Most women face a painful period – some are extremely painful while some are moderately painful. The harrowing ones might be due to some underlying medical condition. The most common treatment for a painful period is to pop an anti-inflammatory drug that will take care of the pain temporarily rather than tackling the cause of the problem.
A very interesting belief that revolves around Chi in Chinese medicinal theories helps to tackle dysmenorrhea or period pain more effectively with lesser side effects by working on the blood flow during that time.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chi is the energy that flows through all of us, and if we were to channel it effectively, it could help us have better health, among other benefits. The use of herbs, acupuncture and even exercise are all meant to help balance this energy for a pain-free period.
1. Try The Mind And Body Medicine
One thing that can help relax that period pain is decreasing your stress levels. Stress has an effect on your body’s inflammatory response and can increase or decrease pain accordingly. Soothing music, meditational techniques, and good sleep can go a long way in relaxing you and lowering your stress levels and soothing period pains.1
2. Use Acupuncture To Reduce Pain
Acupuncture effectively moves stagnant Chi. Chinese philosophy believes that all pain is due to stagnation and absence of proper blood flow. Acupuncture can improve blood flow and reduce stagnation that helps to relieve pain to a great extent. Acupuncture, in general, removes pain, and this can be used to relieve period pain very effectively.23
3. Make Slight Dietary Modifications
Eat healthy balanced meals, more fruits, nuts and warm foods. Increased fish intake is also said to reduce menstrual pain. According to the Chinese theory, pain during the period is due to cold in the uterus. Cold and raw foods might again increase the cold in the uterus and cause an increase in pain. So it is best to avoid cold water, juices, uncooked food, coffee and even salt intake during your period. This is sure to have a positive effect on pain relief.4
4. Try Some Easy Pain-Soothing Therapies
Exercises that are light on the body and mind that can help soothe your menstrual pain. Exercises release endorphins that relax your muscles and reduce your pain. It can be any form of exercise you enjoy – yoga, stretching, light aerobics or even walking. It relaxes your muscles and induces sound sleep that can help bring down your period pain. Avoid new workouts when on a period and instead, stick to the ones that you usually practice.5
5. Use Herbs To Reduce Pain
Chinese herbs are proven to provide relief in period pain and can be modified as necessary depending on the intensity of pain. The most common herbs used for this are Chinese angelica root, cattail pollen, salvia root, licorice root, cinnamon bark, Chinese motherwort and fennel fruit. Chinese herbs are said to work against period pain by lowering prostaglandin levels, increasing endorphin production and blocking calcium channels. These reduce cramping and decrease pain levels to a great extent. 6 Never use these herbs without consulting a natural health practitioner.
6. Listen To Your Body
Some women experience relief when they exercise while on their period. If this is the case with you, include some light exercise along with everything else you try. However, if working out makes the bleeding and pain severe, you’re probably doing too much and need to take it slow.7
The next time you are in pain from your period, choose one of these natural alternatives for lasting relief.
|↑1||Kotsirilos Vicki, Vitetta Luis, Sali Avni, A Guide to Evidence-based Integrative and Complementary Medicine, Elsevier Australia, 2011.|
|↑2||Whitlocke Bronwyn, Chinese Medicine for Women: A Commonsense Approach, Spinifex Press, 1997|
|↑3||Ashton Jennifer M.D, Rojo Christine, The Body Scoop for Girls: A Straight-Talk Guide to a Healthy, Beautiful You, Penguin, 2009.|
|↑4||Whitlocke Bronwyn, Chinese Medicine for Women: A Commonsense Approach, Spinifex Press, 1997.|
|↑5||Kotsirilos Vicki, Vitetta Luis, Sali Avni, A Guide to Evidence-based Integrative and Complementary Medicine, Elsevier Australia, 2011|
|↑6||Harrar Sari, Relief at Last!: The Prevention Guide to Natural Pain Relief, Rodale, 2012|
|↑7||Cyriax, Violet. “Exercise and Menstruation.” Bulletin-British Association of Sport and Medicine 1, no. 3-4 (1964): 50.|