Which woman doesn’t dread that time of the month that brings varied degrees of discomfort, pains both physical and emotional, cramps, emotions like irritability(did I hear extreme), sometimes tears and the kind! (Oh my poor husband who bears the brunt of it all.) OpenMindBodySoul.com asked holistic and wellness practitioners what they’d recommend for managing PMS(premenstrual syndrome) symptoms and got some unique and unconventional ideas to ride through our monthly PMS wave.
The idea of creating this post was to find natural ways of ‘dealing’ or ‘managing’ PMS symptoms. But what we heard shook us (in a good way) and made us ask, is it possible to instead embrace this time of the month? Instead of saying ‘Why do we females need to suffer with the pains of mensuration? We are so unlucky!’, can we look at it as an opportunity to listen to our bodies and to access the deeper wisdom bestowed to us as females?
(Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is replacement for a medical professional’s advice)
You can jump over to any section that tickles your fancy. Though we’d recommend going through the entire post which is sprinkled with brilliant nuggets of wisdom and tips over and above the topic mentioned.
Love it or hate it, exercise works for PMS. Rachael Day from RDX training Australia sheds some light on exercise to manage PMS symptoms ‘One of the most important things you can do is get to know your cycle. You can either track it in your diary, if you still like pen and paper making a few small notes, or there are many apps to help you do this.
One of the most effective ways to deal with PMS is to get out ahead of it.
If bloating is something you deal with, trying to keep to small light meals, lots of gut friendly foods, natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, kim chi all help with that. Avoiding heavy fried foods, as much as you might be craving them will help keep the bloating to a minimum. Getting those dark green veggies in will help with some of the tiredness. And lots of water that can help with most symptoms.
Some gentle yoga will also help alleviate some of the cramping and mood swing Childs pose, legs up the wall, supported forward bends, supported back bends can all help depending on where your cramps are. A slow restorative or yin class can help.
RDX Training offers yoga small class and private yoga sessions to support all your physical and mental health needs.’
We asked Rachael if it is safe to exercise during your period to which she replied ‘Yes, it is, just staying with what feels good to you. Our hormones lower our pain threshold but increase our endurance during that time.’
Food, Diet & Nutrition
Here are some tips to help support your cycles from Megan Daily from Nurti Earth based in Johannesburg:
Include high protein sources such as lentils, beans, chickpeas and soy at main meals. These proteins are the building blocks for hormones and can help regulate and balance hormone levels.
Fruits and vegetables
are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help supply the body much-needed nutrients to help support your health and your cycle.
Pump up the Iron
Foods specifically rich in iron are very beneficial to help support iron levels include beetroot, as well as leafy greens such as kale and spinach. These leafy greens also contain magnesium which helps with cramping.
Monitor your vitamin D levels. Many people, regardless of diet, are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin is a hormone that can reduce PMS symptoms so make sure you getting sunlight or speak to a professional about supplementation.
Include complex carbohydrates such as grains (brown rice or quinoa) or bread (rye or health). These foods are high in fibre which helps to stabilize mood and therefore control cravings.
Ginger is a wonder herb for PMS. Having some fresh tea can reduce cramping as well as excessive bleeding.
A thing we should avoid is salt. We tend to have a lot of salt in our diets, especially when our diets are based on processed foods. This can lead to bloating and breast tenderness. Limiting the amount of salt can aid in reducing these symptoms
as this is a stimulant can promote PMS symptoms
Go plant based
A plant-based diet can work wonders with someone who has PMS. When eliminating animal-based products, you are avoiding synthetic hormones that have a disastrous effect on hormone levels which can lead to many unwanted symptoms. Including many natural plant-based foods generally promote health and well being.
Our Nutri Earth offers online consultations, courses and coaching in a plant-based lifestyle for weight loss, sports or transitioning to an amazing, healthy lifestyle.
After these great tips, we move on to some unconventional ways to manage PMS that we didn’t even imagine was a possibility.
Acupuncturist Shaileja Patel from the UK says ‘Things to help include gentle exercise such as qi gong which helps with blood flow, reduces pain and also enhancing feel good moods.
Diet affects symptom severity, so to help keep pain and cramps at bay eat warming foods, avoid ice cold drinks or raw foods. Think warm soups and stews. Add ginger and cinnamon as flavorings. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which exacerbate pain and mood swings.
Seeing a traditional acupuncturist for regular treatments helps rebalance the body and hormones, this will help with pain, blood flow and clear thinking. Keeping you and your loved ones sane during the monthly cycles.’
Sydney based hypnosis expert Sasha Egounova says ‘PMS symptoms can be terrible for us ladies. From painful cramps to headaches and back pain to your hormones making us do some crazy things. All of us are individual and experience different symptoms.
My first recommendation would be to talk to your doctor just to make sure that there are no underlying health issues that may seem like PMS symptoms. If there are no medical issues then hypnosis can help alleviate the symptoms.
Hypnosis with Sasha can provide individually tailored hypnosis sessions where we can identify specific PMS symptoms that are affecting you and help you reduce the effects on your body or mind. In addition, I can provide a personal recording so you can listen to when required. You can schedule a free 30 minute discovery session at www.hypnosiswithsasha.com ‘
We asked her what PMS symptoms can hypnosis help with to which she said ‘I can do pain management hypnosis so any type of pain from headache, cramps, back pain. I can also do hypnosis on mind side where I can work on reducing mood swings and remove cravings for foods which are often a symptom of PMS for some women.’
Plants / Essential Oils
We asked healer and plant medicine expert Kelly O’Brien from the NSW based House of Shen what she’d recommend for PMS,
‘Pms.. we all know the downfalls… but do we understand the power that is available to us at this time of our Sacred Moon Cycle?
I know it sounds crazy right…. Underneath the desire to self-destruct in the belly of PMS, there is good stuff…no jokes.
For over 15years I have been diving deep into the wombs altar and working with harmony & disharmony that can present. With grace I am constantly finding resolution, including for PMS.
The 3 most effective treatments that have worked for me & my clients have been:
- Yep- its the elephant in the room… our suppression. Suppression of thoughts, feelings and unique essence that has the control seat of our Menstrual Flow. Come on ladies, I am not just talking about this lifetime… but lets have a look inside the DNA our the long lineage of our Mothers, mothers, mothers…… the dark ages… the burnings? Where did all the Sacred Feminine hide? Deep deep in our Wombs, the safest place it could find. I am passionate about the healings that I have received after re-establishing my connection with the moon and all that it has to teach… including mastering the art of PMS. I would love every woman to walk in their seat of power and would be grateful for all those who are seeking help to get in touch.
- Essential Oils. These plant medicines are highly intelligent communicators. I personally have come up with a Sacred Blend that works Magick in the time of our flow. It assists to unravel the excessive pounding energy patterns that get us so heated at the time of PMS and promotes smooth energy flow. Its called ‘MOONTIME MAGICK’ Its Organic, Its Magick, Its Moon-time Magick $28 at houseofshen.com.au
- Detoxification. This is a time that the body responds to the stuck energy of PMS… and we need to unstuck it. Anti-inflammatory are best suited here. Ginger, Turmeric , Hemp Seed , Parsley and Chamomile are a few to name with great power for this heated time of PMS.’
Loved the tips but we asked Kelly what on earth does Magick mean, ‘Ooooh great question. Magick is derived from the classic word Magic and has all the same qualities as this word. It is spelt with a K to enhance the numerological vibration, and belief that it was traditionally spelt this way.’
Reiki Infused lotions
We are gobsmacked that such a thing exists! Jennifer Wise from Enchanted Essence educated us ‘I create therapeutic Reiki infused lotions and have a great pain blend lotion as well as a relaxation blend that work well for PMS symptoms. If you would like to learn more about my lotions feel free to visit my website https://enchantedessence.net’.
Jennifer is a Certified Aromatherapist and chronic pain survivor who can create a personalised lotion blend based off of a questionnaire on your individual needs.
We are heading right over to grab them lotion!
Tune in instead of tuning out
Fiona Southwell, a Queensland based earthy mum of 5, yoga teacher since 2012, coffee & moon lover & Coach calls PMS – The Messenger. She shares ‘As women we are cyclic beings. Just like the moon and the seasons we are created to flow.
Our menstrual cycle is our biggest internal compass, north star, guide. We are actually blessed with it being a powerhouse of knowledge within us.
THERES A CATCH; WE HAVE TO CONNECT TO HER, TUNE IN AND LISTEN. When we experience symptoms in our later luteal part of our cycle, around day 21 or common know as Premenstrual phase it is a time to start slowing down, our senses are heightened, things are being brought to the surface, it can be said that we even shift more into the Right hemisphere part of our brain – more creative, intuitive and less liking to the L hemisphere where our logic lines… Can you pause for moment ask yourself if you can relate?
The Premenstrual phase is a time when our body if we are disconnected, or incline to ignore its messages she will keep at us …aka physical symptoms until we notice. She also gives us a great opportunity to ask ourselves – Where am I denying my needs?’
Profound, to say the least!
Fiona shared this Women’s Guide to PMS:
- Track Your Cycle > Start day 1 with the first day of your bleed. Note
- Get outside in nature, Go for a walk & surrender your senses.
- Journal > A super great way to process your emotions & thoughts, you will be surprise how much you learn about yourself & how much you change throughout each month.
- Take a Bath with nice essential oils & Epsom salts
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Keep up the H20… No seriously … We are water beings.
- Give your WOMB some loving. Place your palms on your Lower Belly, connect to her with meditation & soft belly breathing (slow Inhale through nose, Pause, Long audible exhales out of mouth AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH )
- MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE YOGA POSE – LEGS UP THE WALL (Yoga post viparita Korani ) It is simply nourishing, calms the nervous systems, relaxes the mind especially prior to bed. Add your favourite eye pillow and cushion under the lower back for that extra yummy sensation.
Praying, Meditation & Connecting to Higher Self
Kalen Olson baptized PMS as Praying in Meditation to Spirit. Such an inspiring way to look at PMS.
This gorgeous transformation Coach gives us such a deep and powerful take on what we dread:
‘How can a woman’s menstrual cycle be used for spiritual transformation? Before I go into answering this question, I want to spend some time on what true spirituality is. Understanding true spirituality comes first.
The idea of being spiritual has a long list of possible definitions and meanings. The type of spirituality that I’m referring to here is a type of spirituality that strips everything else away. Instead of adding on to better ourselves and fill a hole, we’re uncovering, we’re unraveling. The spirituality I’m using here has to do with uncovering and diving into the core of who you are. Stripping away the pieces that don’t feel like you- the trying hard, the “shoulds” and the “ought tos”. When we strip away those pieces we’re left with our truth. We’re left with rawness, realness and connection. We’re left with love. This is important to know, because we can use this same approach when we look at our own menstrual cycle and how we can turn that into spiritual transformation.
A woman’s menstrual cycle can be a radical tool for compassion and self-love to take us deeper into who we are. It’s a time when our bodies are beckoning us (if we listen) to slow down and listen to the rhythms. Instead of going fast and moving from here to there, it can be a time to go within ourselves and ask what we need. It can be a way we nurture and love ourselves. Instead of giving to everything else around us, we tap in and turn the volume up about what our bodies may be telling us.
Those precious moments when we could be thinking about a million things, there is a divine wisdom within us that is not just physically shedding but also emotionally shedding. Everything in nature mirrors itself- the leaves falling, the branches being pruned, and the flowers releasing petals. All of nature asks for space and shedding of the old. This process takes time. There is an allowing here. Nature asks for this shedding process so that it can step into its becoming even more. Nature gives us clues when we forget what our own bodies need.
Instead of pushing against, and resisting, allow the monthly emotions come up– as we would with a small child trying to tell us something. It’s a time to listen and be with ourselves as we tap into wisdom that is only held deep within. The more we resist, the more the gifts within us can’t come through. That’s not to say we need to be martyrs searching for pain. That the more pain the better.
There are soothing essential oils to rub on the stomach for cramps; including lavender and peppermint. It’s important to make sure we receive support in whatever way our bodies need. In addition to comforting essential oils, nutrition can be a soothing support. Eating more fruits and vegetables with peppermint tea can alleviate heavy cramping.
The best way to work with your menstrual cycle is to be with yourself, giving yourself as much support as possible. Instead of denying and pushing against your experience, go in with curiosity and hope.
It’s during these times you may receive intuitive guidance from your inner wisdom as to old patterns or old decisions that are ready to shed. You may receive guidance inside of yourself about a new direction that just feels right in your relationships, career, or purpose. There may be something new that is ready to bloom shortly after the PMS symptoms go away.
When you receive this intuitive guidance, it feels light and joyful and like a wise knowing. It can drop in like a feather or emerge like a new idea being born from within. Take some time in stillness lying down, relaxing in a bath, or listening to soothing music. Close your eyes and spend some time to go within. Listen to what your inner wisdom is trying to tell you- it’s working just for you!’
Ooh la la, wasn’t this something special? We hope you have unraveled and learned as much as we did about our menstrual cycles. Before starting his post we didn’t realise how we can embrace and learn from this time of the month instead of treating it like the plaque. We thank the practitioners from all over the globe who shared their insights and contributed to this post.