Ultimate Guide To Natural Menstrual Cramp Relief

natural menstrual cramp relief

Though painful menstrual cramping is common,

it isn’t normal!

 

Most likely, you intuitively know that cramping is a symptom; a sign that something’s going on internally. And it needs to be addressed.

If you experience painful cramping every month, even if you’ve tried ‘everything’ and nothing has worked, read on… Natural menstrual cramp relief is possible!

In this article we take a look at the cause of cramping and provide a road map to cramp elimination.

 

natural menstrual cramp relief

So what’s the cause of your cramps?

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Prostaglandins

When you menstruate, your uterus contracts to help expel it’s lining. A biological chemical called prostaglandin involved in pain and inflammation trigger the uterine muscles to contraction. Women with higher levels of prostaglandins experience more intense cramping. 

Sometimes, increased prostaglandin production is genetic. However, you can significantly reduce cramping through diet and holistic self care practices.  

Liver Blood Stasis

Liver blood stasis, a term used in Chinese medicine, may be responsible for painful cramps. This condition is also responsible for depression, outbursts of anger or other sudden uncontrollable displays of emotion- like random crying fits.

What factors cause Liver blood stasis?

Genetics- “Constitution” as described in Chinese Medicine depicts strengths and weaknesses inherited at birth. If previous generations of females had menstrual problems due to disharmony in the function of specific internal organs it is possible for those to be passed down.

Mind/Body Connection- Blood can become constrained in the liver due to deeply seeded emotions of anger or frustration. If blood isn’t moving through the liver correctly, it may be the result of failure to deal appropriately with past events.

Similarly, tension in the body may be due to an ongoing situation at home, work or school. Stress causes changes in breathing patterns limiting physical movement in the upper abdominal area required for sufficient movement of liver Qi and blood.

Other- Injury or surgery to the abdominal area is considered a trauma that can heal improperly due to impeded blood or Qi flow.

Gynecological Conditions

In addition to the above, menstrual cramps are also caused by:

  • Endometreosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Adenomyosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Cervical stenosis

Note that you need to rule out these conditions if you suddenly experience menstrual cramping. It may be as simple as going for an ultrasound to ensure something more serious isn’t going on.

natural menstrual cramp relief

Is it possible to have a (naturally) cramp-free period?

 

In fact, within the Chinese Medical school of thought there exists the notion of the perfect menstrual period.

The ideal period:

  • shows up every 26-32 days
  • lasts 4-7 days
  • minor lower abdominal discomfort is normal in the first 2 days as the uterus contracts to release menstrual tissue
  • the beginning is lighter leading to a heavier period
  • bright red color and no clotting especially not larger clots

Arguably, any variation from this pattern is indicative of processes occurring in the body worthy of further investigation. Because of the deep knowledge of menstruation and the effect on the female body, a visit to a Chinese Medical doctor and getting regular acupucture can be very helpful to treat cramping.

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natural menstrual cramp relief

Here’s my list of alternative and natural treatment options for natural menstrual cramp relief

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  1. Honor your menstruation– create a ‘moon lodge’ for yourself and take time to relax and just be. Your period is a natural time of introversion. When you push yourself to function at a high level, your body is put under stress, which causes tension. Retreat inside, do gentle exercise, relax on the couch and catch up with your book or TV series. Prepare food in advance for yourself so that you don’t have to cook as much during your moon time. Try making up a big batch of a warming stew, like this one on our blog.
  2. Only consume warming food– This is a pillar of our Eating For Your Cycle protocol, based off of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Warm food and drink keeps your internal organs in a relaxed state. Your body doesn’t need to work as hard to bring the food up to temperature. Cold food can cause your deep internal muscles to contract and hold tension. If you have really bad cramping, try choosing warming foods on a regular basis.
  3. Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods– utilize the soothing power of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, vitamin-C, and beets (the list goes on). These foods help to reduce the pressures of inflammation on the body
  4. Reduce prostaglandin production– reduce or cut inflammatory foods from your diet, especially dairy, gluten, sugar. Try an evening primrose oil supplement on a daily basis; it can significantly reduce prostaglandins

It is possible to use food and lifestyle for natural menstrual cramp relief. Although natural remedies may take more time then pain medications to come into full effect, your efforts build like a snowball rolling downhill. Instead of using pain meds as a bandaid you can heal the cause of your cramping and be in a better state of overall health. 

If you choose to make do-able changes to your lifestyle and diet, you’ll be able to rely on these healthy habits for years to come.  

 

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