by guest author Rhovie Hulleza.
Important notice: Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if your pain symptoms are severe and last more than a week.
It’s not even 7pm, on a weeknight, nonetheless. I’m already in bed, wearing old pjs and my hair is in an ugly bun… and I’m about to school you on easing period pain with gentle movement. This may seem hypocritical, given my post-holiday eating and exercise regime, but it helps, so disregard the oxymoron of the title!
So, lets focus on the meaning of gentle movement. You’re probably thinking the same thing I am, which is soft yoga poses. These poses can help elongate the spine, while stretching and toning the abdominal muscles. Mmm you’re right, that sounds doable.
Now I’m not talking about the ludicrous part-breakdancing-part-yoga poses that require you to lift your entire body with one arm. We’re easing pain, not entering the local b-boy competition. I’m talking about poses such as the Baddha Konasana, the Butterfly, and the Bhujangasana, the Cobra.
What does the science say…
Science tells us that exercise increases endorphins which improve anxiety, depression, cramps and pain. Stretching and deep breathing with aerobic activity boosts circulation, relaxation and regulates bowel movements. Menstrual headaches, PMS and bloat have all proven to improve with gentle movement during periods.
Don’t just take my word, recent Australian research has proven that gentle movement while menstruating pacifies pain, soothes moods and regulates periods. The Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute analysed studies of over 2,300 women1. They concluded that gentle exercise was the most effective way to ease period pain.
This doesn’t mean signing up to your local weight lifting gym, the emphasis is on gentle. Be kind to your body, rest, remember to drink plenty of water through out the days of your period and eating well-balanced meals also go a long way in managing menstrual pain.
Movement-based vs plant-based
Gentle stretching, massage, acupressure and yoga are a range of movement-based therapies that can help you ease PMS and period pain. Please give them a go, enroll in a local class. It may be all you need.
Naturopath Caroline Robertson advocates movement-based therapies, but knows this is not always possible with our busy lifestyle, nor is it the answer for around 10% of women who live with severe period pain due to endometriosis, PCOS, IBS or adenomyosis.
Caroline was the supervising practitioner for a comprehensive set of Clinical Case Studies with plant-based listed medicine, Khapregesic® for Period Pain.
After concluding her epic 24 patient case studies and now recommending Khapregesic in her clinic, Caroline says, “I’ve been prescribing Khapregesic® for Period Pain with confidence because it is getting remarkable results.”
Movement-based or plant-based or even both, the choice is always yours.
This post is sponsored by Khapregesic® [ka-pra-geez-ic] a drug-free natural period pain reliever. Combining plant-based anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, with prebiotics for gentle fast-acting pain relief.
Caroline Robertson is a Clinical Naturopath and Ayurveda Practitioner. She is a natural therapies author, clinical case study supervisor, and practices in the Northern Beaches of Sydney Australia. Caroline is available for consultations here.
Rhovie Hulleza is an independent journalist and Mass Communication graduate from Murdoch University. She is an Australian silver medalist amateur boxer with a special interest in fitness and women’s health.
1) BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 Jan 17;19(1):22.The effectiveness of self-care and lifestyle interventions in primary dysmenorrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Armour M, et al. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30654775