(This is a Level 6 sponsored post written by Inês Marinho. Check my Terms Of Service for full disclosure levels.)
Fertility is a blessing, a gift from Mother Nature. However, our female bodies woman go through to reproduce is a nightmare for many. Every month all pre-menopausal women have a visitor they can’t avoid: the period. Some women are fortunate enough to experience their monthlies without any pain or other problems. However, some are not so lucky. Officially called dysmenorrhea, period pain starts with pre-menstrual symptoms, such as irritability, mood changes, bloating and overall discomfort. When a full period hits, it can also come with belly cramps and other maladies.
Scientifically speaking, why do periods often bring on cramps? During menstruation, the uterus contracts against the blood vessels around it. Natural chemicals linked to pain and inflammation cause these contractions and this compression has the function of preventing oxygen from reaching the uterus’ muscle tissue. The result? Menstrual cramps and the quest for ways to try to stop them or, at least, ease them.
Medication is the only solution for many. However, there are tons of great natural alternatives to alleviate the pain that are better for our bodies in the long term. Here are some things you can do to make your period less of a painful hassle.
Exercise to kick the cramps away
The idea of exercise during this time of the month might seem unrealistic. However, physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins and helps to relieve period pain as your body circulates the blood and pumps it.
Studies show that active women experience less pain during their period than women who remain sedentary. You do not need to become a professional athlete and be listed in the college football rankings. A simple brisk walk is enough to help you out with your period pain. To alleviate period pain your exercise does not need to be intense. But you do need to be active.
Stretch Your Body
Once again, you don’t need to be an elastic woman to stretch. Stretching has nothing to do with elasticity. A few simple stretches can loosen up aching areas. Focus on stretches that involves your cramped areas like your pelvis and lower back and go for it.
Use A Heating Bag
Placing a heat bag in the areas, such as your pelvis or lower back, affected by period pain can reduce it. A warm and long bath can have similar effects. If you choose to go the jacuzzi route, be sure not to make it too hot or it can have adverse results.
Consume Herbal Teas
Herbal teas have tons of medicinal uses and can help with painful periods. For example, chamomille is not only a tasty and relaxing tea, it is great for cramp prevention. A study by the American Chemical Society found out that drinking chamomile tea increases the production of glycine, an amino acid that reduces muscle spasms. The researchers concluded that chamomile tea has a positive effect on lowering pain for women experiencing menstrual cramps. Grab your heat bag and enjoy a cup of chamomille tea.
Less caffeine and alcohol
If you are coffee addicted or you like to have a beer at the end of a tough working day, you might want to consider holding off during your period. Caffeine provokes muscle tightening, as a vasoconstrictor, causing blood vessels to constrict. Your muscles are already tightening up enough, so there is no need to make it worse! Drinking water and tea are better options for this time of the month.
Massage Is A Lifesaving Blessing
Pre-menstrual cramps are a great excuse to have a massage. Relaxing major muscle groups has positive results in lowering anxiety, pre-menstrual cramps and bloating. If you can’t afford a full massage, self massage will do. Knead your abdomen and back for 30-minutes at home to fight against cramps. There are some available devices in the market that can provide you with a massage without you making any effort or paying someone to do it. This stage of the month is also a good excuse to pamper yourself with a new tool to improve your well-being. (TGATP NOTE; I love the Spoonk and the Homedics chairs!)