Millions of people suffer from chronic headaches. If you’re one of them, you know they can interfere with your quality of life significantly. Did you know you can practice Pilates for headache relief?
If your headaches are a result of stress, poor posture, or a problem with your neck or spine, Pilates can help! You may also benefit from other lifestyle changes as well. Let’s look at the most common types of headaches and what we can do to about them.
Types of Headaches
The most common types of headaches are tension headaches and migraines. Stress causes most tension headaches. When you’re stressed, you tend to do things like tighten your muscles, clench your jaw, or hunch your shoulders. You may also sleep poorly or skip meals. These are all potential headache triggers.
Stress can also trigger migraines, which are vascular headaches. Other migraine causes include hormonal changes, sensory overload, and reactions to foods or ingredients in foods.
Whatever the cause of your tension or migraine headaches, you may find Pilates for headache relief effective. If this is a surprise because you always thought Pilates was all about the core, read on!
Pilates is For the Whole Body
Since it is a workout for the whole body, Pilates offers exercises that can help relieve headache pain. According to Australian physiotherapist Peter Tziavrangos, one of the most beneficial aspects of mat Pilates for headache relief is not the physical exercise, but the meditative effect of practicing mindfully.
Since mindful practice helps us master staying in the moment, it can help reduce stress. But Pilates also helps with body awareness. We become more mindful of that clenched jaw or more aware of that trigger food or hunger that is causing our head to ache! We may also sleep better when we practice Pilates regularly.
Pilates for Headache Relief
In addition to mindful movement to reduce stress and help with headaches, some specific Pilates exercises that can help correct problems with alignment that cause headaches. Neck rolls are one example. Neck rolls help strengthen the muscles in your neck, which can help with “forward head syndrome,” a type of misalignment that can lead to headaches. You can also do neck rolls to reduce chronic muscle tension in the neck. The exercise improves range of motion, which enables better posture.
And don’t forget the core. If you practice Pilates, of course you can’t forget the core! Core work does help with headache relief. One reason is core work requires breathwork. So, again, you are increasing the flow of oxygen when you work on strengthening your core.
A strong core is also the basis for good postural alignment. With good posture, you’re less likely to put your body in a position that will lead to headache pain.
So, now that you know you can practice Pilates for headache relief, what are you waiting for? If you need some help designing a program that works for you, or if you want some individualized attention to keep you on track, let’s talk. I’m here to help!
- A Healthy Diet for People Who Practice Pilates: Knowing What Your Body Needs - May 15, 2017
- How Pilates Benefits MS: A Pilates NYC Case Study - May 1, 2017
- Improving Strength and Flexibility with Susan’s Individualized Pilates Instruction - April 17, 2017
- Pilates for Headache Relief: Skip the Painkillers and Treat Your Whole Body - April 3, 2017
- Pilates is Enjoyable: How Susan Helped Me Move Past My Resistance - March 20, 2017
- Body for Life: How to Have a Great Relationship with You - March 6, 2017
- Exercise Personality: What is Yours and Why Should You Know It? - February 20, 2017
- Pilates Facts: What is the Foundation of Pilates Practice and How Does it Work? - February 13, 2017
- Pilates Tips: Four Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Practice - February 6, 2017
- Teacher or Instructor: Which Do You Prefer for Your Pilates Learning? - January 30, 2017