Every women has suffered from their period in one way or another. Most of us, more than half of all women, suffer from menstrual cramping. Never Mind the more embarrassing things like getting your period in the wrong place at the wrong time, like during intercourse with a new partner. Yes, that’s happened to me and it's probably happened to you too. It’s definitely one of those “taboo” subjects to talk about but why does it have to be. Every women and preteen on the planet has to deal with their period and all of the good and not so good things that come along with it.
I’ve had plenty of embarrassing stories to keep you laughing all day but my period is no joke. I suffer from pms and back pain about a week prior to my period and then menstrual cramping for at least the first 2 days. However, it has gotten better over the years thanks to the all natural methods I’ve implemented in my daily life.
Some of these methods that I highlight below might not seem to have a direct effect on your menstrual cycle but indirectly they do. Changing some of your current lifestyle habits can have a dramatic effect on your health including your menstrual cycle.
The first thing I used to do whenever I got cramps was reach for something comforting, like fatty food. You may feel good eating a salty bag of chips or some greasy french fries at first but a fatty diet has shown to increase inflammation and cramping.so let’s dive in with the subject that most affects us which is food.
1.Eat Clean- A clean diet that is low in fat can show an overall decrease in inflammation. Now when I talk about fat I don’t mean the good type of fat found in coconut oil and avocado. I’m talking about the bad type of saturated fats found in animal products. A study that was published in obstetrics & gynecology in February 2000 stated that women who ate a low fat, vegan diet had significantly less menstrual pain and pms symptoms. Of course I’m not telling you you have to be vegan to not suffer from menstrual pain but food does have a direct link to all processes within the body. Try eating differently at least around the time of your next period and see if that helps.
Eat Don’t Eat
Whole Grains Animal Products
Vegetables Vegetable Oils
Legumes Fatty Foods
2.Cut Inflammation- Shortly before your period begins chemicals called prostaglandins are released. These chemicals are made from the traces of fat stored in your cells, and they promote inflammation. They are necessary to make the uterus contract but induce period pain and cramps. Instead of reaching for a NSAID or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug try a natural inflammation reducer such as turmeric. Circumin or turmeric has antt-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin Helps to reduce the severity of pms or cramping by regulating brain chemicals or neurotransmitters that cause inflammation and pain. Turmeric is now available in capsule form and I take it regularly as a supplement. If I am suffering from an acute attack of inflammation from a cold or muscle cramping then I double up on the dose. There are other ways of using turmeric such as adding it to your food, hot tea, or milk.
3.Drink Herbal Teas- We just talked about how turmeric and turmeric tea can help relieve pain from inflammation but there are other herbal teas that can do the same. Although Organic Ginger Turmeric is my favorite I have had some luck with other teas such as chamomile, hibiscus, and peppermint tea. All of these teas have a calming effect on the nervous system and the gi tract which will help soothe your sore pelvic area.
4.Essential oils- Essential oils are my cure- all for everything from headaches, to allergies, and even muscle cramping. A good lower abdominal massage will definitely aide in any discomfort you may be experiencing but an inhalation of essential oils is key for that long lasting effect. Try incorporating a few drops of one of the oils below for a relaxing pain reducing massage.
- Clary Sage
- Roman Chamomile
NYR Organics does have an amazing Women’s Blend. This blend was formulated to help harmonize any imbalances during menstruation and menopause, both emotionally and physically. The rose and geranium will take the edge off your emotions giving you inner clarity and poise.
5.Increase Vitamins- There are a lot of vitamins that help to aide in the metabolization of estrogen. Estrogen is a female sex hormone most commonly known as the growth hormone, as this is its role in the body. It’s main duty is to grow and mature the uterine lining, which is the lining shed during menstruation. Upping the vitamins that help regulate estrogen can help diminish your period pains. I would suggest taking the following supplements throughout your cycle.
- Vitamin B6
- Fish Oil
6.Exercise- I know the last thing you want to think about is working out while you have your period but regular exercise can help balance hormones and reduce stress which will help reduce the symptoms of pms. Plus you’ll release plenty of endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good chemicals that are released when you work out. Not only do they have a pain relieving effect but they can help to boost your mood. If lifting weights or the thought of cardio is too much try some light yoga, pilates, or even stretching.
7.Acupuncture- Acupuncture is a form of chinese medicine that is known as an alternative therapy here in the US. Acupuncture works by inserting thin, sterile, disposable needles into specific points or meridians along the body. The needles stay in for a period of time, usually anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how much work the person needs. It is believed that because we are energy beings our energy may become unbalanced. Acupuncture helps to re-work a person’s energy and clear any energy blockages that may be causing or contributing to pain. I personally love acupuncture. I see an acupuncturist regularly for headaches, muscle pain, allergies, and anything else that may come about. It’s a great way to take some time to yourself to relax, yes somehow lying still with 20 needles piercing my body is relaxing. If you're new to acupuncture then I suggest you go into it with an open mind. It does not hurt and can be a wonderful experience.
I hope that one of these methods will work for you. I know they have worked for me so many times. If all else fails grab a comfy blanket and snuggle up with a heating pad and a good book: )
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