PERIODS DON’T HAVE TO BE PAINFUL
Cramps are probably the most common side effect of menstruation. For some lucky women, it could be a slight nuisance, but for others.. it can mean sharp, deep pains that render you completely weak, rolling back and forth, and feeling nauseous. It can be so debilitating that it affects your work and lifestyle.
For me personally, cramps have definitely gotten worse the older I’ve become- due to my hormonal imbalance. As a teenager, I would feel a little pain right as I started my period, but I could easily wait for it to pass and continue my day. Recently, however, it has become so painful that I HAVE to be on bed rest for 24 hours.
Unfortunately, we’re all taught that PMS symptoms and cramps are just “part of being a woman” and we need to take Advil and get on with the rest of our day like nothing has changed. But cramps are a sign that something is imbalanced in our body and we need to address it. (think about it, your body never hurts just because- there is always a root cause.)
The #1 thing you can do for your body and help your cramps is to first and foremost get your hormones tested. I cannot tell you how much of a difference it has made in my life- from my skin, understanding bodily functions, to also diagnosing the reason behind my cramps. I have been using the company Delgado Protocol for about 3 years now and I LOVE THEM. All you do is order a simple test, add your saliva to the kit, send it back, and they send you your results within a couple days.
They then set up a free 30 minute call that goes over your results and what they recommend. If there is one thing I am always talking about- it is this. Saliva is the best way to test your hormones, and the kit is cheaper than seeing a doctor.
I also have a code! When you email them about ordering the 12 Panel Saliva Kit, say you’ve been sent by me (Joanna Alexander) and they will offer you a discounted price of $104 instead of the retail price $165. Here is their website.
Best Natural Cramp Remedies
I truly believe that the body is one system, and that unnecessary medications cause more harm than good. So I have been on the mission to find the best remedies for cramps, and I daresay I found them.
Yes, your foods affect your cycle. This has been incorporated into many eastern medicine practices but unfortunately overlooked in the Western medicine. It is recommended to eat a lot of warming, nourishing foods during your period- which makes sense because your body needs to heal.
Your diet should consist of roasted veggies, soups, stews, bone broth, as well as lots of foods high in essential fatty acids.
Cramps are actually caused by evelated levels of the hormone PGE2, by eating a lot of essential fatty acids it raises your PGE 1 and 3, to help balance it out.
FOODS HIGH IN ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
- Olive Oil
- Oily Fish (sardines, salmon, anchovies, tuna)
- Hemp seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Flax seeds
OTHER FOODS TO INCLUDE DURING MENSTRUATION
- Seaweed (wakame and dulse- they’re super nutrient dense)
- Liquid Chlorophyll (raise iron levels)
- Kelp (can find them in refrigerated sections, but they also make kelp noodles)
And of course, with anything concerning diet- there are always things you should avoid. These specific foods will actually increase inflammation and cause more painful periods.
FOODS TO AVOID DURING MENSTRUATION
- Raw Vegetables
- Saturated Fats
- Excessive Caffeine
I just started doing this this month and WOW I cannot believe what I’ve been missing! It immediately helps soothe my aching body in the most gentle, loving way. It’s like a thousand hugs right to your uterus- I’m serious. I use a hot water bottle (only $10!?!) that I picked up awhile ago, but a lot of women also fill a sock with rice and microwave it! I also really enjoy taking baths on my period- I’ll add in some epsom salts and let my body relax.
Essential Oils provide the quickest result when I deal with really bad cramps. My most recent blend is absolutely miraculous:
Doterra’s Clary Calm: This is full of amazing essential oils that are great at balancing hormones, reducing PMS symptoms, while also reducing inflammation!
Neroli Essential Oil: This is the QUEEN for cramping. Once I started adding this to my cramp routine it made the biggest difference! I love that it is diluted in fractionated coconut oil- the roller ball makes it really easy to apply and it lasts!
Copaiba Essential Oil: This is one of the best oils to use for pain and healing the body.
How To Use: On my abdomen I’ll rub Clary Calm, Neroli Touch, and top it off with a drop of Copaiba Essential Oil. Then I’ll gently rub it into the skin. Pro Tip: To increase the benefits of these oils, add a heating pad! It’ll open up your pores, letting the essential oils absorb more quickly.
Deep Blue Rub: If you’re one of the many women who also suffer from back pain during your period- this one’s for you. It’s the natural alternative for Icy Hot! Packed with healing essential oils, this will immediately bring your back some relief.
How to Use: Simply rub wherever you have aching pain! Back, neck, shoulders, etc.
For information on how to get started with Essential Oils- read this blog post!
Yes, you need to rest girl. Lay down and let your body heal. You are not designed to feel the same or act the same every day of your life. Take time off exercising, socializing, and try to schedule big work projects before your period. Take the time to read, take a bath, nap, watch Netflix- whatever it is you like to do to take it easy. And when your heavy bleeding is over, don’t rush back into your normal routine– ease into it with slow walks, slow days, honor your body.
Remember, your body is beautiful and sacred and it deserves attention and respect. If you’re dealing with period problems, take the time to learn abut them and heal yourself naturally.
Do you struggle with cramps? What are your remedies?