Have you met anyone who doesn’t dread their time of the month? Those negative feelings that we harbour towards this perfectly natural process is something that every woman can understand. Granted, we go through many different and unique emotional or physical changes in those five- to seven-day cycles, but for some women, it is those unbearable cramps that make PMS and the monthly cycle an unwelcome guest.
There are numerous reasons why women experience period pains or cramps. While there are no definitive causes, factors like heavy flow, having an overproduction of the hormone prostaglandins (a hormone directly linked to your womb), or just your uterine walls working to shed the extra lining, are linked to pain and discomfort.
While it may seem impossible to get out of bed if you experience severe cramping, there are a few natural ways to help with pain management? Here are five ways to reduce period pain:
1. Hot and Cold Therapy
A hot bag or a heating pad on your lower abdomen is one of the best ways to ease the pelvic muscles, thus reducing the cramps. Similarly, an ice pack helps in drawing out the blood which may have pooled in your lower abdomen to your extremities. It is advisable to try both hot and cold therapy to gauge which one works better for you.
Massaging the lower abdomen area helps to spread out the cramped muscles and alleviate your pain. Massage therapy aims at specific points in the lower abdomen to help reduce period pain. A good 10-minute massage has been effective in reducing the intensity and duration of the pain. For added benefit, you may want to use essential oils diluted with carrier oils like coconut, almond, or jojoba.
3. Maintain A Healthy Diet
You may experience a craving for different kinds of junk food, especially sweets, when you are on your period. However, they do more harm than good. Junk foods tend to cause water retention and bloating, further intensifying those cramps. Instead, it’s recommended you consume fresh fruits and vegetables which are rich in fibre. It’s also best to avoid caffeine, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water, whether you’re on your period or not, is extremely important. However, keeping yourself hydrated during your cycle will help your system flush out any toxins which cause bloating, helping you reduce period pain. Drinking water will provide you some relief from period pain, as well as help you feel fresh and rejuvenated.
Yes, we understand. It’s not easy to get out of bed when you’re in so much pain. And while exercise during your period is not everyone’s cup of tea, a little motivation to get out of bed can really change how you feel! It helps to stay active because some amount of exercise will keep your muscles from being dormant and will prevent cramping. Light exercises like walking or jogging, couples with some stretches will help you stay fit and enable you to take on the day.