased activity of the frontalis muscle in the AY group compared to the control group.
The integrative approach combining Ayurveda and Yoga therapy reduces migraine-related disability, perceived stress, sympathetic arousal, and muscle tension.