9 Tips for Pain Free Periods
By Jenny Abel, R.Ac.
Painful periods (dysmenorrhea) impacts as many as half of menstruating women! Many think that having cramps is a normal process; however, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cramps reveal that there is an imbalance occurring in the body. Here are 9 tips to have pain free periods.
1) Raspberry Leaf Tea:
Has been used for thousands of years for menstrual problems. It is full of nutrients including iron, calcium, and magnesium and can ease cramps.
2) Process your emotions:
Strong emotions (eg. depression, anger) can lead to stagnation of the body’s energy and blood flow, causing pain.
Do you have: Pain before and during menstruation; menses with small volume, purple or dark red color and blood clots; a dislike of pressure on abdomen; irritability; breast tenderness?
Add: Here is music and instructions for Osho’s Kundalini Active Meditation where you can shake and dance off the stress of your day throughout the month rather than have it bottle up: Osho Kundalini Meditation Music
3) Exercise before your period:
Regular exercise, especially the week before your period moves Qi(energy) and blood, and smooths hormonal transitions.
4) Rest during the first couple days of your period:
Give yourself permission to take it easy. Exercise can be draining as you are already losing blood. Gentle yoga or stretching can help. Refrain from intercourse during your period as it stops the natural menstrual flow.
5) Boost your blood:
Not enough blood can cause painful periods. Overwork, improper diet, and constitutional deficiency can be causes.
Do you have: Dull Abdominal pain during and after menstruation; menses that are thin, pale color and small volume; a preference for pressure on abdomen; fatigue; poor memory?
Avoid: Raw cold foods, as they can be hard to digest, absorb, and turn into blood.
Add: Ginseng, astragalus. Get your iron levels tested, possible iron supplement, red foods.
6) Avoid excessive cold environments and foods:
Cold/damp environments like air conditioning, basements, rainy or snowy winters, or cold/damp foods like ice cream may lead to an accumulation of cold and damp in the abdomen causing pain.
Do you have: Pain during or after menstruation; menses with small volume; pain that feels better with warmth, dislike of cold, a craving for warm drinks?
Avoid: Cold damp raw foods, like ice cream, yogurt, ice water, too many raw salads.
Add: Warm water. Cinnamon and ginger. Keep feet and lower back warm.
Ask your acupuncturist about moxa and/or you can get Moxa Heat Packs
7) Eat to balance hormones, reduce inflammation and ease pain:
Avoid: Alcohol, coffee, salt, processed foods, especially during the week before your period. This reduces inflammation. And avoid spicy foods if you have bright red menstrual blood, irritability, and constipation.
Add: Plenty of vegetables-particularly cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens (steamed and warmed up if you have deficiency signs listed above), fish, unsaturated fats like olive oil, whole grains such as brown rice, and yes, dark chocolate!
8) Essential Oils of Lavender, Clary Sage, and Geranium:
These naturally balance hormones and ease pain when applied topically with a carrier oil. Make sure to pick something that smells good to you- your nose knows what your body wants. You can make your own blend or the Moon Cycle remedy from Saje.
Stimulates the production of endorphin’s and blocks the transmission of pain signals. Acupuncture can open the blockage of Qi and Blood, balance the internal organs, and activate the body’s own healing process and natural production of hormones.
To learn more about how acupuncture can help you have pain free periods visit our website to book a free 15 minute consultation or an appointment online.