Studies showed, about 25%-50% of the adult women and about 75% adolescent girls experience period cramps, commonly called Dysmenorrhea. And in about 5%-20% of the cases, the pain is severe enough to interfere in the performance of daily activities. The pain is often accompanied with symptoms like headache, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, pain in the legs and constipation.
Why Ayurveda Comes Recommended For Relief From Period Pain
Western medicine only goes as far as treating the pain symptoms by prescribing analgesics, antispasmodic and even contraceptive pills in some cases. Ayurvedic treatment for menstrual pain relief runs deeper with more sustainable results. Addressed under the umbrella term Kashtartava in Ayurveda, dysmenorrhea is a disorder related to Vata imbalance. So taking steps to reign in Vata Dosha, can go a long way in reducing menstrual pain. Along with this, sufficient rest, light Yoga if you want to, you can practice yoga mudras specifically prescribed to reduce menstrual spasm, and some other Ayurvedic remedies can help you deal with the pain every month.
Why Rest Is Important
One can also look at this time as an opportunity to catch up on the rest that the body demands around menstruating days. Right amount of rest ensures Vata is balanced. Go for a walk. At work, take it easy. The more relaxed you are, the better it is for managing the pain. This is an ideal time to meditate and focus inwards.
Also to keep Vata in check, it is essential to stick to a routine. Ideally sleep before 10 PM. Eat during the same times each day and eat mindfully.
According to Ayurveda, during the menstruating days, the apana vayu, that guides the downward energy flow in the body and is part of Vata dosha, gets aggravated, while supporting the cleansing action in the uterine lining.
Mudras are a healing modality. The Sanskrit word mudra is translated as a gesture. A mudra generally involves the tips of the fingers and placement of the fingers in a certain fashion to give the desired result in balancing the three Doshas. Mudras, when used with breathing exercises, increase the flow of life force in the body, leaving you feeling energized and relaxed even after a long haul.
These very simple hand gestures or Mudras are extremely simple to practice and they do not demand you to sit in a lotus posture and meditate upon them. Most Mudras can be practiced while lying down, sitting or even listening to music. It has very few rules. It goes without saying, that these mudras are even more effective when practiced along with breathing practices like Ujjayi breath or deep breaths. But even when done in normal breath, it shows results.
Self-massage the abdomen area to relax the pelvic muscles during menstrual pains. A study carried out in 2013 studied the effect of massage using almond oil versus a blend of essential oils on two groups of female students. It was found that, use of essential oils provided considerably better relief from pain than just the use of almond oil for massage. But how’s one to know what essential oils to use? And some of these oils, individually may cost a bomb! So here’s an idea.
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Watch your diet
Eat more Vata (bio energy that governs movement and represents air), pacifying foods during periods, which is easy to digest but cooked, warm foods instead of raw, cold foods, white sugar, nuts not soaked overnight and salads. Have lots of water all day and sip on warm tea such as chamomile, red raspberries, ginger, black pepper or fennel teas. White sugar must be avoided at all costs. This deserves a mention because sugar craving increases during periods.
Goodness of fenugreek seeds
Soak fenugreek seeds in over overnight and have it in the morning to reduce menstrual pain.
Most common remedy used around the world is a hot bag. Hot shower or placing heat pack in the back area can help fight the severity of the cramp.