Nervous System

The Nervous System is responsible for essential body and mind functions. It is the primary regulatory and communicating system in our body. That is why it is very important to make sure that it is always working efficiently. In this section, know how Yoga can be beneficial to our Nervous System, get familiar with the factors which can trigger the occurrence of Migraine and Tension-Type Headache, and learn the different Yoga Poses that can help you in dealing with them

Benefits of a Healthy Nervous System

A healthy nervous system enables you to meet every event of life with calm and resilience. It keeps all the muscles, organs and tissues of the body working at full efficiency, gives sharper sensory perception and creates a sense of vitality and energy in your whole being. The nervous system is made up of large numbers of individual cells or neurons, each with a cell body and long projecting fibers that transmit rapid trains of nerve impulses or signals.

Yoga and the Nervous System

Bundles of fibers together form the large nerves, which are stretched and purified by yoga asanas. By clearing toxins from the tissues, the asanas benefit neurotransmissions at the fine nerve endings, and at synapses between nerves. Yoga has been shown to stabilize the response of the nervous system to stress, removing the constant muscular tension produced by the repeated alerts from the central nervous system, and calming the involuntary symptoms of threat - racing heart, sweating and anxiety - roused by the sympathetic nervous system.

Peripheral Nervous System

The spinal nerves leave the cord in pairs from either side of each segment, and branch finely to form the peripheral system. The motor (efferent) fibres carry instructions to every muscle; the sensory (afferent) fibers bring in information from every receptor.

Central Nervous System

The central nervous system in the power house and communications center of the body. From their deep roots in the cord, the spinal nerves spread out to serve every part of the system. Within the cord, ceaseless intercommunication takes place, and impulses travel rapidly up and down the sensory and motor fibers, to and from the brain.


Migraine affects more than 28 million Americans alone, and about 75% are women. Migraine is a vascular headache caused by the inflammation and irritation of the nerve endings resulting from the expansion of the blood vessels of the surface of the brain. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, mood changes, sensitivity to light and/or sound, tunnel vision or seeing spots, or dizziness. Pain may be felt on one or both sides of the head, at the back of the neck, around the eyes, on the face, or in the sinuses. The pain can be severe and can debilitate you from four to 72 hours if untreated. The pain is often preceded by a sensory warning sign or an aura such as blind spots or flashes of light. A tingling in the arm or leg may also serve as warning. There is still no found cure for Migraine, however, medications can reduce the frequency of Migraine attacks and stop the pain.

Triggers for Migraine attack vary for each individual. Among the factors include stress, certain food, weather changes, light, smells or odors, change in sleeping habits, some medications, and hormonal fluctuations. Scientists also think that imbalances in brain chemicals such as serotonin and magnesium may trigger Migraine attack. Fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone also seem to cause Migraine attack in Women. Most Women Migraine patients report its occurrence before or during their periods and during menopause or pregnancy. Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may also worsen Migraine headaches. Caffeinated beverages, alcoholic drinks, nuts, smoked or pickled food, aspartame, monosodium glutamate, and other food are also reported to cause Migraine headaches. Hunger can also trigger Migraine. Migraine may also be caused by some physical factors such as too much or too little sleep, sexual activity, stress or intense physical exertion. Other causes of Migraine headaches include bright light and sun glare, unusual or unpleasant smell and odor, change in weather, change in altitude level, and change of time zone.

Treatment includes pain relievers, stress reduction, exercise, and avoidance of the factors that trigger the attack such as alcohol, oral contraceptive, and smoking. Stress reducing poses can also help in preventing Migraine. Another point in Yoga Lifestyle which is getting plenty of sleep will also help decreasing your risk factors for Migraine. Yoga Therapy for Migraine generally focuses on the prevention of the occurrence which includes stress reduction and avoidance of the various causes of the attacks. Yoga can also alleviate the headache pain by providing relief to sensory overload and relaxing your mind.

Basic Yoga Poses that can help prevent Migraine attacks. You may also practice the Yoga Session for Tension-Type Headaches at the first sign of Migraine attack or during mild attacks. Remember that you should not practice Yoga during severe attacks.

Tension-type headache

An anvil on your head may not exactly be an exaggeration when you are experiencing a tension-type headache. This may also be felt as having a very tight band around the head.

A tension-type headache can be really bothersome. It is often caused by stress, anxiety, depression, unbalanced activities, and poor diet. Composing 90% of primary headaches (headaches that are not caused by another disease), tension-type headaches are what most of us suffer. So when you feel that heavy weight on your head at work, perhaps around lunch time when the day is slow and the sun is at its hottest, it's most probably a tension-type headache.

So what do you do? You would probably drop by the nearby pharmacy and get a couple of aspirins. Surely enough, you might feel relieved some time after taking a pill. Tension-type headaches often respond to over-the-counter remedies. However, there is a danger in treating headaches in this manner frequently. Over-the-counter drugs may produce an effect such that the headache would recur when the effect of the drug wears off. This is called a rebound headache. Besides, taking these drugs frequently may not be very healthy to the delicate balance of substances in our body in the long term.

To prevent this unfavorable scenario, a more holistic approach must be adopted to stop having to suffer those troublesome and painful tension-type headaches. This can be done through relaxation techniques, proper diet, and psychological counseling if the underlying causes of the headaches are anxiety and depression.

When relaxation and proper diet are the things that are needed, Yoga is greatly effective in curbing those anvil-heads. Yoga Poses and Meditation can release the mind and body from the clutter and confusion of scattered thoughts and unbalanced activities that cause tension-type headaches.