Generally, migraines are caused by an imbalance of life and work. To feel better, the patient needs to see an alternative physical therapist to help them create the balance needed within their mind and body. Physical rehabilitation can cover a whole range of issues including chronic migraines.
When treating a patient who’s suffering from migraines, the alternative physical therapist needs to begin the session teaching the patient breathing techniques. It is important for the patient to learn to breathe fully from upper body to the diaphragm and the belly, so that they get oxygen to their brain. The idea is to take a long inhale, long exhale and pause and then start the round again. The patient should really feel their breathing.
The treatment then needs to follow with manual massage therapy. The alternative physical therapist starts with auricular therapy using acupuncture points then moves to massaging the stomach, then up to the neck and the scalp/cranial muscles and finishes with the face/jaw. The therapist should then go back to the breathing of the patient and observe the changes in breathing.
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Once the hands-on part of the treatment is done the therapist will then teach the patient simple movements that they can do at home.
1) A simple walking exercise, that incorporates walking and breathing. The patient takes one step with an inhale and second step with an exhale, then the 3rd and 4th steps holding their breath. The idea is that this becomes a meditation practice of walking, breath, lungs and abs muscles.
2) While brushing one’s teeth. With the tooth brush being held by the right hand and the left hand holding up the elbow of the right arm, the patient should shimmy the head to the left side. And then switch sides.
3) Relieving the jaw. Make fists with the hands and then place them around the jaw and make circles.
4) Shimmy the whole body, including the neck, shoulders, hips, knees and legs. This gentle movement releases the body and mind creating a balance within the body and improving blood circulation. One can never shimmy too much and should be able to do it all day long.
If the patient works on a consistent basis with the alternative physical therapist and performs the exercises at home, they will live a healthier life.