Once a cycle, our uterus performs an acrobatic routine to get our flow going. And boy do we feel it. Back cramps, front cramps, deep cramps, gurglingly loud cramps… Period pain can be pretty disruptive to your day, and it can be tough to find the right relief.
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the classic solutions: exercise, ibuprofen, a heating pad, and plenty of sleep. But what else is out there that actually works? Let’s dive into some alternative therapies for period pain to give you more options for your next uterine routine.
We’ve been told countless times that getting your sweat on can help alleviate your menstrual pain. But on heavy flow, cramp-filled days, getting to the gym to is the last thing you want to do.
You can always take a more zen approach that’s a bit gentler on your body. Yoga is an awesome low-impact, low-stress way to stay active, and it can also help alleviate cramps via deep stretching.
DoYouYoga recommends some Yin Yoga postures that target your midsection and back. And having pillows and blankets nearby to give yourself some extra cushion may be helpful. Best of all, yoga is simple and easy enough to do in the comfort of your own home.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical component of marijuana that has a bounty of medical benefits without any of those psychoactive effects. So no, it won’t get you stoned, but it may help ease cramping and period discomfort!
We fully admit this option may not be for everyone, but it can be an effective alternative to more traditional medications. And because CBD isn’t psychoactive, it’s perfectly legal to purchase in the United States.
Topical creams and bath salts can help ease muscle tension, while CBD vaginal suppositories offer a more targeted approach. Whatever application method you choose, be sure to research the ingredients of each product before giving them a go. And it’s never a bad idea to chat with a trusted doctor or nurse before exploring this therapy just in case.
Another simple, at-home option is a meditation practice to help clear your mind. Research shows a correlation between high-stress levels and dysmenorrhoea (medical speak for period cramps). So what better way to help alleviate your monthly cramps than by practicing mindfulness?
In addition to helping you manage stress, mindful meditation can have some positive physical effects on your period pain. Mindfulness published a study that found a regular meditation practice can help reduce physical symptoms like sweating and water retention, as well as alter your perception of your period pain. This shift in perspective helps reduce PMS pain levels.
Starting a practice is super simple, and there are loads of apps out there that offer guidance for meditation newbies. The biggest thing to remember with mindful meditation is consistency. Whether you do 2 or 20 minutes a day, do it around the same time of day to get the best results.
Aromatherapy is another one of those oldie-but-goodie alternative therapies when it comes to period pain. Lavender, cinnamon, clove, and rose oil have shown promise in managing period pain, or you can create a custom blend of a few scents that catch your nose. Healthline has a few menstrual recipes to get you started.
Once you choose your oils, you can diffuse them into the air with an aromatherapy diffuser, or you can dilute your oils in a carrier oil and massage this blend into your lower abdomen. Blend a few drops of your chosen scent into a carrier oil—like jojoba, coconut, or almond oil—and be sure to do a patch test before massaging anything onto your lower abdomen.
Essential oils pack a powerful punch, so less is definitely more with this therapy. And as tempting as it may be, you should never ingest essential oils or apply them directly to your skin without diluting them first. Similar to other alterna-therapies, be sure to research where you’re getting your essential oils from so you know exactly what you’re putting on your body.