Menstrual cramps don’t have to be such a pain! Check out how you can ease this rough time to keep healthy and moving.
So not EVERYTHING is great about our cycles. Menstrual cramps are a total pain. They can double you over and ruin your day. But not if you know a few smart (and comfy) moves.
Why the Cramps?
Menstrual cramps are just you feeling your uterus contract to shed its lining. Pretty amazing, even if it doesn’t feel so great.
Here are a few things we can try to make use feel better:
1. Yoga has proven to be a helpful tool in managing these negative effects associated with menstruation; so instead of self-medicating or just skipping out on everyday activities, you can turn to yoga to soothe aches and pains.
2. Exercise – When you’re in pain, the last thing you want to do is strenuous or vigorous exercise. Choose gentle, low-impact aerobic exercises, such as walking or swimming at a slow pace. Exercises that rock your pelvis, such as pelvic tilts, and stress-reducing activities, such as yoga and tai chi, might also provide relief. However, avoid doing yoga inversions while on your period. Ideally, you should get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. If this seems like a stretch when you’re suffering with menstrual cramps, break those exercise sessions into three 10-minute bouts.
3. Massage has been demonstrated to relieve the symptoms of period pain. There are several different types of massage that may have positive effects for people suffering with cramps. These include:
- Swedish Massage with Essential Oils: Touch is a great way to overcome the pain that can come during menstruation. Swedish massage helps to bring oxygen to the muscles. Combined with essential oils, this can be a wonderful treatment for period pain. Use pure essential oils like lavender, clary sage, geranium or marjoram essential oils, as these have been shown to have the greatest impact on pain reduction. (Hecate is a WONDERFUL BLEND)
- Lymphatic Drainage Massage: a side effect of period pain can be water retention and bloating, which may contribute to feelings of discomfort. This type of massage may detox the body, and often provides a much-needed mood boost.
- Reflexology: this type of non-intrusive massage focuses on the energetic pathways and nerve endings in the feet. Rather than applying direct pressure to the area, this treatment is well documented as providing pain relief throughout the body, as well as restoring a sense of emotional balance.
4. Choose the Right Foods. A diet containing foods high in tryptophan, B-complex vitamins, essential fatty acids as well as iron-rich leafy green vegetables will satisfy cravings and stablise blood sugar which will in turn most likely to improve your mood.
5. Heat things up – Take a warm bath or find a heating pad for your lower belly or back. A little heat goes a long way to reduce the effects of your menstrual cramps. Remember the good ol’ water bottle can work a treat!
So remember to take good care of yourself in this phase (Hecate) of your cycle. When you chart, you learn to listen to your body, listen to the little things and learn to love who you are.