Many of us have an hormonal imbalance and the same, or similar, root cause can manifest in a multitude of different symptoms in each of us. Since I started my period at age 13, severe cramps have been my major symptom.
My mom, although not as educated then as she is now, always treated me with magnesium and omega oil supplements to reduce and relieve my pain as a teenager. It worked for a while. I’d get my period (plus the cramps), take some magnesium supplements, fall asleep and wake up pain-free. But it kinda stopped working, or I didn’t really buy-in, and as soon as I was free from my mom’s watchful eye I’d go straight for the Neurofen or Tylenol. That lasted almost ten years of monthly doses of these potentially seriously harmful medications: impacting my gut health, my liver health, potentially long term brain health and only making my hormonal symptoms worse in the long-run.
In the last year I have made the serious commitment to being drug-free and to finding, and healing, the root cause of my hormonal symptoms. I’ve realized that treating symptoms is not something that can be done spontaneously and haphazardly. It is a commitment. It is surrender. It is prioritizing caring for my hormones every day of my cycle, not just when I’m in pain.
All that being said, here are my top tips for natural period pain:
- Hormonal Harmony cramp relief essential oil blend. This massage oil works incredibly well massaged into the crampy bits of the belly. It can also be used in a diffuser – inhaling the blend has been one of the most effective natural pain-relievers I’ve ever experienced. Contact me to order.
- Curcumin supplements. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and if you can find it in a supplement it works wonders for pain relief of all kinds. Eating or drinking turmeric is good too but the curcumin supplements will be more concentrate
- Spray-on magnesium. Trans-dermal or spray-on magnesium is a fast-acting cramp relief. Find it at Wellness Warehouse or other health stores
- A Castor oil pack. Rub castor oil on your belly, lay a towel over it and then place a hot water bottle over the towel. You can also do a ginger compress which means brewing a very strong ginger tea and then using a warm facecloth to rub it into the belly
- Staying horizontal. Sitting upright, standing or walking around can make cramps worse. As much as possible, try to stay in a horizontal position with your lower back supported
- Breathing and allowing. A lot shifted for me when I began to repeat mantras to myself while in pain. Instead of “I hate my period, I’m in so much pain” and I would say “I love my period, I acknowledge my pain, I see you, I hear you, I love you”. Breathing deeply, especially focusing on the exhale, while repeating these mantras has had some remarkable results
Reducing hormonal symptoms, including period pain, is a daily act and requires prioritization. Our cycles want to be heard and honored, and all our symptoms, I believe, are manifestations of generations of ignoring and suppressing our cyclical nature. Some daily or monthly acts of self-care that can support pain-free periods include:
- An anti-inflammatory diet. This means avoiding or limiting sugar, gluten and refined carbohydrates and limiting alcohol and caffeine (especially in the week leading up to your period
- Boosting your vegetable intake. Eating up to 3 cups of cruciferous vegetables a day supports liver function and detoxing estrogens
- Supplementing. Sadly with our modern diets and compromised health we aren’t getting enough nutrients from our food to support optimal hormonal health. Supplementing should be done with the support of a practitioner to ensure the correct and good quality supplements for you – contact Beatrice for supplement support. Among others, I take magnesium, omega oils, zinc, vitamin Bs & vitamin D
- Seed cycling. This involves eating different seeds throughout the month to support hormone production, metabolization and detoxification. Click here for more information
- Honoring your cyclical nature. Listen to your body and don’t over-exert yourself when your energy levels are low. Especially in the week leading up to your period, regularly check in with yourself and allow yourself to slow down, do less exercise, sleep more and nourish your body
- Yoni-steaming. I love this practice and will generally do a steam every evening for about 3 days leading up to my bleed. Find out more about yoni steaming here
In the past 12 months I have really prioritized my cycle and my hormonal health. It has become the compass which supports all of my decision making when it comes to my diet and lifestyle. While this might seem extreme to some, to me it feels like coming home to my truest nature and has become a wonderful guide in aligning with my purpose.