Understand Your Body

Getting to know your body is key in learning how to manage your period cramps. Period cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, are caused by the uterus contracting and releasing prostaglandins, which are hormone-like compounds. Understanding the cause of your cramps can help you identify the best ways to relax your cramps. Let’s discuss the various ways you can do this:

Learn about the menstrual cycle

Each menstrual cycle is different, but women normally experience a few key phases that determine the flow of their body and emotions. Knowing what to expect during each phase and how to recognize any changes or warning signs can help you understand your body’s signals.

Menstrual cycle phases:

  • Follicular Phase: The start of the menstrual cycle begins with the follicular phase when the hormone estrogen increases. This signals your ovaries to begin producing eggs. This phase typically starts within a few days after your period ends and lasts about 14 days or until ovulation occurs. During this period, you may experience symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches or fatigue.
  • Ovulatory Phase: The ovulatory phase follows between days 12 and 16 of your cycle when an egg is released from the ovary (ovulation). This typically occurs around day 14 in an average 28-day menstrual cycle but can vary depending on individual variations in hormones. This is typically a short window lasting only one day and is important for conception. To find out if you are fertile at this time, track changes in cervical mucus or temperature as they increase during ovulation and then decrease afterwards.
  • Luteal Phase: After ovulation occurs, progesterone levels increase triggering the luteal phase which generally lasts between 10 to 16 days until it reaches day 28 if not pregnant (or 35-40 if pregnant) and prepares your body for menstruation again if no pregnancy occurred. During this time, you may experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms including cravings, bloating or mood swings due to increased hormonal fluctuations. Cramps may also occur at this stage as well as fatigue due to progesterone production for endometrial lining preparation for pregnancy – unaware that it will further be shed in menstruation beginning next week. It is important to take note of any changes at each stage so that you can determine if they are normal fluctuations or indicative of irregularities such as excessive cramping which could be caused by a condition such as endometriosis needing attention by a medical professional.

Identify your period cramps triggers

The best way to tackle period cramps is to understand why they occur in the first place. This can help you identify which triggers may be making your cramps worse, so that you can take steps to reduce them.

Common triggers include stress, hormones and diet. Many people find that they get more noticeable cramping while under increased stress levels or if their hormonal balance is off due to things like birth control. Keeping up a healthy diet and exercising regularly can also help decrease the severity of period cramps.

While identifying your triggers for period cramps may not completely eliminate them, it should help you understand how to manage them better. You may find that different changes to your lifestyle or diet makes all the difference in reducing how severe your period pains can be each month:

  • Reduce stress levels
  • Maintain a hormonal balance
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly


During your menstrual cycle, it is crucial to practice self-care, as period cramps can be especially painful during this time. From taking a hot bath to stretching out your body, there are a variety of self-care techniques to help you relax your cramps and ease your discomfort.

Let’s look into some of the most effective ways to soothe your period cramps:

Take a warm bath

Taking a warm bath can help to ease the deep muscular aches and pains associated with premenstrual cramps. With a warm bath, the water soothes the muscles and helps them to relax, which can relieve pain. Adding fragrant oils such as lavender or chamomile to your bathwater can also have an calming effect on both your body and mind.

Warm baths are not only relaxing but they can also promote better sleep while providing relief from menstrual cramps and bloating. After your warm bath, drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate your body and make sure you keep yourself covered with blankets or loungewear in order to maintain warmth and comfort.

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Do light exercise

Light exercise is one of the best ways to relax and relieve period cramps. During your period, the uterus is contracting in order to shed its unfertilized lining, which can cause intense pain and cramping. Exercise can help release endorphins – the “feel-good” hormones – and help you reduce tension and stress.

There are various exercises that you can do during your menstrual cycle; however, it’s important to listen to your body when selecting activities. Low-impact exercises such as yoga, moderate walking, swimming or simply stretching are activities that may be helpful in dealing with restricted energy levels associated with periods. With light exercise, it’s essential that you make sure you maintain an easy pace so as not to push yourself too hard. If the cramping becomes too intense, stop the exercise until it subsides and then continue at a slower level of intensity.

Use a heating pad

Using a heating pad is a great way to relax your period cramps. Heat is proven to provide relaxing muscles and ease the stomach pain associated with menstrual cramps. Here are some simple ways that you can use a heating pad for relief:

  • Place the heating pad directly onto your lower abdomen or lower back, where you’re feeling the most pain. Make sure it’s not too hot.
  • Lie down on a comfortable and supportive surface before putting the heating pad on your body, such as lying on your bed rather than sitting in an upright chair. Putting pressure onto your stomach can make the cramps worse – and lying down helps alleviate the greater tension in the muscles.
  • Use a timer to avoid over-exposure of heat to one area, as this may cause damage or burns to your skin. Try 15 to 20 minutes of heat at a time, then remove it for 1 hour before putting it on again if necessary.
  • Take deep breaths while using the heating pad and focus on allowing any stress or muscle tension to melt away with each exhale. This will help relax your stomach and reproductive area even more, providing relief from cramps faster than just through physical contact alone.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and nutrition can play a very important role in reducing period cramps. Eating the right kinds of foods, drinking lots of water and getting enough calcium can help to relax your muscles and reduce the intensity of your cramps.

Let’s take a closer look at the role of diet and nutrition in reducing period cramps:

Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients found in foods such as cold-water fish, nuts, and legumes. They play a role in many bodily processes, including regulating inflammation throughout the body. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with reducing cramping symptoms related to menstruation. Eating a diet that contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial for both physical and emotional wellbeing during menstruation.

The best source of omega-3s is cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel, which each contain approximately 1 gram of dietary EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) per 3 ounces. To meet your needs for other types of omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and seeds you can snack on almonds, cashews, chia seeds, flaxseeds or walnuts instead.

In addition to fatty fish, plant sources rich in healthy fats include olive oil, avocado oil and nuts like walnuts and almonds. These foods are also high in magnesium which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties associated with not only easing menstrual cramps but PMS symptoms as well. Adding these types of healthy fats into your routine can help ensure that you receive an adequate amount of essential nutrition without having to resort to unnecessary supplements or medications.

Reduce your intake of processed foods

Reducing your intake of processed foods, such as snack bars and packaged cookies, can help to relax your period cramps. Processed foods often contain high amounts of additives, preservatives, and unhealthy fats which can interfere with the nutritional balance your body needs to stay healthy and function properly.

Eating a balanced diet of high-quality lean proteins (such as fish or chicken), complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains, sweet potatoes and fruits) and healthy fats (like nuts, seeds or avocado) will provide the necessary fuel and nutrients to help you handle pain relief during your period better. Additionally, be sure to incorporate plenty of vegetables into each meal to provide your body with vitamins and minerals needed for overall health.

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By avoiding processed foods, you can also reduce bloating – another common symptom that comes along with periods – by sticking to natural forms of food.

Eat more fiber-rich foods

Eating foods that are rich in fiber can help reduce menstrual cramps. Good sources of fiber include beans, oats, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Eating a well-rounded diet that includes plenty of fiber is important for overall health and can help reduce the severity of your cramps.

Fiber helps to regulate the body’s hormones and also helps to move substances through the digestive tract more easily. It also reduces inflammation in the bowels which can cause additional discomfort during menstruation. Be sure to get enough water as fiber-rich foods tend to be more filling and so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids throughout.

Fruits such as apples, pears, avocados, bananas, and oranges are great sources of fiber and contain important vitamins and minerals that our bodies need on a daily basis. Leafy greens such as spinach or kale are not only great sources of fiber but also antioxidants which can help protect our cells from damage or potentially harmful agents. Beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans are also high in fiber content which makes them a great choice for adding into soups or stews where they can absorb additional flavors from other spices or ingredients used in the dish. Whole grain breads and cereals like quinoa or millet are also excellent sources of dietary fibers that not only help with digestion but also promote a healthy gut flora balance when combined with probiotic supplements or yogurt products.

Herbal Remedies

For centuries, herbal remedies have been trusted to help relieve period cramps and other menstrual pain. Many women experience menstrual cramps that can be severely uncomfortable. Fortunately, herbal remedies can provide a natural, safe and effective way to reduce cramps and manage the pain they cause.

In this article we will go over what herbal remedies are available, and how they can help with period cramps:

Research the benefits of chamomile tea

Chamomile tea has been used to help with numerous ailments throughout the ages and is said to have healing properties when dealing with physical and mental discomforts. Chamomile is a traditional herb used as an antispasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic. It is easy to find and make at home, so it is definitely worth some research before going to the store.

Drinking chamomile tea can be helpful when experiencing uncomfortable physical symptoms such as period cramps because its natural analgesic qualities help provide relief from the pain in muscles and joints. It also helps relieve anxiety, tension, headaches and stress due to its calming nature—all of which can contribute to intensified PMS symptoms or cramps during menstruation.

In addition to providing relief for physical discomforts, chamomile tea can also improve sleep patterns. Many women lack quality sleep during menstrual cycles due to increased discomfort from their period cramps — drinking chamomile tea will help relax your muscles so you can get a full night’s rest without dealing with uncomfortable wake ups or interrupted REM cycles.

When purchasing chamomile tea it’s a good idea to buy one that is organic – not only will this ensure that you’re getting natural ingredients but it will also limit your exposure to other unecessary chemicals or toxins commonly found in conventional teas. Ultimately choosing a high quality herbal remedy like chamomile when trying to relax your period cramps gives you more control over what your body absorbs thus allowing you feel at ease while benefitting from its natural healing effects as well!

Try using ginger tea

Ginger tea has been used in many cultures to soothe menstrual cramps. The effects are believed to be related to its anti-inflammatory properties.

To make ginger tea, first brew 4 cups of water and add in 2 tablespoons of fresh, sliced ginger. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes, then strain it and discard the ginger. Drink this tea two times daily for best results. You can also buy ginger tea bags from your local specialty food store or online retailers.

If you find that the taste is too potent, feel free to add a bit of honey or lemon. However, you should try drinking it without added flavorings first to determine if this natural remedy helps relax your menstrual cramps and provide relief from the pain and discomfort associated with them.

Consider taking evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil is an herbal remedy derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. It has been used since the 1930s to treat a variety of conditions, including symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramps. Evening primrose oil likely works by reducing inflammation and aiding in relaxing connective tissue, which can help you experience relief from period cramps.

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Research exploring the effectiveness of evening primrose oil for treating period cramps suggests that taking it before and throughout your menstrual cycle may benefit some women. One study conducted in 2019 showed that taking 2,500 milligrams of evening primrose oil daily for 10 days prior to the start of menstruation could reduce PMS symptoms and decrease their severity. However, further research is needed to determine exactly how effective evening primrose oil really is at relieving menstrual cramps.

When using evening primrose oil for treating period pain, it’s best to take 1-2 capsules per day, starting 10 days before your expected onset supplies increasing dose depending on your symptoms. Be sure to stick to a regular dosage schedule and talk with your doctor if you experience any new or unusual side effects while taking this supplement.

Other Tips

Aside from relaxation exercises, there are other tips you can use to manage period cramps. You can try taking a warm bath or shower, exercising or stretching, and eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Massage is also a great option for reducing period cramps. Let’s look into how these tips can help you relax your cramps:

  • Taking a warm bath or shower.
  • Exercising or stretching.
  • Eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Massage.

Practice relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation and yoga can help your body respond to stress more effectively, creating an overall sense of calmness that can help to ease physical discomfort.

Take time to find your ideal relaxation practice: it doesn’t have to be a long session. Just a few moments or even just many deep breaths can be beneficial. Regular practice is key: if you make relaxation part of your schedule during the month you may find yourself taking it on as second nature and reducing period-induced cramp and tension in the long run!

If you’re new to relaxation, many online resources offer free programs or guided trainings for these practices. You could also use a number of books that focus on this area. Alternatively, consider taking part in an online class or getting qualified guidance from a professional like a psychotherapist with experience in relaxation methods:

  • Online resources offering free programs or guided trainings.
  • Books focusing on this area.
  • Online classes.
  • Qualified guidance from a professional like a psychotherapist with experience in relaxation methods.

Try acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used for centuries as a form of traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of illnesses and discomforts, including period cramps. An acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles into specific areas of your body. This stimulates the body’s natural healing response, which can help reduce pain and improve your overall health.

Acupuncture can help regulate your menstrual cycles, reduce premenstrual symptoms, reduce emotional distress associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and ease period cramps. Several studies have found that acupuncture is an effective treatment for alleviating period pain. Acupuncture should be done by an experienced professional and may not be suitable for everyone or safe in certain cases–it is important to discuss it with your doctor before trying it out.

Talk to your doctor about medications

Cramps can be a sign of more serious health issues, so it’s important to consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your menstrual pain. Your doctor can help educate you about the various medications available to treat cramps and advise you on which may be the best option for you.

Over-the-counter pain medications are often used to treat menstrual cramps, including ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and aspirin. Other medications that may be prescribed by your doctor are hormonal birth control, antispasmodics such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), and tranexamic acid (Cyklokapron). Hormonal contraceptives often manage heavy periods and associated symptoms like cramping. Antispasmodics relax muscle aches caused by uterine contractions, while tranexamic acid helps reduce excessive bleeding and pain associated with menstrual cramps.

Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes or dietary supplements such as vitamin B1 or magnesium that can help alleviate menstrual cramps in some individuals. While there is limited evidence to support these alternative treatments, many people find them beneficial in reducing periodpain.

Regardless of the treatment option for period cramps that is most suitable for you, talking to your doctor is an important step towards being proactive about managing them. With their guidance and advice, you will be able to make an informed decision about how best to reduce period discomfort and lead a more comfortable life during your monthly cycle.

By Reiki

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