Menstrual cycles and the associated period pain can vary greatly from person to person. While some have no discomfort at all (normal) many experience mild discomfort and others may endure severe pain that affects their daily lives. In addition to medical interventions, many women are turning to holistic approaches to manage their menstrual cycles and alleviate period pain. These holistic methods focus on promoting overall well-being and addressing the root causes of menstrual issues.
First holistic method to managing your menstrual cycle.
Annoying but true is a balanced diet and nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining hormonal balance and reducing menstrual discomfort. Including nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can provide essential vitamins and minerals to support a healthy menstrual cycle. Certain foods such as ginger, turmeric, flaxseeds, and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate period pain. Vitamins D, calcium, B6 and Magnesium in particular have been found to help manage menstrual cycles and pain. People who have incredibly bad pain with periods are often found to have food intolerances and or high sugar and processed food diets both of which raise inflammatory markers. One good quality multivitamin and less processed food can make a marked difference especially for young girls and teenagers. Our current favourite recommendation is the newly stocked Metagenics Fibroplex Mag active powder – it has magnesium, Vit C, Calcium, B6, B3, B2 and B12 (all activated form) zinc, selenium and chromium (which helps with sugar cravings).
Second method in managing your cycle.
Regular exercise is a key lifestyle factor to all health conditions. Exercise enhances blood circulation, reduces pelvic cramping, and releases endorphins, which are natural pain relievers. Engaging in easy to moderate physical activities like yoga, Pilates, walking, or swimming can help relieve menstrual pain and improve overall well-being including mental health.
Something we talk about all the time at Ohana Chiropractic is Sympathetic Dominance or more plainly your nervous system operating constantly in flight, fright or freeze zones. When our bodies and minds are stressed our nervous system does not regulate hormones and digestion well at all. As such stress can exacerbate the ability to manage your menstrual cycle symptoms and disrupt hormonal balance. Adopting stress-management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, and yoga can promote relaxation and reduce the intensity of period pain. Prioritizing self-care, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment can also contribute to managing your menstrual cycle effectively. And of course Ohana Chiropractors make sure all adjustments are for the best of a well functioning nervous system.
Did you know?
Our other pro tip is for girls and women to use a good period tracking app and get to know your own body and cycles well. Tracking how long your cycle is, how you feel in each different week in terms of energy, emotionally, creatively, hunger, etc is all helpful to know yourself well and to assist your chosen health practitioner advise on best ways to help.
If you have the basics of eating well, a good multivitamin supplement, some regular exercise, good sleep patterns and stress reduction AND still have pain with periods then you can delve deeper into specific herbs, acupuncture and of course further medical testing to rule out endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndromes.
Taking a holistic approach to managing women’s menstrual cycles and period pain can provide relief while promoting overall well-being. By adopting practices like nutrition and diet modifications, incorporating vitamins and minerals, engaging in physical activity, managing stress, considering acupuncture or acupressure, and using period apps, women can empower themselves to navigate their menstrual cycles with greater ease and comfort.
If you would like help embracing holistic approaches to your menstrual cycles ask your Ohana chiropractor at your next visit.