That time of the month, who doesn't look forward to it? As someone that also dreads my menses I am always researching new tools or methods to help manage the PMS and cramping alongside my own massage and wellness routine.
I find myself often scouting for new accessories, supplements and devices that have taken my interest to help combat the pain and challenge that comes with being a woman and want to share these suggestions with you to help your journey to a better period the natural way.
Please note, these suggestions are not a replacement for medical advice.
1. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose is the first thing I mention when someone says they struggle with their menses. A native plant to temperate climates particularly most of America, it is known for hormone balancing in women because of its abundance of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and Omega 6 fatty acids. This is the building block for metabolism and regulation in our bodies. Taking it daily at a recommended dose, a quality brand can make a difference to the time of the month and severity of symptoms. Please do not take if you have an existing bleeding disorder.
I have my Mum to thank for this one. Relieve your cramps the natural way with these healing patches. They contain anti-inflammatory Borneol, well known in Chinese Medicine alongside Safflower and Clove to promote blood flow. They provide a warm heat when placed on your abdomen area that I have found works very well.
3. Tens Machines
We are spoilt for choice with tens machines for women now. Livia, Ovo and many more advertise they can help relieve the pain that comes with our bleed and Tens is something I can believe in. Essentially, all these devices are distracting the brain from processing pain. Despite not being a 'new' breakthrough They are more portable and discreet than ever alongside affordability, making great value for money.
This is a new device on the market that claims to help stress resilience and anxiety. Tapping into the vagus nerve in our chest, it vibrates between 20-140 Hz, the same as a cat's purr. The vagus nerve is responsible for organ functions such as digestion, heart and respiratory rate. Stimulating it with this device is supposed to stabalize abnormal activity in the brain. This would be something I am interested in trying to manage stress on a regular basis to see if it makes a difference.
I find Topida one of the most relieving natural products to use when I feel like I am starting to itch more. Having a hormone imbalance, I notice that around time of the month I can be more prone to overheating and that affects the ph level of our downstairs area. Take action as soon as you feel something isn't right and buy a cream or spray such as this before it gets worse and then you need to purchase Canesten to intervene.
Collagen has blown up as a remedy to anti-ageing and female health. Our cells often undergo oxidative stress so helping this process that is involved with the turnover of cells is imperative and as a result we are able to see the wider benefits. Collagen comes from the skin of fish and is a rich protein full of amino acids helping with cell building and hormone synthesis. Purchasing a high quality collagen around 8000mg is recommended - put aside cheap creams and add this supplement to your food.
7. Magnesium Gel/Cream
Similar to the healing patches, these target muscle cramping. Taken orally it has wider benefits for the regulatory system but for relief from aches and pains supporting relaxation. Personally, I don't enjoy the consistency of magnesium on the skin but it is worth being on the list as an option to try.
Alongside a healthy diet, not too full of carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, these suggestions can help you work towards a better period on more of a cellular or nerve based level. On top of this, an app or diary to track your ovulation and phases can assist with planning and preparation.