Article submitted by Jennifer Birch
Let’s face it: no matter how old you are, period cramps aren’t fun. They’re inconvenient at best and painful at worst. We’ve all had those days when the cramps are so painful we can’t even move! Dealing with period cramps is just an unfortunate fact of life, and as of right now there’s no way to do without them completely. However, there are definitely ways that you can mitigate their effects and make these cramps hurt a little less. Below are a few little-known tricks that you can adopt once those pains start creeping up on you.
Regulate your birth control
Lots of women take birth control in part as a way to help control their period, but problems arise when you aren’t being consistent with it. If your body responds well to birth control, even just skipping a day can make you feel out of sorts. Having a journal to track your intake is helpful to keep intake as consistent as possible.
Try vinyasa flow yoga
People always cite yoga as a great trick to curing period cramps, but what kind of yoga should you do exactly? Vinyasa instructor Flo Lefebvre recommends relying on a gentle practice that relies on simple poses like forward folds and putting your knees to your chest. Holding these poses and practicing deep breaths helps stretch out the muscles in order to keep sluggishness at bay. These moves are also easy to do and don’t require lots of fancy twists and turns, making it easy to incorporate a quick stretch break throughout your day as needed.
Eat dark chocolate
You read that right — we’re giving you the go signal to treat yourself to a yummy bite of dark chocolate! It’s good to have sweet snacks and cultivate a healthy relationship with food in general, and munching on dark chocolate bars can help your body regain magnesium. Magnesium helps relax muscles, and natural cocoa can replenish these mineral stores. Just make sure you’re opting for all natural bars that are at least 70 percent cocoa. Lots of women misread this tip and think that any kind of dark chocolate bar will do, but they forget that most candy bars often have tons of refined sugars and caffeine that may exacerbate your cramps.
Masturbating (and women’s sexual health in general) has gotten a bad reputation, but it’s actually a great way to de-stress. To help demystify the stigma around masturbating, there are health benefits like releasing endorphins and increasing blood flow. This last point is crucial, as increased blood flow is key to easing up cramps.
Infuse some herbs into your diet
Ancient wellness routines have relied on herbs time and again for almost any ailment, and with good reason. These natural remedies can actually work wonders on your body. Verywell Health’s article on the best herbs for menstrual cramps cites ginger and fennel as good options. The former can lower prostaglandin levels (compounds that can cause pain); the latter contains anethole, a compound that can aid in easing cramps.
We at Path to Health and Healing understand how painful it is to deal with the effects of periods, but these tips can hopefully make this monthly process a bit more manageable.
Submitted by: Jennifer Birch