Don’t let your monthly inconvenience, well, inconvenience your lifestyle.
It’s that time of the month again and you’re feeling lethargic, bloated and suffering from painful cramps. Here are seven ways to ease off those monthly period pains in the busy lives of today’s modern woman.
While you might feel like sitting on your couch and watching a re-run of Sex and The City, this might not do you any favours when dealing with period pains. Light exercise such as a brisk walk, a gentle jog or some light yoga will help to stretch out our abdominal muscles and alleviate cramps. Exercise also releases endorphins - your body’s natural “feel good” hormone – that helps to renew energy and revitalise your body.
Heat helps to relax contracting muscles, which cause cramping. If you have abdominal cramps or a backache, use a hot water bottle or a heating pad and place it over the affected area for about 10 minutes. Use this time-out to focus on deep breathing to further relax yourself and counter the effects of muscle spasms. Having a hot shower or warm bath will also have a similar effect.
Eat your greens
Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are not only highly nutritious; they also provide much needed fibre to our diet, which helps to relieve bloating. These greens are also rich in calcium, which can contribute to reducing menstrual cramps.
This may sound counter-intuitive but water retention is actually due to a lack of water in the body. This is why it is essential to stay hydrated during your period as this alleviates bloating. Besides plain water, non-caffeinated teas such as chamomile, ginger, cinnamon and raspberry will make for a warm soothing afternoon relief instead of your regular coffee as these teas have properties to help sooth menstrual cramps and reduce muscle contractions.
Drinks and foods to avoid
Binge snacking is never good, but especially so when you have your period. For this week, avoid salty snacks as high levels of sodium will increase bloating, resulting in more discomfort. While it may be difficult to cut out caffeine altogether, consider at least reducing the number of caffeinated drinks you take, as it makes blood vessels constrict, causing further cramps. Go for lean meats like chicken and fish and avoid fatty cuts of meats as saturated fat increases estrogen levels in the body, which bring on the symptoms of PMS.
Supplement your diet naturally
Sometimes, even after doing all the right things, you might still need an extra boost to help take the discomfort away. For days like that, try Brand’s Essence of Chicken with Tangkwei, which is helpful for relieving uncomfortable menstrual symptoms. It helps you to stay on top of things by boosting energy levels while the “blood herb” Tangkwei will ease menstrual stress, promote blood circulation and relieve fatigue, and leaves you looking rosy. It also aids in blood restoration and iron absorption, which is important after blood loss.
Studies show that acupuncture can be as effective as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication for reducing pain. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine principals, certain acupuncture points are thought to regulate blood flow through the abdominal cavity and relax the nervous system, which can help to calm muscular contractions. This can be a good alternative for those who do not want to rely on pills for regular pain relief.
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