I am thrilled to share what my friends shared with me about ways that they naturally manage pain. I have categorize them based on accessibility (some pain management techniques only require your own body and a brief explanation and others require external items). In order to maintain a standard that allows this information to be accessible to all, I have included the items that are culturally relevant across the board for all ages and cultures.
Before I share the list, please remember that any change in routine should be consulted with your doctor first. These are suggestions to spark the conversation and find what works best for you.
It’s no surprise that yoga has positive effects on the body and mind. While yoga can be performed by both males and females, the healing effects are boundless. It’s important to of course have a certified instructor, and consult a doctor before engaging in this or any of the suggestions, however yoga is one of the ways that females cure menstrual pain.
I’ve included some resources that you can explore for positions that may aid in pain management. While every body is different, and different things work for each person, this is one popular and accessible option.
Check out these 6 yoga poses with the first one being Childs pose, a favored position by respondents. I suggest you do your own research and google “yoga period pain”, and you’ll likely find a wealth of helpful information and guiding instruction including videos!
Pictured above: Childs Pose
2. FETAL POSITION & ORANGE SLICES
Not too far from Childs Pose, this was the unique combination that worked for another female. This is a reminder, that every body is so uniquely beautiful and different, that it can be helpful to gently try various combinations to find what works for you! For this female, this was the only thing that worked!
While exercise can be helpful, it is important to know which types of exercises are most effective and during which part of the cycle. Some benefit by exercising all month consistently for the best results while others can exercise before and during, but doing so after aggravates pain symptoms. Some benefit most from running, and others enjoy the gym or dancing. If you decide to start an exercise regimen, it would probably be better to try during a time when you don’t have your period and continue how you see most effective. There are lots of great information here that talk not only about pain management benefits, but also mood benefits.
Heat was a reoccurring theme in various ways throughout the responses. Some females are content with a warm bath while others lie down with a hot towel for 20 minutes. Another popular form of heat used to sooth period pain is a heating pad, or a hot compress, which you can make by yourself! Heat is accessible to almost everyone, just get creative and report back! The hot towel which is likely warmed up by the dryer, is a safe way to apply heat and not risk burns, and the homemade remedy also seems like an interesting and feasible solution.
Tea is a popular remedy, as it often has natural healing effects as well. One female’s preferred tea was herbal tea which can vary on flavors, while another female specifically enjoyed raspberry leaf tea. Find the tea that is right for you! Here are some suggestions to get you started!
While we’re on the topic of tea.. don’t forget to add some raw organic honey! More about this in the last section.
6. BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES
This one was a surprise for me! One spoonful of blackstrap molasses, each day a week before period. This was a surprising new discovery for me, and of course I had to research further. I found that not only does blackstrap molasses prevent period cramps, but can also initiate a females cycle. I wonder how this would work for someone who is typically irregular or varies a few days in the start of their cycle.. all of these answers are creating more questions! I did learn that blackstrap molasses has many benefits for the body, including those who have anemia or low iron. Women can loose iron during periods as a result of blood loss.
Other diet remedies for period cramps can be found here.
7. Birth Control
Like blackstrap molasses, birth control can be another way to influence your period. One female respondent plans out their cycle so that periods are on weekends and she can “lay at home miserable” rather than being inundated with work and life obligations. So while sometimes period pains may not be as manageable, understanding and planning for the pain can be a helpful solution in order to be present during other times.
Another female respondent believed that the best thing she did was make her period stop happening altogether, although it was a process. She began with continuous Birth Control Pills, and then the Depo Shot, and is currently using an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD). For this female, this was a life altering change. It is important to recognize again, that not every female body will react the same, or will have the same lasting effects. While an IUD can work for some females, it can be painful to others. There is also a huge difference in the copper IUD and hormonal, in how they effect your period. Copper IUDs can create heavier periods and hormonal IUDs, can create less periods; though both can have averse effects and it’s important they are inserted by a professional. In regards to birth control pills, there are many different kind, and different hormones work with different body chemistries! I cannot stress enough the importance of research and discussing with your doctor so that you have options and are empowered!
Some females use medicine in order to manage period pain, and while this is the least accessible to some, it is helpful option for others. There is medicine available in most every culture, whether it’s a natural combination of herbs that have been used for generations or an ibuprofen picked up at a local corner store.
Honey is also a natural anti-inflammatory and works similarly to ibuprofen, although does not have the same health risks associated with medication. More about the benefits are here.
The reality is, is that sometimes we’re running from meeting to meeting and a tea with raw organic honey isn’t as available as an ibuprofen. The point is to be prepared as much as possible, and also be realistic about what we can do in those moments so that we can be present in the ways that we need to be.
Through this informal research I learned more about what works for various females, who have often had enough pain to seek out options. Sometimes this pain goes unmanaged or often just dealt with… we are females after all. However, through sharing what works for various females, I hope that you have more tools and resources to consider either next time your period comes around or in preparation for that sweet monthly visitor, so that you can be more present and engaged, whether that’s alone on the weekend, in the middle of a big exciting project, or with friends and family. Whatever makes you happy 🙂 Thanks for joining me on this journey!