A Few Natural Remedies For Period Pain Relief
If you find yourself grasping for a packet of painkillers as soon as that time of the month shows up, then you are not alone. Recent studies have shown that ninety-five per cent of women experience different degrees of dysmenorrhea, the technical term for painful menstruation. These monthly cramps range from mild to pretty debilitating and can quickly become completely horrendous. Chronic period pain and sharp spasms have been compared to that of a heart attack, so not something to disregard.
Our bodies go through a lot during each cycle, and the side effects can often be unbearable. It is indeed comforting to sit with the knowledge that this is very common but arming yourself with effective and natural remedies is even better.
There are some classic antidotes that help to soothe period pain. The application of heat to the lower abdomen and lower back can gently relax uterine contractions as well as increase blood flow that reduces the symptoms of pain. Investing in a heat pack can be a real saviour in the midst of it all; weighted rice bags are an easy and reusable treatment that is simply popped in the microwave. An old-fashioned water bottle will also do the trick; just ensure enough padding between your skin and the direct heat. Infrared saunas have an array of benefits to ease your period woes; the hot environment improves the circulation of oxygenated blood and reduces the production of prostaglandin, the dreaded pain hormone. During our periods, our bodies retain more salt and water that contribute to bloating and discomfort, so sweating out this excess in a sauna can mitigate this side effect. If you practice regularly getting a sauna in on the lead-up to your period, the heat can induce your period early and often shortens its length, which can be a god sent for those with typically longer cycles. Don’t forget to keep the hydration levels up; your body will be more sensitive to extremities during this time, so take it easy and don’t push yourself too hard.
Acupuncture and acupressure therapy has many health advantages, and research has proven that when administered during your menstrual cycle, it can reduce pain by up to fifty per cent. Unlike painkillers, acupuncture doesn’t just treat the symptom as it occurs; it has the effect of lessening period pain for future cycles (hallelujah). This traditional Chinese medicinal practice works to rebalance and unblock the flow of energy in your body caused by discomfort and pain. Inserting delicate needles into particular pressure points can drastically improve our hormonal balance, promote optimal blood flow to the reproductive organs and minimise inflammation. Acupuncture also relieves the stressors during our periods by realising extra endorphins to revive your sense of vitality. Evidence displays that consistent and regular appointments can significantly reduce secondary symptoms like persistent headaches and fatigue by regulating sleep patterns and alleviating mood swings - all music to our shedding uteruses.
“The application of heat to the lower abdomen and lower back can gently relax uterine contractions as well as increase blood flow that reduces the symptoms of pain”
Minor changes to your diet during your period can also greatly decrease pain. Anti-inflammatory foods can help to relax your uterus and boost blood flow aiding the body's ability to keep calm. Introducing ingredients such as berries, fatty fish like salmon, almonds, turmeric, and leafy greens are all popular and healthy choices to add to your shopping trolly. Consuming caffeine can cause your blood vessels to narrow, so switching to decaf, even for a couple of days, will prevent any unwanted constriction. Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, fennel or ginger, contain antispasmodic compounds which can reduce muscle spasms that lead to cramps. Herbal teas are also a natural de-stressor and can relieve insomnia, so regularly sipping on a fresh brew is a good idea.
Helping your body let go of any tension during your cycle will make a big difference to your general comfort and state of mind. Massage therapy works wonders on easing tight muscles and wandering thoughts. As a means to help manage period pains, focusing on the abdominal area will be most effective, but a full-body massage will also reduce stress levels. Combining massage oil with essential oils like lavender and clary sage will create a calming environment and a pleasant fragrance. Alongside these natural remedies, deep breaths and consistent rest are simple but powerful means to period pain relief. Remember to be kind to yourself and slow down whenever needed during your monthly cycle. We are all in this together!