More than 80% of menstruating people report pain during their period, including 10% who are subject to severe pain that is almost unbearable.
Conventional medicine is often effective against period pains, but there are also natural solutions that can help.
Let's review them.
To begin with, what causes menstrual pain?
Menstrual pain, known scientifically as dysmenorrhoea, is an inconvenience experienced by most menstruating women. Although the cramps are generally mild and bearable, for about 10% of people they are very painful, even disabling.
A distinction should be made between 2 types of dysmenorrhoea:
- Primary dysmenorrhoea: is the most common, and is not a symptom of another gynaecological disorder. It is particularly common in young people and often diminishes with age or after pregnancy. This form of dysmenorrhoea can be aggravated by various factors, including retroversion of the uterus, stress, smoking or alcohol consumption.
- Secondary dysmenorrhoea: This is the one that is a symptom of another disorder, such as endometriosis, a fibroid or an ovarian cyst.
Obviously, the two types of pain are not treated in the same way, and our advice is not intended to replace a discussion with your doctor or midwife, but it can help you to relieve them.
1. Diet plays a role in menstrual pain
What we eat has a direct influence on our body (we all know that), but also on our pain.
So yes, during the period, we sometimes feel like eating sugar. But beware, the brain tells us: the more sugar we eat, the more pain we feel.
The reason is simple: sugar will increase the level of insulin, which will then lead to the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin.
We should also avoid coffee and red meat.
On the other hand, favours foods rich in vitamin D, as this vitamin is known to reduce menstrual cramps:
- Oily fish: salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, tuna...
Beware, we often read that soya milk is good for these periods, as it is full of vitamin D. But as it contains a lot of oestrogen, it could also aggravate the symptoms in some people. So be careful.
To summerize :
2. Good hydration reduces period pains
If you drink enough, this will prevent bloating which can make your pain worse. However, avoid fizzy or sweet drinks (sugar should be limited)
Of course you can drink water, why not brewed for the summer, but also teas and infusions.
Indeed, the heat increases the flow of blood, which can relax your muscles that can cause some of the pain. In addition, certain plants have particularly interesting properties for combating menstrual pain.
We have also created L'Infusion, a synergy of 5 organic wild plants from the Auvergne specially dosed to fight against your period pains.
3. Essential oils can relieve your menstrual pain
Essential oils are highly concentrated and often very effective in combating menstrual pain.
Luneale has created the Roll-On, a synergy of plant oils and essential oils specially formulated and dosed to help you get through your period without worry.
Our formula contains essential oil of sage, which is so powerful that it is only available on prescription.
More information on Le Roll-On Luneale
But if you prefer to make your own massage oil, here are 2 recipes for over-the-counter oils.
Here are two recipes that can make a difference, to be applied in a circular massage on the lower abdomen:
4. Acupressure can relieve your painful periods naturally
Some people achieve surprising results by massaging specific points on the body to relieve painful periods.
Acupressure is an ancient technique, originating from traditional Chinese medicine. It is based on the stimulation of energy points located on the meridians corresponding to the different organs.
Here are some things that can help with menstrual pain:
If you have irregular periods, massage the SANYINJIAO point
How to find it?
It is located 4 fingers above the malleolus, on both legs. This point is located on the Spleen meridian, and it is also at the crossroads of the Liver and Kidney meridians.
How to proceed?
Squeeze it for 1-2 minutes, then massage it in a circular motion.
It is said to be particularly effective for people with irregular periods.
If you have heavy periods, massage the Taichong point
How to find it?
It is located on the top of both feet, 2 fingers from the birth of the big toe, between the bones. This point is located on the Liver meridian.
How to proceed?
Squeeze it continuously, massage it in a circular motion or tap it with your fingertips.
It is said to be particularly effective for people with heavy and irregular periods
If you have very painful periods, massage the lower Dan Tian point
How to find it?
It is located 3 fingers below the navel, which is also the centre of gravity of the body. This point is located on Conception Vessel, which is said to be the centre of energy.
How to proceed?
You can choose to press continuously, massage in a circular motion, tap with your fingertips or press gradually and release all at once.
It is recommended for people with heavy or very painful periods.
5. Bud macerates: a concentrate of nature to fight against painful periods
More and more people are seduced by the results of gemmotherapy.
Gemmotherapy is a non-conventional medicine based on macerates (with or without alcohol) of buds and young shoots, which concentrate the virtues of the plant in the making.
There are two plant buds that are particularly recommended for painful periods: Raspberry and Violet.
Be careful, however, to be accompanied by a professional and/or read the precautions for use carefully, as gemmotherapy is not to be taken lightly: for example, Viorne is forbidden to people allergic to aspirin, and Raspberry should be taken as a cure outside of menstruation periods.
6. Movement and stretching to relieve your period pains
Yes, sometimes you want to curl up on the sofa in a jumper during your period. And that's OK!
But try to get some fresh air by going for a walk, a bike ride, or a swim in the pool.
There's no need to rush on days when you're really not up to it, but a little gentle exercise will help reduce pain by increasing blood flow.
You can also do some stretching, which will be good for your spine and pelvis.
Here are some yoga postures that can relieve your pain:
7. Heat, a recognised solution for menstrual pain.
Using heat is probably the best-known solution for menstrual pain on this list, but we wouldn't be complete without mentioning it. You can apply a hot water bottle to your lower abdomen, run hot water in the shower or take a hot bath. The effect is often very quick, as the heat relaxes the muscles and speeds up the blood flow to the warm area.
8. Osteopathy can relieve some menstrual pain
It's easy to think of seeing an osteopath when you have a blocked back, but did you know that they can help you with painful periods?
This is particularly true if the cause of your pain is related to bone blockages, especially in the pelvis. For example, if your period pains are more intense since childbirth, this may be a real avenue to explore.
9. Electricity for menstrual pain
Have you heard of TENS?This isTranscutaneous Electrical Neurostimulation, which consists of sending a weak current through electrodes placed on the skin that 'scramble' the pain signals sent to the brain and at the same time stimulate your body's production of pain-relieving hormones (endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins)
There are now devices that are small and discreet that you can wear whenever you need them:
- Specific devices against menstrual pain, for example Livia (Belgian company)
- Multifunctional devices that can be used to treat both painful periods and a wide range of pains (muscular, articular, digestive, sports recovery, etc.). For example, the French brand BlueTens, which even has a mobile app.
So here are all the tips we have found to help you relieve your menstrual pain in a natural way. And, as we said, if your pain is very intense, don't hesitate to ask your doctor to screen you for endometriosis, as this disease affects about 10% of menstruating women and it is not normal to suffer during your period.
Of course, don't hesitate to leave us comments if these solutions have helped you or if you have other tips to share with our readers!