People who participated in the mindfulness –based intervention reported a reduction in sleep disturbances (from 10.2 to 7.4) than people who participated in the sleep hygiene intervention (from 10.2 to 9.1).Balint Földesi/Flickr

Yoga and meditation can help fight migraine, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in the US found that people with migraines highly benefitted with an intervention program called mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR).

MBSR is a program, developed by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the US, which combines mindfulness meditation with yoga.

As part of the study, 19 adults with migraines attended eight weekly sessions of either MBSR or received a standard medical care. The yoga-meditation group were asked to perform the therapy for 45 minutes, five days a week.

Researchers analysed the participants before and after the study. Mindfulness based yoga group achieved 1.4 fewer episodes of migraines every month than the other group. The intervention program also helped reduce severity and length of the headaches.

"We found that the MBSR participants had trends of fewer migraines that were less severe," lead author of the study, Rebecca Erwin Wells, assistant professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist, said in a news release.

"Secondary effects included headaches that were shorter in duration and less disabling, and participants had increases in mindfulness and self-efficacy—a sense of personal control over their migraines. In addition, there were no adverse events and excellent adherence."

The power of mindfulness yoga in fighting stress mainly helped this occurrence, according to the authors. "Stress is a well-known trigger for headaches and research supports the general benefits of mind/body interventions for migraines, but there hasn't been much research to evaluate specific standardized meditation interventions," Wells, said.

The study has been reported in journal Headache. 

Migraine is a headache disorder that is often accompanied by headache, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. A 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report shows that about 47 percent of the adult population suffered from headache disorders like migraines, tension-type headache (TTH), cluster headache (CH) or medication-overuse headache (MOH) in the previous year.

Migraines can be either chronic or episodic. Chronic migraine occurs when a person experiences headache for 15 or more days a month for three months, of which eight carry the symptoms of migraines. In episodic migraine, headache occurs only less than 15 days a month.