Holistic approach for painful periods
Menarche is the first menstrual period starting at 11-13 years of age usually. This is a normal physiological process and beginning of reproductive life in women. Its associated with higher levels of oestrogen. The common Problems are
- Physical : Pain and discomfort and
- Psychosocial : Anxiety and Fear
The first experiences of pain in a young girl during the periods or menstrual cycle is anxiety creating. Its very new to her and she is a little confused. If it contines to bother her every month then it becomes annoying. She might be unable to do her regular chores, play with her friends or even go to school. Do you know that absenteeism in school due to menstrual cramps is quite common. Also young girls go under medication to get rid of pain.
This painful menses is called Dysmenorrhea. Menstrual disorders such as dysmenorrhea are becoming common with the main cause being irregular lifestyle. About 75% of women experience pain as one of the symptom of menstrual disorder. The excessive contraction in myometrial muscles hinders proper blood flow and therefore improper oxygenation in myometrial cells causes pain. The common symptoms are pain in the abdomen, pelvic region and low back. Other symptoms are vomiting, nausea, diarrhea or dizziness which disturbs day to day activity.
Ayurveda defines menstrual pain as “Kashtartava“. It has strong relation to aggravation of Vata dosha especially the apana vata. This symptom is seen in many uterine disorders such as endometriosis, adenomyosis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Dosha appropriate diet, herbal supplements, exercise, Yoga practices which includes Asana, pranayama, relaxation and meditation are very useful in the management of painful periods.
We have also seen many cases at our clinics in Bangalore where women have found lot of reduction in pain on remission in pain after using Ayurveda medicines, panchakarma, Yoga therapy and Acupuncture. With proper lifestyle which includes right diet, adequate physical activity, good sleep and managing stress dysmenorrhea can be managed well.
Scientific studies have shown that serum homocysteine levels reduce after practice of Yoga and after administering Ayurveda medicines. This indicates that the pain can reduce after the intervention. Herbs such as Ginger, Fennel (Saunf), Carrom seeds are very useful in managing the pain.
Tips to manage period pain
- Herbal tea : To 100 ml water add ¼ tsp fennel and ¼ tsp cumin seed. Boil for 2-3 minutes, strain and drink when warm. Sip slowly and sit comfortably.
- During the 1 st 2-3 days of periods/menstrual cycle, drink boiled and cooled jeera/cumin water. Boil 2 L water with ½ tsp cumin for 5 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Drink as and when you feel need for water.
- Eat light and easily digestible food and avoid food which can produce flatulence which can increase pain. Veggies such as cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, non-vegetarian food can be avoided during periods.
- Instant Relaxation technique or Quick relaxation technique or Yoga nidra will be of great help.