Menstrual cramps and the all-over body weakness and tension suffered by some women during their period can be an all-consuming experience. The causes can be serious and some require medical attention such as endometriosis and fibroids. However, if you have received professional advice that there is no medical condition causing your period pain, you may like to try some natural remedies to avoid taking painkillers every month. By adopting a mindful and holistic approach to managing your period pain, you may even be able to harness that pain and tension for spiritual growth.
Most importantly, in the days leading up to your period, and especially on the first day of your period, take it easy. As you slow down and listen to your body at this special time of regeneration and detox, you will become more and more mindful of your body’s processes. Within a few months you will start to notice where the tension builds up in your body at the time of your period. Try to note the corresponding areas of emotional tension you need to work on letting go of in your life. Upper back-pain indicates heart chakra imbalances, headaches suggest a blocked third eye, lower back pain shows sacral chakra blockage and leg cramps or aches may be from root chakra issues. These are merely generalisations and if the topic interests you, I would recommend investing in a good and comprehensive book on chakra health or visiting a recommended energy healer.
Make like a corpse
The most important yoga asana you need to try to incorporate on Day 1 of your period may not be the one you are expecting: Shavasana (the Corpse Pose). Yes, that is right – you just need to lie down and relax, observing all parts of the body. Try the auto-relaxation exercise on my Yoga Treats site: And take it easy – both physically and mentally. Save those difficult or testing days for later in your month if at all possible.
Feel the “Collective Female Pain-Body” and honour it, accept it, let it go
Do as Eckhart Tolle says and harness the powers of your period for good! From: A New Earth (Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose) Pages 154-157. He speaks about “The Collective Female Pain-Body”:
“Almost every woman has her share in the collective female pain-body, which tends to become activated particularly just prior to the time of menstruation. At that time many women become overwhelmed by intense negative emotion.
The suppression of the feminine principle especially over the past two thousand years has enabled the ego to gain absolute supremacy in the collective human psyche.
Nobody knows the exact figure because records were not kept, but it seems certain that during a three-hundred year period between three and five million women were tortured and killed by the ‘Holy Inquisition’, an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy. This surely ranks together with the Holocaust as one of the darkest chapters in human history. It was enough for a woman to show a love for animals, walk alone in the fields or woods, or gather medicinal plants to be branded a witch, then tortured and burned at the stake. The sacred feminine was declared demonic, and an entire dimension largely disappeared from human experience. Other cultures and religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism, also suppressed the female dimension, although in a less violent way. Women’s status was reduced to being child bearers and men’s property. Males who denied the feminine even within themselves were now running the world, a world that was totally out of balance. The rest is history or rather a case history of insanity.
We now have a situation in which the suppression of the feminine has become internalized, even in most women. The sacred feminine, because it is suppressed, is felt by many women as emotional pain. In fact, it has become part of their pain-body, together with accumulated pain suffered by women over millennia through childbirth, rape, slavery, torture, and violent death.”
Eckhart Tolle suggests that women observe and learn to fully feel and accept the emotions that arise at this time without judgment and with that acceptance comes inner peace.
A healthy body is a prepared body
Make sure you have been eating well, taking moderate exercise and not drinking too much or smoking prior to your period.
Stimulate the necessary points
Massage the feet, ankles and calves with coconut oil – especially above and behind the bony part of the outer ankle – or get a professional reflexology or acupuncture session to really work on these points.
Milk, dates and basil
Adopt the delicious Ayurvedic practice of drinking warm milk with dates during your period and Tulsi (Holy basil) tea during the rest of your cycle to regulate the hormones.
Try this traditional Peruvian remedy
Try half a spoonful of Macca root powder in your breakfast. This is also supposed to balance the action of the thyroid and adrenals and increase female libido. It tastes nutty and is easily incorporated into smoothies, on cereal or into yoghurt.
Ingest a little Monk’s Pepper
Take Monk’s Pepper, more widely referred to as Vitex Agnus Castus in its tincture or capsule form. Wikipedia explains why this remedy is said to be effective for period pain: The mechanism of action is not fully understood but it is assumed that it has dopaminergic effects resulting in changes of prolactin secretion… A decrease of prolactin will influence levels of Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and oestrogen in women. Dopaminergic compounds… present in Vitex agnus castus seem likely to be the clinically important compounds which improve… PMS.
I used to take this supplement when I was younger and found it to be a particularly effective remedy for balancing the hormones, reducing chin acne and period pain.
Take Evening Primrose Oil, Fish Oil and Magnesium and try to drink a green smoothie each day with Spirulina or wheatgrass because of their general anti-inflammatory properties.
If you can try to nourish yourself during this time of age-old rejuvenation, you will feel more vital throughout the rest of the month. You also can take comfort in the fact that many believe that the deep natural detoxification process of menstruation each month is the reason women statistically outlive men in most cultures. Allow yourself to experience every feeling that comes with the physical detox and mirror it with a corresponding emotional let-go. Really make the effort to get the most out of this special time and you will enjoy the rewards of improved health in all areas of your life.
Photo: Jose Miguel Gago