Hello Ladies of Steemit!
Time for a little lady talk. I try to be as holistic as possible in my life – ranging from everything to skin and beauty products, to cleaning supplies to food to medicine. One area that I have struggled with though… is pain management for cramps. Unless I’m popping some pills… I’m probably doubled on the ground in a heap. That being said, the last few years I have really experimented with a lot of different natural options, to see if anything would work for me.
I am not managing the symptoms 100% holistically yet, but I have been able to greatly reduce the amount of naproxen or ibuprofen I need to take. I thought I would offer up a few suggestions of things to try, based on my experience over the last few years. Everyone’s body is different – and what might work for one person, could be a total flop for someone else! This is where experimenting with your own health comes in.
Here is a high level overview of each natural remedy. Please be sure to watch the video to get the full content from this post.
Natural Remedy Ideas
Visit an Herbalist
Look for an herbal shop in your town that carries teas, tinctures and Chinese medicines. The people working at these stores are usually extremely helpful at recommending particular mixes and tinctures to try for different ailments – including cramps! If you cannot locate an herbal store in your area – reach out to a local acupuncturist! They are usually very connected with the herbal community and should be able to point you in the right direction.
Thyme Essential Oil
This particular remedy did not end up working for me, but I included it because I have quite a few close friends who RAVE about its effects! The oil can either be ingested (through a capsule or adding to water) or can literally be rubbed on your stomach and back. They literally say that their cramps disappear for a few hours, and then they just rub on a little more oil when their cramps return.
Warning… this one will make you smell like a piece of pizza
This tip is a pretty common one that I know a lot of people use. Either taking a warm bath or getting a hot pad to put on your stomach or back can go a long way to increasing your comfort – even if they aren’t technically relieving your symptoms.
This one REALLY surprised me! I always heard people say that if you are eating really clean – it can reduce your cramps… but I was highly skeptical. I thought it must just be for people that don’t have very bad cramps.
Over the years though, I have actually noticed a big difference when I get my period while I’m being really good about eating “clean”. I have noticed that my cramps are usually much less severe, and my period usually doesn’t last as long. Kind of crazy when you think about how much food impacts our overall health – and can even change how our body reacts to menstruation.
This is one that I wish I could implement more regularly…but it would get a little expensive! It never occurred to me that acupuncture may be able to help cramps, but once I just happened to be going in for an appointment while I was on my period and was pretty surprised by the results. I chatted with the acupuncturist later and she that a lot of her female patients purposely come in while they are menstruating so they can also get the benefit of relieving their cramps. Pretty crazy!
Ok… I know that this is probably the last thing you want to do when you are curled up in a ball in the corner, but getting your blood moving can really help. Even just going for a short, brisk walk to help get the blood flowing has been shown to help reduce symptoms.
Wait it Out
This one may sound a little strange… but I have recently had a shift in my approach when it comes to pain management. I used to “pop a pill” the second I started feeling cramps, because I was worried it would get out of control. I recently realized though…that if I can hang on for about 10 – 15 minutes, sometimes the wave of pain goes away and doesn’t return for a few hours. By just waiting it out to see how bad the wave of cramps will be… I’ve saved taking a lot of medicine. If you are like me, and struggle to go completely natural – simply working towards reducing the medicine you take may be a good approach.
Society’s Role in All of This
Can I also just take a moment to say that I think our societal norms play a factor here as well? It is totally acceptable for someone to call in sick to work for a cold, but it would be completely frowned upon and even mocked if a woman called in for cramps… even though I’d argue that one can be much more difficult to deal with than the other! It just goes to show that even though this is a natural and healthy part of a woman’s body – We still have a lot of patriarchal norms in our society.
We live in such a fast paced, high pressure society, that these “quick pain relief” are necessary so that we don’t miss a beat. I personally think this time in our moon cycle is a good time to slow down and care for/appreciate our bodies.
What Natural Remedies Have You Tried?
As I mentioned in the beginning… I am always experimenting and trying new things when it comes to dealing with cramps. I’d love to hear if you have had any success with other natural remedies that I haven’t mentioned here. I am all for anything that helps get me closer to the 100% holistic mark!
Thanks for reading/listening! I hope you found some of this information helpful and I look forward to see your thoughts and suggestions below.