It always seems to happen at the worst time. Just when everything is headed in the right direction, you have a huge meeting or you are enjoying the perfect vacation, and then your period arrives. So do bloating, cramps, lower-back pain, mood-swings and fatigue.
For many women, period days can be totally debilitating, requiring cancelations, delays, and a reliance on medication. A recent survey of almost 40,000 women revealed that, on average, they experience major symptoms up to nine days a year due to their periods.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! There are alternatives to having to call in sick and push the pause button on your life. CBD expert and chiropractor Dr. Andrew Kerklaan offers five natural solutions that may help relieve your PMS when it arrives:
1. Stretch: To trigger your body’s healing response, Dr. Kerklaan recommends stretching out your lower back and your hip flexors. This will help relieve tension caused by cramps. Here are two effective stretches Dr. K suggests trying:
A. Kneel on one knee with your foot relaxed behind you, place the other bent knee in front of you with that foot on the ground. Breathing deeply, angle your pelvis forward and tip your body away from the side with the leg behind you. This move will release tension from the front of the hip and your abdomen, as well as open up your sides.
B. Lie on your back and bend your right knee up to your chest. Let your knee fall over your body to the floor on your left side. At the same time, stretch your right arm out straight to your right side. Breathe deeply. Repeat on your left side. You should feel a release from your glutes to your lower back.
2. Move: While there are plenty of studies that show that exercising thirty minutes a day throughout the month can reduce PMS pain, it is also beneficial to do light exercise when symptoms occur. A 20-minute walk is an effective low-stress way to loosen muscle tension. Light flowing yoga poses are also good tools to ease symptoms. Try a Seated Forward Bend pose and Goddess Pose. Take deep breaths and hold the pose for as long as feels comfortable.
If you have a partner who can help, another relaxing movement technique is the sacral pump. Roll up a towel to 3 inches in diameter, lie on your front placing the towel under your abdomen. Aim to have your hip bones supported on the towel. Have your partner place their hands at the base of your spine, palms down, fingers pointing to your feet. Applying a slight downward pressure towards your toes. Five seconds on five seconds off. This will help mobilize your lower back and release tension in your sacroiliac joints and pelvis.
3. Use Epsom Salts: The magnesium in Epsom Salts can reduce PMS discomfort by relieving tight muscles and pain. Simply draw up a warm bath and add in a cup of Epsom Salts stirring them into the water until they fully dissolve. Add in a few drops of lavender oil for additional calming aromatherapy benefits.
4. Apply CBD: Dr. Kerklaan created his Natural CBD PMS Cream to provide an alternative option to ease the discomfort that women grapple with each month. For many women, oral medication is the only solution they know of to deal with cramps and lower back pain. Dr. Kerklaan’s PMS cream offers a topical alternative. Simply apply the lightweight cream to the lower back and stomach—anywhere your body feels discomfort. The CBD offers relief, while the vanilla and verbena trigger a warming sensation that feels comforting.
5. Calcium: Studies have shown that a calcium rich diet, or taking 500 mg of calcium supplements twice a day, is an incredibly powerful tool for any woman battling PMS symptoms. Women in the trial experienced more stable moods, less fatigue, and less bloating than women who did not increase their calcium intake. Foods that are excellent sources of calcium include leafy greens, almonds, yogurt and milk.