It’s that time of the month again. You‘re doubled in menstrual cramps that just won‘t cease. Have you ever considered relieving them naturally instead of using medications?
Over a half of women who menstruate feel painful period cramps each month, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports. The experience of pain is never just physical, and cramps can be especially annoying as they interfere with our lifestyle.
Painkillers rarely succeed in treating these pains, as they address the symptoms, but not the underlying cause of cramps – and may have their side effects, too. If you‘re aiming for relief in a natural way, here are 5 safe and effective tactics to help you feel better.
#1 Turn Up the Heat
When it comes to period cramps, a heating pad is our best friend. Heat aids the stiff muscles in relaxing, which improves blood flow to tissues and alleviates the pain. Women health state that a heat patch at 104°F works as efficiently as ibuprofen.
When in cramps, warm up your belly by curling up with heating pads, hot water bags, or a hot towel around your abdomen and lower back, or take a warm bath. Or wear a heat wrap or pack under your clothes on your red days – you can buy one online, too. To keep yourself warm, hold a hot water bottle, or a cozy cherry stone pillow placed upon your stomach when you‘re sitting or lying down.
Try to use Genial Day sanitary pads, since some women are noticing fewer cramps when using our liners and pads. We use tourmaline mineral in our strip which can generate far infrared heat which is beneficial in reducing pain.
Drink lots of water during menses. It prevents your body from retaining water, which causes painful bloating. Warm or hot water works better: it boosts our blood flow to the skin, which helps in relaxing cramped muscles.
Each morning of your menstruation days, have some lemon water after you wake up – this will balance your pH. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. If you don‘t like water, have sips of warm herbal teas, or treat yourself with lettuce, celery, cucumbers, watermelon, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), and other food with a high water content.
#3 Have More Vitamins and Minerals
One more natural route to ease cramps is to take fish oil supplements and vitamins all month, including your red days. Fish oil has been scientifically proven to soothe cramps considerably and make them last shorter.
Supply your menstrual diet with daily intakes of calcium and magnesium, which not only feed your muscles and bones but also balance the hormones. Make vitamins A, B, and D3 a must in your diet – in particular, if you live in a colder climate with not much sunlight during the winter season.
#4 Harmonize Those Hormones With Herbs
The Mexican wild yam – a.k.a. a ‘bio-identical hormone’ – has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy to treat menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms. Wild yam works with the imbalance of progesterone caused by menstruation and soothes muscular soreness and many other symptoms of menstrual discomfort (headaches, hot flashes, etc.)
Another hormone whose level changes during menstruation is estrogen. An effective natural remedy to balance its excess is bio-identical progesterone cream. Apply it regularly to soothe cramps, also menstrual backaches and headaches. Experts say that using natural progesterone cream continually over a few cycles can minimize the time of cramps.
Another herb what is considered to relieve PMS symptoms is Vitex (also called Chaste tree or Chaste berry). Read this article from Lara's Briden blog about when to use it and how.
While most of these herbal remedies have few side effects, check with your doctor before trying them.
#5 Get Enough Rest
We all know getting 7-8 hours of sound sleep every night is the key to staying healthy. But when it comes to menstruation, sleep and relaxation should become a priority. If you interrupt your regular sleep rhythms on your menstruation days, this can affect your regular cycle and cause even more irritability, fatigue, and cramping.
Relaxation in general can provide powerful pain relief. Remember what your body is going through on these days – it‘s actually shedding your inner tissue. That takes a lot of energy, so you deserve to nurture yourself with a good rest. Yes, the pain you‘re going through is unpleasant, but it‘s normal. Accept it, listen to your body, and respect its limits. If you feel like canceling appointments, do it. Reduce stress, and treat your body and soul with pleasant things. After all, our menstruation is a good time to feel the connection to our power as women to create and nourish.