9 Natural Ways To Relieve Period Pain
Every woman has experienced that debilitating pain that envelops their midriff and continues to their lower back. You know when you start to feel extreme fatigue. Your patience for the injustices of the world are too much to bare and you've had enough of being irritated, so you head to bed early. Only to wake up the next day with a pain that travels down to the souls of your feet or up to the ends of your hair. That sensitivity and pain that accompanies your periods arrives every month to derail you. You can't get yourself to go to work, take kids to school or sometimes even get off the couch.
The good news is there are many ways to relieve period pain without popping pills or taking ibuprofen.
Let’s explore the nine natural ways to alleviate period pain
9 Natural Ways to Relieve Period Pain
1. Be Kind To Yourself
You know that vow to go hard at training and only consume the healthiest of healthy food to fuel your training regime? Well, take a break. Listen to your body. You know yourself better than anyone else so do what helps you feel better. When your energy is low and you’re not feeling the best, lighten your schedule. Opt for a less intense workout. This isn’t a race. Self care is necessary for our wellbeing. Let go of that pressure to keep all the balls in the air when you’re struggling with period pain and do your best. Call that friend or family member to help. Ten ways to practice self care.
2. Regular Exercise
According to studies, women who do 30 minutes of low to medium aerobic exercise 3 days a week for 8 weeks, find their period pain is less severe. Plan for less intense period pain with a regular exercise routine. Fit a bike ride, yoga, brisk walk or dance a few days a week and you’ll be well on your way to experiencing less period pain.
3. Nourish with Food that Help
Focus on foods that reduce inflammation like avocado, fatty fish, olive oil and berries when you’re suffering from period pain.
Fish rich in Omega 3 like salmon help reduce inflammation while at the same time providing much needed Vitamin D and B6. While Vitamin B6 may help with alleviating irritability and breast tenderness, Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium that may help alleviate period pain.
Calcium has been found to reduce period cramps as well as treat moodiness and fatigue that comes with period pain. Boost your calcium intake with yogurt, milk, cheese or dark leafy greens.
During this time of the month, it’s critical to consume iron rich foods to counter the fatigue and tiredness you feel during menstruation when your body loses iron. These foods include dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli.
Like salmon, bananas are high in vitamin B6 and potassium that helps relieve cramping and bloating. Include a smoothie in your day filled with berries, bananas and milk to get the nutrients you need to fight the pain.
Another fruit to consider is pineapple. Pineapples contain an enzyme that is made to reduce inflammation, bromelain, that you’ll definitely want to be snacking on during this time.
Eating eggs that contain vitamins B6, D and E, can help reduce the symptoms of PMS. While oats contain magnesium and can help you not only feel full but relax blood vessels and regulate serotonin to help with your mood. Other foods that contain magnesium and are a must during your periods when you need your spirits lifted are peanut butter and dark chocolate.
Along with these must have foods, consider drinking chamomile tea to help reduce cramps while bringing you calm.
Foods that have been known to contribute to bloating and water retention that should be avoided include caffeine, salty or fatty foods, alcohol and soft drinks. So don’t reach for that second coffee and instead opt for a ginger or mint tea. And instead of that sugary soft drink, snack on strawberries or raspberries.
4. Stay Hydrated
It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated and drink eight glasses of water a day. When you’re feeling dehydrated, the pain of abdominal cramps becomes even more unbearable.
If drinking water feels like a chore, switch to sipping warm herbal teas that can help with the general feeling of blah during this time of the month. Or even eating foods that are high in water like watermelon, berries, cucumbers, lettuce and celery.
5. Take a Relaxing Shower
Another natural way to relieve period pain is by taking a warm, relaxing shower. This can help relieve tension in your muscles and relax your mind, making it easier for you to fall asleep. If you find yourself cramping frequently, try taking a longer, deeper shower to relax your muscles and increase your oxygen intake.
6. Applying Heat
Curling up with a heated wheat bag, heat patches or hot water bottle directly against your lower back or abdomen may help relieve period pain without the side effects of painkillers. The heat relaxes the muscles that cause period pain while boosting circulation in your abdomen. If you don’t want the hassle of continually heating the hot water or wheat bag, try the Menstrual Pain Relief Massage Belt that includes heating and massage to alleviate the period pain.
7. Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Some scented oils can help relieve period pain, making them an especially good choice for women who experience migraines. Scents that can help reduce cramps and migraines include lavender, rose, geranium and peppermint, to name a few. You can also sip herbal teas and add some aromatherapy to help you sleep, relax and regulate your mood.
Massaging with warm essential oils by mixing them with a base carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil, can help alleviate pain.
8. Acupressure Massage
There are certain areas on your body that are known to alleviate pain or experience pleasure when pressed. These areas are often referred to as “acupressure points,” and they’re good at relieving pain.
Applying pressure in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger for up to 90 seconds while breathing deeply through the nose and out through the mouth, may help alleviate migraines, headaches and period pain.
To alleviate the emotional rollercoaster of anger, frustration along with breast sensitivity and period cramping, apply pressure to the soft webbing between the the knuckles of your big and second toe.
You can find more of these acupressure points and the studies on how they’ve helped alleviate period pain here.
Choose one point at a time and apply pressure while you relax your muscles. Or try the Menstrual Pain Relief Massage Belt that includes heating and massage to alleviate period pain.
9. Get More Sleep
It might seem counterintuitive, but sleep is one of the best ways to relieve period pain. Sleep naturally regulates hormones, including insulin, which helps your cells process sugar and amino acids, two things that can worsen cramps. Make sure you’re getting enough Zzzs to help regulate your hormones and help relieve period pain. Try to avoid sleeping in too late or waking up too early, as your body will be out of whack no matter what time of day you’re sleeping. Avoid caffeinated drinks, as they can disrupt your sleep patterns, and try to stay away from alcohol, as both of these things can be overbearing when it comes to sleep. Consider creating an evening routine for better sleep.