How To Fight Those Ugly Period Cramps Every Month
It is often said that menstruation unites women who are on the most antagonistic terms. An aspect of menstruation, in which women relate to with each other, is period cramps. Cramps are the most dreaded part of a woman’s month. The pain can sometimes be unbearable enough to not let us leave bed for days on end. However, these cramps can be dealt with, at least partially, if not fully, by doing a couple of things while we experience the pain.
Use heating bags or bottles
Applying heat to the effected part makes the pain go away. Period cramps are caused by lower blood flow to the uterus, which might result in damaging of tissue cells. According to studies at University College London, a temperature of 40⁰C causes the pain receptors in tissues to go numb reducing the sensation of pain in the area.
Take a hot water bath
As we’ve already discussed the merits of heat when in pain, taking a hot water bath helps calm muscles throughout your body. Adding a couple of bath salts enhances the experience and calms you both physically and mentally. Use clary sage and lavender for pain relief, eucalyptus and cinnamon to reduce inflammation, rose to regulate the menstrual cycle, and ylang-ylang and chamomile to decrease pain and irritability.
Lightly massage the area
Use a mix of essential oils of lavender, clary sage, and marjoram in a 2:1:1 ratio and lightly massage your lower abdominal area. Use circular movement of hands on your abdomen with light pressure, and do it 30 times. Alternatively, you could use your index and middle fingers and move them in a heart shape on your lower abdomen. In case of intense pain, you could resort to kneading your belly with your knuckles for around 30 seconds. Rubbing the back of your ribs lightly is also helpful sometimes.
Consume more herbal tea
Herbal tea has been an age-old aid for helping with maladies of the body. Chamomile tea is known to have an effect on period cramps. Moreover, the cumulative effect of tea lasts longer. Here is a recipe for you to make yourself that perfect cup of turmeric root tea, known to be anti-inflammatory, during that time of the month. Mix 24 g turmeric root, 13g grated ginger root, quarter teaspoon grounded cinnamon, few pieces of ground black pepper, 80g honey, and the juice of half a lemon. Store the mixture in an air tight container and keep it refrigerated. Mix the concoction with boiling water and add some pepper for a cup of pure relief.
Sleeping can be a pain during periods, but try doing that in the fetal position. It helps reduce both the pain and leaks!
Drinking water helps expel fluids from the body through the urinary system. Also, have vegetables and fruits which are high in water content, like cucumbers, watermelons, etc. It’ll help your body to keep away from bloating and swelling up.
Fennel seeds are known for their medicinal properties when it comes to period cramps. They relieve you of the pain, but can increase the blood flow. Ginger and cinnamon, on the other hand, are known to reduce bleeding and relax muscles, providing symptomatic relief.
Increase intake of minerals and vitamins
Calcium through foods like milk, eggs, broccoli, etc., should be taken in in large amounts to reduce the pain. Vitamin D absorbs all the extra calcium and reduces inflammation. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fish oil also help with the same, but they tend to increase the bleeding, at times. Magnesium and Vitamin help fight period cramps by reducing sensation, but if you have heart problems, you should consult your doctor first.
Working out when you are on periods increases endorphin levels in the body which help fight the pain. Plus, the muscles are properly flexed while exercising, which is an added benefit to fight cramps.
Reduce the intake of certain foods and beverages
Caffeine is one of the most consumed products, but also the worst to consume during periods. It worsens symptoms of PMS, and also makes the menstrual cycle irregular. Other intoxicants like alcohol should also be avoided in order for the period cycle to continue without any disruption and not cause period pain. Foods like chocolate may help lift your mood, but it causes bloating due to water retention which is bad.
Resort to acupressure or chiropractic massages
Acupressure points that help with period cramps are- sea of energy , gate origin, mansion cottage, rushing door , sacral , and wombs and vitals . They’re all located in the abdominal region of your body. Your legs have the three ying crossing, and the grandfather grandson points on the upper arch. Pressing them also help with the pains. Chiropractors might help you better.
Take contraceptive pills
Birth control pills, if taken regularly and systematically, can help reduce cramps. Also, other non-steroidal analgesics like aspirin might help. But make sure the pills are your last resort and you consult your doctor prior to taking them.
Eat a banana
Bananas contain potassium, which may reduce cramps, as cramps could be due to a potassium deficiency.Other foods that contain loads of potassium include:
- White beans, such as Adzuki, soy, or Lima beans
- Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale
- Dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes, or raisins
- Fish, such as salmon, halibut, and tuna
Drink chamomile tea
A recent study done by the Imperial College of London found that drinking German chamomile teahelped relieve pain caused by menstrual cramps.Chamomile contains glycine, an amino acid that can relieve muscle spasms. By relaxing the uterus, chamomile appears to be helpful in relieving cramps caused by periods.
Try a sports drink
Although there is no scientific evidence to suggest that drinking a sports drink will help with period cramping, it can’t hurt. Sports drinks contain electrolytes, which help regular cramping.
- Why might sports drinks be ineffective? Regular cramping may be caused from hyperactivity or a deficiency of essential nutrients such as potassium or magnesium. Period cramping, however, is caused by contractions of the uterus, which tries to expel the uterine lining and any eggs that went unfertilized during ovulation. Because period cramping isn’t caused by the same thing as normal muscle cramping, sports drinks may be less effective than advertised.
Take omega-3 fatty acids
Taking a daily fish-oil supplement high in a healthy fat called omega-3 fatty acid could help you reduce pain caused by menstrual cramping. One study found that women who took daily fish oil supplements had less pain associated with cramping than women who simply took a placebo.
Elevate your legs
Keep your legs a foot or two above the rest of your body with pillows. This can force your uterine muscles to relax.
Place pressure on your stomach for 10 seconds
Gentle pressure is best, and repeat in 10-second intervals as needed. Your body will start to notice the sensation of the pressure instead of the sensation of pain caused by the menstrual cramping. More than just offering a distraction, the pressure could also soothe some of the pain.
Massage your abdomen
Massage the front of the abdomen, working back to your lower back. Have a friend or a family member massage your lower back if possible. This will reduce a lot the pain for some time.
Walking is an effective and easy remedy for pain associated with menstrual cramping. For best results, walk briskly, and do this exercise for 30 minutes cycles at least three times a day.Walking will help get your beta-endorphins going, as well as reduce prostaglandins.
Go jogging for a little bit
This will give you enough exercise to keep you in less pain. In lieu of exercise, you can try other forms of aerobic exercise. Again, shoot for 30 minutes of controlled, medium-intensity aerobic exercise, 3 times a week.
- Sports, such as soccer or basketball, that involve running
Do a few sit-ups
Any exercise may be beneficial, but sit-ups work your abdominal muscles especially, focusing attention away from cramping and toward the pleasant burn in your outer tummy.
- Exercise releases beta-endorphins in your body, which are internal opioids, or the morphine that your body produces all on its own.