Presented in partnership with Lunapads.
Since the ripe old age of thirteen, I have been dealing with the hell of period cramps.
For the last 10+ years, I have tried about anything to help my period cramps.
Hot bath? Tried it. Exercise? Unfortunately. Too much ibuprofen? On the regular.
I still remember one of my first periods. I couldn’t take the pain anymore and collapsed in the bathroom stall in tears. My body huddled into a ball, waiting for the pain to overcome me.
Luckily for me, I had some pretty great friends and teachers who helped me through it.
Was I dramatic? Maybe. Did I feel like I was dying by my insides slowly ripping itself apart? Yes.
Through all of this time, I’ve found some really great ways to combat period pain, and want to share them with my period havers in arms. Don’t feel like you have to tough through it without a little help, though.
We’ve partnered up with Lunapads to give you the ultimate giftcard (worth $100 USD!) to get everything you need for your period.
Before you freak out and say “No way, I’d never try this,” think about it: what do you think people did before disposable pads came onto the market? No, they didn’t just bleed out. I promise you that. While this might sound like a relatively new concept to most of you, cloth pads are a way more comfortable, breathable and healthy option. Plus, you save $$$ by not having to run to the drugstore every month. So this is the awesome solution to every problem under that period sun.
It’s nice to know you’re not the only one suffering, isn’t it?
1. Try a heating pad
Who remembers the first time their mom whipped out her old heating pad that plugged in and had a hideous pattern on it? Or like Jess here, the old rubber heating pad?
Either way, heating pads have been used for decades as a home remedy for period cramps. For me, I don’t know why it helps but it does. In case you’re looking for a technical reason, researchers did an experiment.
Shockingly, it worked.
Goodbye cramps, hello sweet relief.
2. Take your meds
Are you an aspirin person? Or do you prefer Midol?
I myself use a little cocktail that my doctor told me about given my intense cramps. 3 Tylenol and 2 ibuprofen and it’s the equivalent of a decently strong muscle relaxer.
Goodbye cramps, hello sweet relief.
3. Work it out
As much as I hate to admit it, exercise actually helps with cramps.
You know those feel-good feelings your body releases called endorphins? Well, apparently when you’re on your period, they’ll make you feel better AND relieve your cramps. It’s a win-win. And you don’t have to do anything crazy. Raising your heart rate to at least 65 percent of your max will get your endorphins pumping. That can be whatever works for you. Go for a run. Hit the treadmill.
I personally do a few jump rope circuits and instantly feel better.
Shockingly, it works.
4. Use essential oils
So, this is a new one for me.
A few months ago, after I moved into my new apartment I was complaining about how I couldn’t warm up my heating pad, because we didn’t have a microwave.
We still don’t have a microwave.
And I didn’t want to take any more meds.
My roommate then told me I should use some of her peppermint essential oils. What? I was confused. I hadn’t yet gotten into the essential oil craze. She told me that it’s what she uses and it’s 1. cheap and 2.fast acting. I was sold. I put the essential oil right on my abdomen and let my entire world change. It’s wild because the relief I felt was immediate. With the overwhelming smell of peppermint, which I love, I could also feel the pain lift away. The other plus with the essential oil is that its pretty long lasting. I put it on in the afternoon and didn’t find myself needing to put it on again until I went to bed, which was more preventative because I tend to wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating pains.
10/10 would recommend.
5. Eat Right
You might think I’m going to tell you to indulge in your pizza and ice cream cravings to help with period cramps.
Yes, you can do that. But no, it won’t help with your cramps.
Unlike the emotional void that oily food and sweets can fill, what you really want to help with those cramps are veggies, vitamins c and d, and omega 3 fatty acids aka salmon. We should all be eating these foods anyway because, you know, they’re good for you. But specifically during the main days of your period, you should focus on these main food groups to feel your cramps start to subside.
This will also help you in feeling less bloated and sluggish, which *raises hand* is the worst.
6. Hit a yoga pose
When I hear yoga, I immediately think downward dog and standing on my hands. Thankfully those are not the poses you need to help get rid of your period pain. Doing casual yoga stretches like Janu Sirsasana A Head-To-Knee Forward Bend, that gets your back and abdomen muscles activated are a great start.
If you’re like me, you may have been doing yoga poses and not even known it.
Once you get into the habit of doing these stretches daily during your period, you’ll notice your body overall feeling less tense and relaxed, and any other pain you may feel on a normal basis will start to subside.
7. Put a pin it
Acupuncture isn’t for everyone, but it has been said to help ease period cramps by relaxing the nervous system. I have gone through acupuncture to help relieve tension headaches and terrible trigger points, and strategically scheduled my appointment for during my period.
To say that acupuncture was a gamechanger is an understatement.
I felt euphoric and like my body could withstand anything. Acupuncture therapy and its relief last a few days so if you’re someone who only deals with period cramps at the beginning of your period, it’s a great way to get that instant relief you’re looking for.
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