Did you know that women on average will spend nearly 10 years of their life on their period? That’s roughly 3,650 days of Aunt Flo hopefully arriving when she’s supposed to and making her stay with you as comfortable and hassle free as possible. However, Aunt Flo isn’t always so polite, as she can be a real torment with her nagging, jabbing, and exhausting tendencies. What so many of us often don’t realize is that nature didn’t intend Aunt Flo’s monthly visit to be such an ordeal.
Unfortunately, we’ve normalized a great deal of menstrual problems such as severe cramping, headaches, stomach and back pain, extreme PMS, etc.; while many of these issues are common, they are NOT normal and are often an indication of deeper root causes of imbalance or dysfunction in your body. While it is essential to be checking in with your goddess gynecologist about your period issues, a period pro tip is to also try acupuncture to restore balance to your body and stop resenting Aunt Flo’s visit.
WHY TRY ACUPUNCTURE?
If your period is making you feel like you need to lie in bed defeated for days, then something isn’t right; having your period should not severely impact your daily activities. When your hormones are out of whack or not in balance, this can wreak havoc on your cycle and your life. Acupuncture can help regulate your body’s hormones and assuage monthly symptoms.
Acupuncture and other modalities of Chinese/East Asian medicine have been used to successfully treat women’s health issues, including menstrual problems, for many centuries.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help restore better hormone function to achieve the correct rhythm and flow. In addition to treating many types of pain, acupuncture along with additional healing modalities used during/after treatment (herbs, laser therapy, essential oils, nutrition advice etc.) have been known to treat a variety of conditions specific to women's health including:
NATURAL HOME REMEDIES
Acupuncture is meant to address root causes of menstrual issues, meaning it will lessen the load and severity of monthly symptoms since it restores balance, vitality, and overall health. However, it's nice to have your own toolkit to utilize while you get your body back on track with regular acupuncture treatments. *Note: your body can be more sensitive to acupuncture needles while you are on your period, but it is safe and effective to receive treatment no matter where you are at in your cycle. Be sure to ask your acupuncturist about acupressure points and specialized herbs and supplements to use at home. Additionally, don't forget to use the following to naturally soothe your symptoms:
Heating Pads/Hot Baths
The heat from a heating pad, hot compress, or hot bath will relieve pain from cramping by increasing blood flow, relaxing the muscles in the uterus, and helping with bloating. Heating pads and hot baths also feel amazing and nourishing. You can add Epsom salt to your bath for extra relief.
Fresh Ginger & Ginger Tea
Ginger is a powerful herb that can lower the levels of prostaglandins and inflammation in the body. It also relieves nausea, can help balance irregular periods, fights fatigue, and tastes delicious!
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to stimulate the nervous system and elicit emotional and physical responses. Clary sage and lavender both act as antispasmodic agents, meaning they reduce uterus spasms during cramps. Both can also help with stress, depression, and headaches. There are also a number of other essential oils that can help as well.
Sunshine helps our body increase its secretion of 'Follicle Stimulating Hormone' (FHS), a hormone that helps regulate the reproductive functions of the body. It also provides us with Vitamin D, which is said to ease period pain by reducing the production of prostaglandins. Sunshine can also help improve mood so go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and get 10 minutes a day. Be sure to avoid overexposure/burning.
There are many reasons exercise helps regulate your period, as well as manage symptoms: endorphins, increased circulation, stress reduction, and more. Regular exercise before, during, and after your period will give you the most benefits. However, while you are on your cycle, be sure to do less vigorous, more nurturing activities like walking, stretching, yoga, and pilates.
Supplementation of Magnesium, B Vitamins, and Omega 3s can be very helpful for a range of women's health issues, including ones associated with your menstrual cycle. While you should fuel your body with whole foods packed with these nutrients, you may also want to consider additional quality supplementation from your holistic healthcare practitioners. Remember to try to avoid or limit sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods on your period as these can make symptoms worse. Lastly, stay hydrated!
If you have any questions about how acupuncture can help with your menstrual issues or home-remedies please call or text our center at (845) 233-5672.
By Michelle Eggink, NTP
Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher