How to reduce menstrual pain instantly!
7 Ways to reduce menstrual pain instantly!
For most of my life I had to stay home at least one day every month due to intense period cramps. I was nauseous, dizzy, had headaches, was ghostly pale, and could hardly walk straight.
Back then I had only two options - stay at home or take pain medication like it was candy.
There are days when you need medication to stop menstrual pain instantly. But if you experience intense pain every month, you need more options in your arsenal.
I've made it my mission to collect as many natural tricks to reduce menstrual pain as I can find! You can use these 7 tricks at school, at work, and while traveling.
1. Alternate nostril breathing.
This is a discreet way to use relaxation to manage your pain. You can use this strategy in class, in the line at the grocery store, in a meeting at work and still be discreet! This is a relaxation technique. Alternate nostril breathing calms the body and helps take your mind off the menstrual pain. Studies have shown alternate nostril breathing supports the parasympathetic nervous system, can decrease blood pressure, and slows heart rate.
How to perform alternate nostril breathing for menstrual pain reduction:
Place your ring finger and thumb on either side of your nose and alternate closing each nostril and breathing. Close the left side, breath in through the right, then breathe out through the left, then we switch directions. Breathe in through the left, breathe out through the right. In the through the right, out through the left, in through the left out through the right. Breathe deeply into your belly each time.
Watch the video at the bottom of this article for an example.
2. Use pressure.
Painful menstrual cramps are often caused by an imbalance of prostaglandins causing your uterus to contract more than it needs to. For some women, fibroids or endometriosis in the uterus can make these contractions excruciating. Putting pressure on your lower abdomen can reduce the menstrual pain and feel very comforting. When you have to be at school or work, this is a great time to pull out the spanx! These belly huggers feel like they’re hugging your uterus all day long. In a good way. Try it for yourself. Some women find their menstrual pain reduces with pressure, while other women feel better with lightness.
3. Use reflexology.
There are pressure points all over your foot that correspond to your uterus, ovaries, thyroid, adrenal glands, pretty much your entire endocrine system. You can use a chart to find specific points or let your intuition guide you to the points that need attention. Menstrual pain can actually be reduced by massaging these reflexology points.
You can definitely have your partner help you with this. Some of your pressure points may be tender so go easy on yourself.
4. Stay hydrated.
Caffeine can make period cramps worse, cause bloating, headaches, and PMS. Skip the coffee, soda, and black tea and opt for lots of good fresh water. There is a lot of blood moving around during your period and it's important to keep yourself hydrated. In fact, go drink a big glass of water right now! Menstrual cramps become more painful when you are dehydrated.
Just like when muscles are sore after exercising, heat can significantly reduce menstrual pain! If you suffer from extreme menstrual pain regularly, invest in a good rice sock or hot water bottle. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just functional and accessible! For a quickie DIY option to reduce menstrual pain - put 2-3 cups of rice in a long sock and tie the end closed. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes or to your desired temperature. You can even add lavender flowers to the rice for some aromatherapy. This helps it feel more like you're at a spa and less like you're stuck in bed with intense menstrual pain!
What can you do if you’re at work or school? Mix a drop of cinnamon or ginger essential oil to 1/2 teaspoon of a neutral carrier oil, like jojoba, and apply it to your abdomen. One drop can create a pleasant warming sensation, too much oil can increase circulation to the area which can actually be dangerous. This is especially important if you’re prone to heavy periods. This is the same reason castor oil packs are not recommended during your period. One drop of essential oil is all you need to create a delightful warming sensation to help reduce your menstrual pain on the go!
6. Upgrade your period products.
Some women see a noticeable reduction in their menstrual pain and even PMS when they switch to a menstrual cup or simply organic products. Plus, these products are much better for the environment and you aren't risking exposure to toxins in an area that is very sensitive.
There are dozens of different shapes and sizes for menstrual cups. Take this amazing quiz by the ladies at Put a Cup In It to find out which brand is the perfect fit for you!
Magnesium is an incredible muscle relaxant. Your body uses magnesium every time a muscle contracts and relaxes. This is true in your heart, in your arms and legs, and yes in your uterus! But if you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet, which most of us aren’t, or if you’re digestion isn’t working all that great, which most of us struggle with, then you have a limited amount of magnesium and your body is probably going to prioritize your heart muscle over your uterine muscle! Which it should. So you can make this process easier on your body by making sure you’re getting lots of magnesium. You can take an epsom salt bath, even a foot bath in epsom salt with work. You can rub magnesium oil directly on your abdomen, you can opt for magnesium rich foods at lunch like almonds, leafy greens, avocados, and yes, dark chocolate. Go for the darkest you can find. And last you can take a magnesium supplement. There are different kinds and different dosages so ask your doctor or another practitioner what would be right for you.
Watch the video - How to Reduce Menstrual Pain Instantly
Why it's a good idea to reduce menstrual pain with natural methods
Pain medications are a band-aid, a helpful in-case-of-emergency option. But they're not a long term solution.
Long term use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and aspirin, have an increased risk of damaging your small intestine and a higher chance of developing an ulcer or having a stroke.
Natural methods of reducing menstrual pain work with your body, not against it. They are supportive and do not have long term risks associated with their use.
There is definitely a time and a place for pain medication. I remember a particularly difficult day in high school when I had to be on a bus at 6 am to go to an all day speech and debate competition. I hadn't slept at all that night because I was so nauseous and in so much pain. You can bet I took a maximum allowable of ibuprofen that morning!
I knew I needed to find an alternative when I was having to take ibuprofen multiple days, every month, for years just to get through my periods.
I've made it my mission to find as many natural - and effective - methods of reducing menstrual pain as I can possibly find!
This article is just 7 strategies you can use to reduce menstrual pain instantly!
Download the entire guide with 20 different things you can do to reduce menstrual pain right now.