Menstrual cramps are the reason we hate on our monthly periods so much. If it weren’t for the pain, the period itself is nothing more than a little discomfort. Menstrual pain makes it impossible to focus, go about every day chores and at times even getting out of bed feels like hard work. Here are some ways which can help you ease menstrual cramps and consequent pain.
10. Drink plenty of water
Needless to say, you should be drinking plenty of water in routine as well. Increasing water intake a week or so before menstruation will help avoid bloating during it. Drinking hot or warm water during periods is recommended by experts as well as hot water increases blood flow to the skin which helps relax muscles. Besides drinking water, you can also add foods to your diet which have high water content like celery, watermelon, lettuce and cucumbers.
9. Get enough calcium
Calcium helps reduce muscle cramps and pains and its intake should be paid special attention to during menstruation. Calcium rich foods include dairy products like milk and cheese as well as leafy greens, almonds and soy milk.
8. Avoid foods that cause bloating
It is always a good idea to avoid eating foods which cause bloating a week or so before your menstruation begins. These foods which retain water and cause bloating include fatty foods like fries and burgers along with foods like lentils, beans, carbonated beverages, apricots and cabbage.
7. Cut back on caffeine
Constriction of blood vessels combined with the diuretic effect of caffeine brings about symptoms like moodiness, fatigue, anxiety and headaches during periods, suggests a study. Another unwelcome side effect is menstrual cramping.
6. Use a heating pad
A heating pad, a hot water bottle or an herbal bag would work just fine too. Applying heat to lower abdominal areas during menstrual cramps can help alleviate the pain to a great deal. The heat gets the blood flowing and muscles relax as a result.
5. A warm bath
Running a warm bath or standing under a hot shower works in the same way that applying heat to your body does. Your entire body will relax and muscles will expand helping you overcome period pain to a great deal.
4. Get moving
Staying rooted to one spot because you feel miserable or lying in bed all day will just make it worse. Put your comfiest walking shoes on and get moving. Go for a short walk in the surrounding or just browse through your favorite sections at the local stores. If you feel up to it, get some exercise. Movement will cause your body to pump more blood which releases endorphins counteracting the muscular pain and cramps.
Note: You know your body better than anyone else. Only opt for the kind of activity which you believe your body will be able to withstand.
3. Exercises for pain relief
There are light exercises and specific yoga poses which can work directly on alleviating the pain. You could:
- Lie down on your back on the floor and stretch your legs out straight. Bend one knee and bring it up to your chest as far as you can. Hold it with both hands and hold the position for 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side as well.
- Sit down on the floor with both your legs stretch as far apart from each other as they would go. Now reach for knees and ankles while holding in your diaphragm and keeping the back straight. Take deep breaths and bend towards the floor when you breathe out for the last time.
2. Essential oils
Essential oils have a lot of comforting benefits and come in many varieties. You could dab a little bit of these on your wrist from the roll-on variety. It will help freshen you up and keep fatigue at bay. Essential oils with extracts of lemon and orange especially help with easing water retention.
Massaging your abdomen, lower abdomen and lower back for as few as five minutes may be able to help easing menstrual cramping.
It encourages blood flow and oils used during massage sage, lavender, ylang ylang have added benefits for the body.