Migraines are quite common and debilitating.

They can be caused by a variety of situations; where intense concentration is required, where there is a lot of strain on the eyes, where a lot of talking is involved, as a result of hightension scenarios and even sleepless nights.

Ayurveda suggests migraines are more common in vata and pitta body types the air and fire types if you are hyperactive, dynamic, ambitious, like to work constantly under challenging conditions and are fiery with high body heat, acidity and acne, then beware of migraines.

I saw a typical pitta person, a 28-year-old teacher who had acne and red skin and had suffered from migraines for three years.

Like many others, she had been prescribed diazepam, imigran and tramadol strong, addictive medication to control this.

In my practice, I've observed that poor neck posture and slouching causes spasm of the neck muscles.

When this goes untreated for a long time, it can cause migraines.

I used to suffer from migraines myself, as a surgeon working long hours with poor sleep.

So, I changed my work culture and developed a series of self-help neck exercises.

Two or three times a day, I performed Indian head and neck massage on myself to relieve the stress .

Referring to the Ayurvedic medicine texts, I discovered the description of ancient marma points on the head and neck.

Massaging these points with firm finger pressure and rubbing with Ayurvedic oil, trikatu made from extracts of ginger, black pepper and long pepper, which are natural pain relieving herbs my migraines soon lessened.

Aroma oils, like sandalwood, lavender and lemon balm are also helpful.

Avoiding foods like alcohol, cheese and chocolates may help. Ayurvedic medicine prescribes Panchakarma detoxification, designed to cleanse the body of toxins and help prevent migraines.

Pouring warm, soothing oil on the forehead (Shirodhara), and Ayurvedic herbal nasal drops (anu oil), instilled into each nostril regularly on alternate days, can prevent migraines.

The shavasana pose in Yoga for deep relaxation and meditation, pranayam breathing through alternate nostrils, a healthy diet, good digestion, avoiding acidic foods, regular breaks from work, good regular sleep and regular bowel motions are all important in the holistic treatment of migraines.

If GPs could learn the marma massage and manipulation of the neck to release the vertebrae and muscle spasms of the neck, they may not need to prescribe so much medication to the patient.

We have organised a conference on October 6, at the Post Graduate Medical Education Centre, for doctors and complementary practitioners to come together and share practical ideas on holistic treatment for patients.

Please contact Wendy Miller at our British Holistic Medical Association office on 01273 725951 to register and support us.