Every month, 90% of women suffer from intense cramps that can be so bad that even doctors have given it a name: dysmenorrhea. While most often they are not a sign of a serious health condition, regular monthly cramps can make significant impacts on your life that could get in the way of daily responsibilities.
Many people take over-the-counter (OTC) medications; their cycles can occasionally be so intense that they need a prescription from their primary care physician. If you are looking for a more natural and holistic approach to managing your cramps, here are several ways that could help.
1. Heating Pads
The use of a heating pad along the abdomen or lower back can help tremendously when it comes to suffering from serious menstrual cramps. However, some people do not actually own one. If that’s the case, you can also boil water and soak a cloth in it.
Once it’s cooled down, you can use that in replacement. The only downside is that the cloth may cool off rather quickly, so the use of reheating under a hot water faucet may have to be done several times.
2. CBD Suppositories
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has hit the mainstream market in a substantial way. While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done, there are many physical and mental benefits to taking CBD.
CBD suppositories are a great way to help provide pain relief from menstrual cramps. The CBD has properties that are not only for pain relief but can also help manage mood swings, headaches, and anxious thoughts that coincide with regular menstrual side effects that may impact you as well.
If you are looking for a great CBD suppository to try, check out Pacific Roots. They provide a series of all-natural, vegan products that come in various dosages and are all USDA Farm Bill compliant. They also do not contain any THC which is the compound that has the psychoactive effects as many associated with the marijuana plant.
3. Essential Oil Massages
A massage for about twenty minutes with the use of specific scented oils can actually help provide relief from those pesky cramps. Certain scents such as lavender, peppermint, and rose all provide aromatherapy that can relax the body.
Make sure when using essential oils on the body that you are diluting them with a carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil.
4. Try Out Herbal Supplements
Adding herbs to your daily regimen can always be beneficial for your health. Certain herbs, however, can actually reduce inflammation as well as reduce the contractions and swelling you experience in your muscles during menstrual pain.
A study conducted in 2012, for instance, noted that when taken four times a day for three days when your period first starts, fennel seeds can help to alleviate menstrual cramps before they even begin. Other herbs that can help include cinnamon, ginger, dill, and French maritime pine bark.
5. Change Up Your Diet
We all know the power that food has to fuel our bodies. But what you may not have known is that certain types of food can actually have more of an impact on bloating and water retention. These are some of the factors that can occasionally cause cramps to feel worse than they are because they increase tension within the body.
Limit caffeine and alcohol intake while you are experiencing cramps. In turn, trade them up for ginger or mint tea and naturally sugar snacks like different kinds of berries. These foods and beverages can help decrease inflammation and tension, ultimately helping to subside the drastic effects of cramps.
6. Try To Break a Sweat
We get it. Moving around a lot while you are having cramps doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. However, increasing your heart rate and sweating both help to release endorphins that alter your moods and lower the mental effects of pain. Exercising can even help to relieve some of the tension that is built up as well that contributes to cramps.
7. Get Your Yoga Flow On
Did you know that there are certain types of flows in yoga that can help to alleviate cramps? It’s true that yoga for centuries has been used as a form of pain relief for many different types of bodily ailments.
Certain poses can help to ease your muscles and relax the mind that can be powerful in easing the effects of cramps. They also help with other various premenstrual symptoms like headaches or the inability to get a proper night’s sleep.
8. Spend Time in Meditation
A study that was previously published in the Mindfulness Journal showed that meditation can help to change your direct attitude towards the pain you experience from cramps. The added pain can also add a larger level of stress.
Meditation as the use of managing personal stress can not only help to alleviate the pain you experience from cramps. The study also showed that meditation can also balance out levels of estrogen that may be lowered due to overwhelming stress in a woman’s life.
9. Visit a Chiropractor
If you have never visited a chiropractor before, you may want to consider giving it a try when your cramps are causing a disruption in your life. As a natural approach to pain management, a chiropractor can do an alignment where spinal manipulation can help to reduce pain in the uterus and lower back.
10. Take a Stab at Acupuncture
Acupuncture isn’t a new technique in terms of managing the side effects of pain, nausea, and vomiting, all of which can be extremely frustrating side effects of menstrual cramping. Cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy often use acupuncture as a means to manage the side effects of their treatment. While your nausea and physical pain may not be to the same extent, it is worth giving it a shot as many people have had great success from it.
How it works is the acupuncturist will use a needle to literally pinpoint various nerves. This helps to relax your overall nervous system which can cause a stronger flood flow into your internal organs, along with having positive anti-inflammatory effects as well.