Many women suffer cramp-like pain or discomfort before or during menstruation. The main cause for this is due to uterine contractions aimed at eliminating uterine mucous. Abdominal pain, headaches and backaches are generally felt before menstruation begins, for one or two days. Pain may be localised at pelvis level, back, thighs or abdomen. Essential Oils can help you!
To help period pain:
In massage: Clary sage
Its virtues: antispasmodic, it ends abdominal pain and backache and even helps us keep an even mood.
Counter-indications: to be avoided in the case of breast cancer antecedent. In this case, it will be replaced by Petit Grain bigarade EO (soothing and analgesic)
How to use it: Depending on the degree of discomfort, dilute between 5 and 10 drops of EO in about 10 drops of VO. Apply to the abdomen and the lower back region in circular motion until fully absorbed. Repeat this 3 times a day.
As a compress : Roman chamomile
Its virtues: anaesthetic, it soothes menstrual pain. It also has tranquilising virtues and regulates our mood
How to use it: Place 5 drops on a sterile compress and apply to the abdomen for 20 minutes
By internal route: Tropical Basil
Its virtues: Antispasmodic, it is particularly indicated in the case of strong abdominal pain that will be calmed quickly and effectively.
Counter-indications: Because of its sedative properties, it is preferable to avoid it in daytime (could make you sleepy). Keep it for the evening, it will help you sleep.
How to use it : 2 drops in a teaspoon of honey to swallow twice daily. Ideally, after work and before bedtime.
In diffusion: Petit Grain bigarade
Its virtues: Soothing, it deals effectively with nervousness and headaches
How to use it: On a handkerchief or in an EO diffuser. Place 2 to 3 drops and breathe in the perfume for 10 minutes every half hour.
Appropriate food to prevent period pain
- oily fish (sardines, salmon, etc…) as well as other foods containing omega-3. This fatty acid appears to eliminate or lessen uterine muscle contractions that are at the basis of cramps and menstrual pain.
- nuts before and during menstruation: they contain carbohydrates, vitamins and magnesium that soothe neuro-muscular tension. They are also well known for acting on depression and tiredness.Where to find them: in pistachios, cashews and pecan nuts.
- herb teas and tea: rich in manganese, known for its ability to relax and unwind. Prepare a chamomile infusion for digestive problems and thyme to treat menstrual pain.
- Vitamins and minerals: they can be found in food or you may choose a supplement
- Vitamin E: can be beneficial in easing certain symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome. Where can you find it: in avocados, hemp seeds, egg yolks
- Vitamin B6 can ease bloating and may improve your mood.Where can you find it: in potatoes, bananas and oats
- Vitamin C and Zinc: they maintain the health of ovules and the whole reproductive system of women.Vitamin C increases iron absorption in the organism (reducing thus the risk of anaemia). Where can you find them: Vitamin C: in grapefruit, green leaf vegetables, zucchinis, oranges, strawberries and lemons. Zinc: in pumpkin seeds and squash.
Eliminate sugar, red meat and avoid drinking coffee when in pain. Rather than easing the tension, coffee can increase the pain by giving a boost to our ability to get stressed.
Play sport to re-oxygenate your body and activate your blood circulation
It would seem that a regular physical activity, even during menstruation, lessens pain because the body is re-oxygenated and blood circulation is activated: a natural pain relief.
Of course, you will not be starting boxing during that period, but a good walk of 30 to 45 minutes will be of great benefit:
It effectively relieves the uterus: it is a muscle, therefore it needs oxygen
It produces endorphins: positive messages to the brain that can counter-balance the flux of negative messages coming from the uterus
Practise yoga to relax during painful periods
In learning to own your body and breathing through the belly in depth, yoga can be a way to tame the pain. There are some specific postures that soothe backache and abdominal pain.
A little last one to make you happy
Eating dark chocolate (with at least 60% cacao) for endorphins
This food is full of magnesium, on oligo-element your body needs at that time and that is reputed for its anti-inflammatory virtues. Furthermore, a sensible consumption of chocolate will free serotonin, a good way to improve your morale. Once again, it is not an analgesic, it is just a “feel good” action.