5 Painless Tips for a Pleasant Period
Ladies, I come to you today to celebrate my first pain-free period in years.
For the last few years, I’ve been having period pain.
I knew it had to be my lifestyle, the pain coincided perfectly with when I first moved to Australia. Not to say that Australia itself is giving me pain, but the way I live my life here is different to how I lived in Italy. I saw this pattern, but I ignored it, hoping it would go away.
And guess what?
The pain didn’t go away. I had been ignoring the subtle cries for help from my body, that now it was starting to scream. That’s when I decided enough was enough, and I needed to take this seriously.
Many women just accept the pain that comes with their cycles, because they don’t know that they can change it. Or they take painkillers, which numbs the pain but doesn’t stop the cause of it. When I started looking inwards, I quickly realised how disconnected I had been from my body. For me, my menstrual cramps were my body screaming for connection. I had to come back to myself and attend to my body’s needs.
What are period cramps?
Let’s start with what your period is first. Your period is a thick wall of nutrients that line the uterus, that is fertile enough to foster the early growth of a baby. When your body realises it’s not pregnant, it starts to shed this wall lining.
To help with this, your uterus contracts to help purge the wall lining. This contraction can be painful, and that’s what the cramps are.
You are more likely to experience pain and cramping if your body is high in inflammatory cells, such as the hormone prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha).
You are might be wondering how we get high levels of this hormone in the first place?
It’s often a combination of lifestyle, biological and emotional factors. Your lifestyle includes your diet and exercise, as well as sleep and stress. Biological factors could include low iron, thyroid imbalance, nutrient deficiencies or any other sort of chemical imbalance. And your emotions play a huge part in your experience of life and are heavily influenced by your menstrual cycle.
The good thing is that these are all things we have the power to change! You can’t snap your fingers and make the period pain disappear, but you can do things to minimise the amount of stress in your body, which will in turn reduce your experience of cramps.
So what did I do to reduce my cramps?
My top five tips for reducing period pain:
1. Reduce stress. High levels of stress causes an overproduction of PGF2 alpha, which is what causes the contraction of your uterus to be painful.
2. Reduce your intake of dairy and white flour. Everyone’s body is different, but in general, these foods are still very new to the human race and our bodies aren’t yet very well equipped at processing them. That can place strain on your digestive system, which increases the production of those nasty inflammatory chemicals in your body.
3. Connect with your womb throughout your cycle. Try things like womb clearing or connect with your womb meditations, which connect you to your cycle, your reproductive organs and feminine power. Often young women are taught that periods are “gross”, yucky or something to be ashamed of. Reclaiming your feminine power is a huge way to come to peace with your body and her natural cycles.
4. Yoni Steam is a beautiful and ancient practice, where you allow steam from hot water to rise and cleanse your yoni. Adding herbs to the steam makes it extra juicy. I often do a womb meditation while doing a yoni steam – two birds one stone 😉 see here for a good article on Yoni Steaming.
5. Increase your intake of fatty acid Omega-3 and magnesium, either with supplements or through food. Magnesium relaxes the muscles and the fatty acids have been shown to reduce menstrual cramps.
These tips are based on what I personally found incredibly useful, and also what my clients have reported helped them. What has worked for you?
Sometimes a change of lifestyle is not enough to achieve pain free periods. This is often due to emotional baggage, old wounds, rejection of our feminine essence, of our cycle and disconnection with our bodies.
In that case, it is my life’s work to help people reconnect to their body’s wisdom, their sensuality and also tap into your feminine power. I would love to help you work through your emotional, sensual and sexual complications, and in doing so, release your boundless potential.
I urge you to seek guidance if your period pain is debilitating, please don’t suffer in silence. Your period shouldn’t be something you have to dread and suffer through. Contact me, I am here for you if you want to work through your emotional realm or speak to your doctor if you want medical advice.
Written by Elisa Caro, edited by Rosie Arnold