From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, excessive menstrual pain is considered a condition of “stagnation.” Stagnation refers to a lack of energy (in this case, blood) flowing through an organ. With menstrual cramps, stagnation is thought to lodge in the lower abdomen and become irritated or activated when the body tries to start shedding tissue.You may wonder why you have to suffer through cramps in the first place. The explanation lies in the fact that your uterus must shed its natural lining each month–a job that requires your uterine muscle to contract. As it contracts, blood vessels that supply the uterus become constricted, which reduces blood flow and results in pain. For some women, the hormonal changes that trigger menstruation may be more pronounced, causing the uterus to contract overzealously–and more painfully.
To address the excess contraction and constriction that cause painful periods, try the following tips. The idea is to help regulate blood flow in the lower abdomen, normalize smooth muscle contraction, and reduce cramps. You can try them one at a time and see which approach works best for you, or you can try them all together to achieve maximum effect.
Quit junk food
These foods cause inflammatory prostraglandins to be created and released. This in turn creates inflammation in the system, which for some women is translated into period pain. One thing is for sure, if you experience period pain—avoiding junk food will help to reduce it dramatically (almost irrespective of its cause).
Smoking has been shown scientifically to damage the female egg and cervical cells; it has also been linked to women experiencing early menopause. The chemicals associated with this drug also increase general inflammation; when you quit your give you body the change to heal, regenerate and improve the intensity of any symptoms you may be experiencing.
Drastically decrease sugar and caffeine intake
Although at certain times of the month (sadly the ones you are most likely to reach out for this sweet evil) you may experience greater sugar cravings: Aim to refrain! Indulging, particularly around your period really increases the chances sugar will exacerbate what you want to avoid: Inflammation and pain. And caffeine plays a very similar role so aim to avoid caffeinated energy and soft drinks, coffee and tea—and no, ‘decaf’ is not better.
Choose fresh and unprocessed foods
On the other hand these foods are incredibly soothing to the system so be sure to choose them as much as you possibly can! Be sure to organise yourself ahead of time—this way you ensure healthy foods really are a solid part of your day to day. This is a great way to increase health and decrease pain.
Physical activity that helps you move your pelvis is perfect for increasing blood flow and circulation to your reproductive organs. This in turn helps to reduce stagnation and improve pain. So be sure to dedicate some time daily for exercise. Choose activities that will help you move your whole body such as walking, running and/or swimming; and do something daily. This will really help reduce the pain during period time.
Avoid all fried foods
This is extremely important! Unfortunately as tasty as those fried chips may be, the oxidated and trans-fats found in them are not helpful to aid in reducing your period pain at all. In fact, if you are eating them at any time throughout the month you will hurt more come period time! Avoid these damaging foods, ideally, completely if you can.