I’ve often heard it said, “There is a reason why women have the babies”. Often said by a woman, in a sassy tone–usually in reference to woman’s ability to deal with pain better than men!
I would re-live this excruciating pain every month!!
It’s hard to remain happy, friendly, and positive when your body is awash with pain!
A New Kind of Normal
It might come as a surprise to you, but these symptoms have become so widespread and common, that it is now considered NORMAL for menstruation to be accompanied by a variety of physical discomforts and even emotional distress!!
Ladies—this new interpretation of “normal” is in fact NOT NORMAL!
Women who experience extreme cramping may have higher levels of prostaglandins. These hormone like substances help the uterus to contract and shed its lining.
Excess prostaglandins= excess cramping! (Pick, M. 2016)
Put Up No More!
The good news….no, the GREAT NEWS is that you don’t need to continue to put up with the monthly torment of being a woman! …well, being a woman in pain!
If you experience debilitating pain during your periods, it is advisable to see your doctor first. It is important to learn if there are other concerns in addition to a hormone imbalance, such as endometriosis, PCOS or fibroids or other underlying concerns.
Now, the common medical approach to treat painful periods, and even some of the above listed additional concerns, is usually in the form of pain medications, the pill or IUD. I tried all of these methods for several years, but there are problems with this.
- Firstly, is the obvious fact that you aren’t addressing the underlying problem of why the body is oestrogen dominant.
- The second is that the body becomes dependent on drugs that mask the important pain signals in the body (the body is communicating with us for a reason, we shouldn’t ignore it).
- The third, is that many of these options are also toxic to the body. The body is unable to efficiently metabolise artificial hormones (like that found in the pill and IUD) (Butter Nutrition 2016; Grigg-Spall 2016). By now you’re probably already aware of the link between the pill and depression! (Butter Nutrition 2016; Grigg-Spall 2016). If not, get reading. It’s real, and it’s scary!! .
Being a yoga teacher with a PhD in Applied Science, I carefully designed a yoga practice specifically to correct a hormone imbalance. When I felt comfortable and ready, I had the IUD removed, stopped the pain medication and went au naturale`.
I’ve never looked back!
Tell Me! Tell Me!!
A yoga practice that addresses the endocrine system (our hormone regulating system), supports the digestive and elimination processes in the body and reduces physical and emotional tensions in the body, can have profound results in managing women’s health issues (Nag et al. 2013, Swami Muktananda 2009; Connell, B. 2007).
Altering the practice appropriately as we go through each of the different stages in a women’s cycle, can help in managing pain, anxiety, moodiness, bloat, inflammation and hormone imbalance as these problems arise (Connell, B. 2007; Swami Muktananda 2009).
Pairing a yoga practice with subtle changes in the diet, managing stress and learning to honour the different stages in a women’s monthly cycle (see the first blog), can change things around significantly.
AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET IN MY COURSE!
* Reduce or limit caffeine and alcohol, and keep the body well hydrated.
* Find good sources of potassium to help reduce cramps and bloat. I like to sip coconut water and add bananas to my diet during this time.
* Add turmeric to your diet. Turmeric is a fantastic natural anti-inflammatory property. It has recently shown to have more anti-inflammatory properties than medicinal drugs. I find this helps considerably with the cramps and with bloat (Jurenka. J.S., 2009, Rao, T., et al. 2013).