It’s that time of the month, again. With mother nature’s gift comes sugar cravings, snappy moods, and worst of all, cramps. Menstrual cramps are quite common and can vary in mild to severance pain. Most are tolerable but for some can be the not-so-great feeling and can even cause some nausea, upset stomach, and even back pain.
So, why do we get period cramps? When we start our monthly cycle, our body releases an excess of prostaglandins (hormone compounds) to help with the healing of the uterus during the period. These prostaglandins also help the uterus to relax and contract when its lining is being shed. Luckily, there are many ways to relieve or manage these aching cramps.
1. Heating Pad
If you’re able to predict your period cramps to come every or most cycles, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a heating pad. Pick them up at your local pharmacy stores at affordable prices. With most heating pads you can adjust the heat levels according to how much support you need. The heat helps soothe and calm cramps, and can actually help your muscles relax.
Think about the areas of your body that typically experience pain from cramping: your belly, pelvis, hips, and lower back. These areas can be targeted for pain relief through certain yoga poses. Also, the emotional symptoms of PMS and menstruation can also be reduced by yoga, so yoga can do more than treat period pain. Positions like child’s pose, cat-cow pose, reclining twist, pigeon post and corpse pose all help stretch the hips, back, and abs to relieve menstrual cramps.
3. Sip on herbal tea
There is a range of herbal teas to sip on that can help soothe your period cramps. Teas like ginger tea, chamomile tea, and also peppermint tea have amazing pain-relieving properties to help ease your cramps and relax your mental and emotional well-being. Be sure to follow the dosage of your preferred tea to help treat your menstrual pain effectively.
4. Diet and water
Just like taking care of your overall health, diet and hydration are key factors that contribute to whether or not your body thrives. If you think you’ve done everything to help ease your menstrual cramps, try considering if you’ve been eating healthy or drinking lots of water. Reach for anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cherries. In addition, add more dark leafy greens, almonds, and other calcium-rich, omega-3 fatty acids to help combat inflammation. Skip the caffeine and sugary drinks and opt in for water or herbal teas.
5. Massage or hot bath with essential oils
Bring some physical relief to your cramps by massaging your abdomen with some soothing essential oils like lavender, sage, or your favorite essential oil. Massaging the area in pain gets the blood flowing and can take as little as 5 minutes a day. If massage isn’t your ideal form of relaxation or relief, run yourself a hot bath and indulge in this type of relaxation. Drop in some essential oil, burn your favorite candle, and focus on relaxing your entire body.
Either trying these tips on their own or pairing them up with each one another will make your period easier to deal with. From a heating pad and essential oils to trying new yoga poses, these will make your period managable.