Up to 90% of women suffer from severe period pain. It is not only uncomfortable but also inconvenient. Maybe you have to call in sick and miss work, cancel any plans with friends and family and stay in bed watching a Reece Witherspoon drama with a tub of Halo Top ice cream. As much as society and the media like to poke and mock this stereotype, there is nothing like period pain. Primary dysmenorrhea, a fancy word for these cramps, is really, really bad. Luckily, there are a few ways that can help to relieve pain and survive this day. Here are six methods to soothe stomach cramps in a natural way.
When suffering from intense stomach cramps, for most women, exercise is last on the list of things to ease the pain. However, physical activity can relieve pain as it aids digestion, increases the circulation to the pelvic region and releases endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller) in the body, which is known to boost spirits. Exercising on your period does not have to involve a HIIT class at the gym or a crossfit style boot camp. Listen to your body; maybe take a walk or any form of LISS (low-intensity steady state) such as yoga. Yoga poses cat, cobra and fish have been found to reduce the intensity and duration of menstruation for women aged 18 to 22. Or try swimming – it stretches the abdominal muscles and eases pain from cramps.
The heat will soothe the period cramps while giving your body a big hug. Taking a long hot bath will allow your muscles to ease and therefore reduce cramps. Maybe add a bath bomb or bath salts for extra vibes? Or, if you are someone who dislikes baths, try using a heating pad. A microwavable bean bag or a hot water bottle is perfect for watching tv, sitting at a desk or lying in bed – they can be just as effective as painkillers.
Ice cream, chocolate, sweet treats, and fast food – the diet most women crave during the time of the month. Sadly, these cravings may only be aggravating period pain. Salty foods exacerbate bloating, and sugar increases oestrogen levels, which are responsible for a lot of pain women experience when bleeding. When women menstruate, having fibre and omega-3 diet is vital to aid digestion – salmon, leafy green vegetables, and nuts, for example.
CBD oil, extracted from the cannabis plant, is commonly used to help treat anxiety and depression, insomnia, appetite regulation, migraines and headaches and now, menstrual pain. It’s starting to feel as if there is nothing CBD cannot treat.
CBD can help to treat period pain as a high number of our body’s CBD receptors are located in the vagina, creating an easy way to unlock CBD’s pain-relieving properties. When it comes to menstruation, CBD helps to ease the inflammation created when the uterine lining sheds. CBD is available in many forms; CBD capsules, infused tampons, sweets, drinks, tinctures, and many others. However, when you decide to buy CBD oil or any other product, make sure to opt for proven and reliable brands that offer only high-quality, pure, and effective CBD assortment without harmful or artificial additives.
Taming Stress & Sleeping Better
Having poor quality, interrupted sleep has been shown to increase the pain women experience during their period and their ability to manage it. Women suffering from insomnia endure more severe dysmenorrhea and find their period interferes with their day to day life more than women without insomnia. Stress can similarly have a negative impact on our menstrual pain. Mindfulness and meditation practices – a walk in the forest, reading a book, listening to a podcast – can help support peace in mind and reduce inflammation.
Body, Mind, And Pain Relationship
Society and culture have shaped popular beliefs and attitudes about menstruation. Periods are deemed as less than positive, and while side-effects are very real, making peace with your body and period can change how you perceive your flow. The mind to body connection is powerful!
Nevertheless, if your cramps are too severe to manage, see a doctor. Try to listen to your body and respect its limits. There is no one solution for everyone. We are not uniform, and therefore we do not have the same experience. It’s up to you to find the solutions that work for your body.