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As the moon orbits earth, waxing and waning her way through a monthly cycle that influences the pull of the oceans and tides – so do women deal with an internal pull of sanguine tides each month. It’s a natural cycle, and even if our monthly menstruation may not entirely align with that of the moon’s, it is still a passage of rights, as it were – to womanhood and mother nature.
However, dealing with menstruation does not have to be a pain-staking process each and every time, as there are plenty of ways to ease discomfort and agitation with natural, healthy alternatives. Instead of depending on over-the-counter medications, alternative remedies to menstrual cramps and other related issues can be dealt with by adjusting to a healthier lifestyle, and using some simple ingredients that may already be in your home.
Below you’ll find a list of alternative methods for dealing with menses, as well as recommendations offered specifically to help you enjoy ‘that time of the month’…
1. Balance That Lifestyle
Surely you’ve heard this many times before, but that’s because it never stops being true. Make it priority to get plenty of sleep (7-8 hours) more or less depending on what works for you, as well as stay hydrated! A good nights rest will give us more energy and patience to deal with anything nature intends, including those cramps that make us all want to curl up and float away on a cloud. Plus, those cramps become less severe the more hydrated our system is.
2. Avoid Those Toxins
Chemicals in food and other household products such pesticides, plastics, cleaning products, even clothing can contain disrupting chemicals that mimic hormones in the body, which halts it from producing real ones. Instead, opt for organic produce and milk alternatives such as almond milk or hemp milk, and consider using home-made house-cleaners, or opt for the kind that uses safer, less harmful ingredients.
3. Eat That Health
A balanced diet full of healthy fats will go a long way in keeping your system in tune with nature, instead of against it. Avoid any chemically-altered fats such as vegetable oil, canola oil, margarine, shortening, peanut oil, or soybean oil. Instead, look for (and cook with) the healthy fats found in coconut oil, real butter, unheated olive oil, and certain animal fats such as tallow/lard. Plus, omega-3 found in wild-caught fish, or fish oil capsules are also helpful.
Not to mention it’s best to avoid excess salt in the diet, as this may cause bloating or dehydration, which does nothing to help against cramping.
4. Supply That System
The body operates at peak efficiency when it’s supplied with the necessary nutrition it needs to get through the day. A lot of times, we don’t often get the amount of vitamins and minerals we need on a daily basis, so taking a supplement may prove worthy of consideration. Magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin B1, fermented cod liver oil, gelatin, among others are all great supplemental nutrients to help the body ease through it’s monthly menstruation.
5. Encourage Those Endorphins
Some women claim such things as exercise and sex helps them relieve menstrual and premenstrual symptoms, however this doesn’t include everyone. All women are different and what works for one may not work for the other. For some, the release of endorphins via activities such as exercise and/or sex are a great, natural way to ease symptoms of discomfort. For other women, these activities may only serve to heighten them. Try new things, listen to your body, and follow what works for you.
6. Take That Tea
Nothing beats a hot cup of flavored herbal tea. That is debatable of course but the point is that herbal tea is a great way of relieving symptoms of PMS and menstruation. Opt for organic honey instead of sugar for sweetening and find teabags that act as a natural remedy for specific symptoms, such as cramping. For example herbal tea with peppermint or ginger help relax the muscles and ease irritation.
7. Harbor That Heat
Heat helps relax the muscles, whereas cold does the opposite, making them restrict. Beings as muscles are already in a delicate balance of being restricted by such things as salt intake and levels of hydration – adding heat is a quick and easy way to help them relax. Thus, warming herbal teas, warm baths, or heating pads all help add a little heat to the abdomen.
8. Opt For Alternatives
There are several other ways to alleviate symptoms of PMS and menstruation. As well as all the above, you may also try essential oils or acupuncture. Massage cramping areas with aromatic, organic essential oils to provide relief and reduce the duration of pain.(1) Oils such as lavender, marjoram, clary sage, chamomile, or rose all make great options. Also, acupuncture helps to relax the nervous system and is believed to act as an anti-inflammatory, thus providing relief with menstrual cramps.(2)
Perhaps one of the best recommendations that could be made is to not deny yourself of creature comforts. This includes blankets and chocolates and good company during this time. However if consuming chocolate, try not to eat too much so as not to feel bloated off excess sugar. Any combination of the above suggestions will help make the menstrual cycle a much easier process to endure.
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