Natural remedies for menstrual pain
While periods are a normal part of life, menstrual cramps don't have to be. In fact, in Eastern Medical theory, PMS is considered a disorder. I treat it often in my practice and it truly does help women have a much less dramatic period. If you have a healthy period, you should have very little to no discomfort during this time.
I have a few tips for you to make the time of the month go a little smoother. First, get to know the signals your body gives you right before your period is about to start. Of course, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is different for everyone, but I find these are the most common signs.
- Dull, achy lower back
- Mood changes- like depression or quick tempered
- Lower abdominal cramping
- Dull headaches
- Sudden constipation or diarrhea
- Heightened sexual desire
1. Tea for cramps
As soon as the bloating starts, make tea using Turmeric, Cinnamon and Hawthorn. Drink at least three cups of this throughout the day, it's great for the bloating and pain because it's anti-inflammatory.
2. Energetically warming tea for PMS
If you're someone who tends to feel cold easily, make tea with the following ingredients the week before your period starts: (Get the P Tracker App if you're not sure when the week before your period is supposed to be)
Ginger, green onions, fennel, black pepper and orange peel. Let it boil for 10 minutes then strain and drink. Drink three times a day for the entire week to decrease PMS symptoms.
3. Essential Oils
There are essential oils that help with painful cramps specifically. It may take a little experimenting with which blend in particular will work for you. Mix the appropriate amount of essential oil drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba. Massage it all over your abdomen, lower back and shoulders. Using a hot pack on your abdomen or lower back with a wool cloth along with the massage oil is very warming and feels great.
For continuous intense pain:
Roman Chamomile 10 Drops
Clary-Sage 5 Drops
Red Thyme 15 Drops
For spasmodic pain:
Lavender 5 drops
Peppermint 10 Drops
Nutmeg 10 Drops
Cypress 5 Drops
4. Essential Fatty Acids.
Since menstruating is basically inflammation, you'll need to stick to as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible. Fish oil is perfect for this and yes I have one I like. If you're vegetarian, take flaxseed oil regularly.
I get asked all the time, what does acupuncture do? Reduces inflammation, improves circulation and balances hormones (and is great at reducing pain!) I mean...what more do you need to know? Acupuncture is perfect for treating PMS, PCOS and an irregular period. Since I also practice skincare, my bridal clients especially love coming here to prep their skin for their wedding AND working on the PMS so they can just enjoy their big day.
Can't come in to see me? Then there are two areas on your body you can press and hold for 3 minutes each as soon as any bloating or lower back pain begins. Pictured on the left is LI4, and on the right is LV 3.
The combination of these point improves the smooth flow of Qi and blood which leads to less pain, a regular period that arrives on time and lasts the same amount of days. Acupuncture can definitely yield better results than acupressure but something is better than nothing. Press and hold these points on both hands and feet.
Wishing you a happier period,