Natural Ways To Reduce Period Cramps
In a lot of unsurprising ways, being a menstruator can be hard. We set goals, plan out the perfect strategies to attack our to-do lists, and prep for all the case scenarios for the small things that can go wrong along the way...and then your period starts. There’s no bigger productivity killer than all the cramps, the pain, and the swelling during those four days to a week. But we all find ways to power through! Here are the best natural cramp relief tips you may not know about.
Good 'ole fashion heat
There’s nothing better than heat for loosening your uterus and improving your blood flow. If your cramps are especially bad, jumping in a hot shower or sitting down and enjoying a warm bath for at least 15 minutes can help the pain ease while helping you relax in the process. For more targeted or smaller cramping, keep a heating pad on hand or even a spare water bottle on hand! Heating that bottled water in the microwave and wrapping it in a towel can work well in a pinch.
Yoga is a great way to get active and reduce cramps naturally! Not only can it offer some pain relief, it’s also thought to help ease stress, anxiety, and even headaches. Whether you break out your yoga pants to watch a guided YouTube video or simply sit or lay on your bed in silence when you wake up, here are five recommended poses (Shape Magazine) that can help ease your pain:
Bound Angle Pose (or Baddha Konasana) — perfect for cramp relief
Reclined Bound Angle (or Supta Baddha Konasana) — a great anxiety annihilator
Child’s Pose (or Balasana) — simple, easy to do, and calming
Reclining Twist (or Bharadvaja) — get for stimulation due to an increase of blood flow
Inverted leg pose (or Viparita Karani) — reorient your mental focus and recharge your creativity
There’s nothing better for your body during your period than a jolt of dopamine and serotonin (Healthline)! From headaches to body aches, these two hormones concoct a perfect, natural pain reliever. So whether you go solo with your choice of sexually enhancing aids or you opt to grab your partner, a bit of pleasure can reduce a bit of that period pain. There are many additional benefits to this, too!
Can improve your overall mood
Can help you sleep better
May shorten your cycle
When you think of the perfect spa day, do you picture a good massage? When your cramps get too much and you’re looking to wind down, gently rub your abdomen in a circular motion for a few minutes for another great way to bid that pain goodbye. Other great areas to spoil include your lower back and your feet! The warmth of your palm paired with the motion of your hand will work to relieve the area, especially when you add in an oil or two.
Essential oils can do so many things! But when you’re cramps get to you the worst, they can actually enhance a massage to not only aid in alleviating the pain. Some oils will help your body relax faster and soothe your mind in the process, too. It’s important to note that you should always mix only a few drops of your choice of essential oils with some sort of carrier oil (like jojoba or coconut oil). Here are some of the best ones for massages during your period:
Skip the tampons & grab a menstrual cup
Most menstruators who regularly use tampons feel fine. However, there are those who can experience severe cramping with or without another underlying medical ailment or diagnosis. The culprit may be your tampon! It may be strange to hear, but it’s not all that uncommon these days. If you’ve made your way around some of these other natural remedies and even tried some prescribed methods and you’re still at square one, a great experiment to do for yourself is switching your period products.
Why can tampons actually cause cramps? It comes down to the way they’re made. They’re an internal option designed with absorbent cotton or rayon. They penetrate and absorb, meaning the already stiff and thick tool only gets bigger the more it takes in. An internal alternative is using a menstrual cup. Made of flexible materials that collect your menstrual blood, this option molds to your vaginal walls without much fuss.
So next time skip the tampon and grab a menstrual cup, such as the Sckooncup!
General references for the blog post: