Acupressure for Women : Acupressure Points for Menstrual Cramping
How to Get Rid of Cramps (Girls)
That time of the month is never fun, and period cramps can make it worse by causing stomach and lower back pain. If you get horrible menstrual cramps, there are a number of home remedies you can use to deal with them in the short-term and prevent them in the long-term.
Relieving Cramps by Tweaking Your Diet
Eat a banana.Bananas contain potassium, which may reduce cramps, as cramps could be due to a potassium deficiency.Other foods that contain loads of potassium include:
- White beans, such as Adzuki, soy, or Lima beans
- Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale
- Dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes, or raisins
- Fish, such as salmon, halibut, and tuna
Avoid caffeine as much as possible.Having too much caffeine can make your cramps worse. Some sources recommend avoiding foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, teas, colas, etc before and during your period.
Drink (decaffeinated) chamomile tea.A recent study done by the Imperial College of London found that drinking German chamomile tea (also calledMatricaria recutita) helped relieve pain caused by menstrual cramps.Chamomile contains glycine, an amino acid that can relieve muscle spasms. By relaxing the uterus, chamomile appears to be helpful in relieving cramps caused by periods.
Try a sports drink.Although there is no scientific evidence to suggest that drinking a sports drink will help with period cramping, it can't hurt. Sports drinks contain electrolytes, which help regular cramping.
- Why might sports drinks be ineffective? Regular cramping may be caused from hyperactivity or a deficiency of essential nutrients such as potassium or magnesium. Period cramping, however, is caused by contractions of the uterus, which tries to expel the uterine lining and any eggs that went unfertilized during ovulation. Because period cramping isn't caused by the same thing as normal muscle cramping, sports drinks may be less effective than advertised.
Take omega-3 fatty acids.Taking a daily fish-oil supplement — high in a healthy fat called omega-3 fatty acid — could help you reduce pain caused by menstrual cramping. One study found that women who took daily fish oil supplements had less pain associated with cramping than women who simply took a placebo.
Try other beneficial supplements.Ask your doctor about supplements before you begin a serious change in your diet. Some supplements may interact adversely with one another or with medications that you may be taking. The following supplements may also be beneficial to your health and keep you from reeling with pain when your period does come:
- Calcium citrate, 500 - 1,000 mg daily. Calcium citrate helps by maintaining muscle tone.
- Vitamin D, 400 IU daily. Vitamin D helps your body process calcium as well as help fight inflammation.
- Vitamin E, 500 IU daily. Vitamin E may help reduce menstrual pain.
- Magnesium, 360 mg daily, for 3 days before menstruation starts. Magnesium helps reduce the prostaglandins, or chemicals released during menstruation that cause muscle contractions, involved in menstrual pain.
Have 1 tsp (5 ml) of Blackstrap Molasses.Derived from the sugar refining process, blackstrap molasses is a nutrient-rich syrup. This grade of molasses boasts high amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium. These nutrients reduce cramping by minimizing blood clots, relaxing the muscles and restoring the system’s nutrient level.
Method 1 Quiz
Which food is high in potassium, which may reduce cramps?
Relieving Cramps by Stretching and Exercising
Elevate your legs.Keep your legs a foot or two above the rest of your body with pillows. This can force your uterine muscles to relax.
Try acupuncture.In several studies, women who were treated with acupuncture reported less pain and needed less medication.Acupuncture works by balancing out the qi (or energy deficiencies) in the body. In the case of menstrual cramping, the qi imbalances are purportedly in the spleen and liver area.
Place pressure on your stomach for 10 seconds.Gentle pressure is best, and repeat in 10-second intervals as needed. Your body will start to notice the sensation of the pressure instead of the sensation of pain caused by the menstrual cramping. More than just offering a distraction, the pressure could also soothe some of the pain.
Massage your abdomen.Massage the front of the abdomen, working back to your lower back. Have a friend or a family member massage your lower back if possible. This will reduce a lot the pain for some time.
Walk around.Walking is an effective and easy remedy for pain associated with menstrual cramping. For best results, walk briskly, and do this exercise for 30 minutes cycles at least three times a day.Walking will help get your beta-endorphins going, as well as reduce prostaglandins.
Go jogging for a little bit.This will give you enough exercise to keep you in less pain. In lieu of exercise, you can try other forms of aerobic exercise. Again, shoot for 30 minutes of controlled, medium-intensity aerobic exercise, 3 times a week.
- Sports, such as soccer or basketball, that involve running
Do a few sit-ups.Any exercise may be beneficial, but sit-ups work your abdominal muscles especially, focusing attention away from cramping and toward the pleasant burn in your outer tummy.
- Exercise releases beta-endorphins in your body, which are internal opioids, or the morphine that your body produces all on its own.
Method 2 Quiz
How often should you engage in medium-intensity aerobic exercise to decrease the pain of cramps?
Relieving Cramps by Other Methods
Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your stomach.Alternate the hot water bottle by placing it on your lower back. (You may need to have two hot water bottles handy in order to do this.
Take a warm bath.A warm bath is another form of heat treatment used to reduce the pain of cramping in women. Warm baths are believed to relax the muscles of the body, making the pain less noticeable.
- Try putting a cup or two of Epsom salts in the bath. Epsom salts are high in magnesium, a deficiency of which may cause cramping. Soak in the bath for at least 30 minutes.
- Try adding a cup of sea salt and a cup of baking soda to the water. This combination might further relax the muscles of the body. Soak in the bath for at least 30 minutes.
Try a painkiller.Choose painkillers like ibuprofen, paracetamol or painkillers designed specially for period cramps. Just be sure to follow the directions on the bottle!
Talk to your doctor about contraceptive pills.For severe pain associated with menstrual cramps, talk to your doctor about birth control. Taking birth control pills may reduce pain, bloating, and cramps associated with periods.If you have severe cramping and pain during your periods, talk to your doctor about the birth control options available to you.
Use preventative care.Painful menstrual cramps may be prevented before they even start to bother you. Avoiding the following may help give you a break from period cramping before you even have to deal with it:
- Alcohol, tobacco, and other stimulants
Method 3 Quiz
What can you add to a bath to decrease the pain of cramping?
QuestionHow do I stop cramps without medicine?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDrinking herbal peppermint tea works. After you drink the hot tea, it takes about 10 minutes to work.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I feel sick and have cramps?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTake an over-the-counter painkiller, like Advil, gently massage your abdomen, lay down and apply a heating pad to your stomach to relieve the pain.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I don't feel comfortable talking to ANYONE, besides my best friends, about my period?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPeriods can be a hard topic to talk about to others, but just remember every girl probably feels the same and knows what you're going through. No need to worry.Thanks!
QuestionDoes sucking on a lemon actually stop your period for a day?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it does not.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I instantly get rid of a cramp after running?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLie down on your bed and use a hot water bottle. Get yourself in the most comfortable position. If you don't have a hot water bottle, use an electric blanket.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I stop my period from getting in the way of sleepovers?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can't control your period. The only thing you can do is not plan a sleepover when you are going to have your period. But if you do decide to have a sleepover during that time, just be prepared with plenty of pads and towels.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if your younger, say 10 years old, and are at a friends house, where everyone is asleep and you can't fall asleep because of a bad cramp?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt should be okay to knock on the parents' door and ask if they have some pain medication, a heating pad, etc. If not, just try to relax, breathe slowly and deeply, and drink water. Eventually you'll fall asleep.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I avoid if the pains are really bad?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAvoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes. Try to avoid thinking about your cramps (watch TV or read a book to take your mind off it). Hot baths can sometimes make the pain worse. Don't forget to eat and drink lots of water.Thanks!
QuestionIf I'm on my period and I go to take a bath, will blood be everywhere?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo it won't be everywhere but there will be noticeable spots of blood here and there. It's a natural part of yourself, and nothing to be worried about.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get rid of cramps while lying down without a heat pack or anything else other than your body?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to get into a position that feels good. Try moving your body into different positions until you find the one that is most comfortable and relaxing. Do not move for a few minutes and see if this helps you.Thanks!
- Find a comfortable position:
- Lay on your side with your knees bent and legs curled inward, like you're rolling up into a ball.
- If you have a pet, let them lay on your lap for a while! The heat and pressure which the pet produces, will help relieve the pain. (Stroking your pet also relives any stress which you may be experiencing).
- Lay on your stomach and breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth every once in a while holding your breath for ten seconds. This slows your heartbeat, thus relaxing your body. It can also help you fall asleep!
- Lean forward while you are sitting to relieve the pain.
- Lie on your stomach with a pillow directly under where the cramps are.
- Get on your knees and lean forward over them, so that your knees are pressing on to your stomach.
- Don't wear things that are tight around the waist, for example, skinny jeans, elastic pants, tight waisted jeans. Try to just wear loose fitted shorts, and sweats.
- Get a heat pad and place it on top of you stomach.
- Drink lots of water. The more hydrated you are, the better.
- Distract yourself. Stay active to take your mind off the pain. Do simple stretches and exercises. Or, try not think about it. Focusing too much on the pain will make it feel worse. Watch TV, read, do something relaxing to get your mind off it.
- Use breathing to relieve the pain: Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Drink some hot tea with a little bit of honey.
- Massage the area where the cramps are coming from.
- If you have them at school ask to go to the washroom, and massage your stomach so it brings less attention.
- Keep some pain killers in your purse or backpack when at work or just out to be out. Be careful where you bring painkillers because some schools around the U.S. do not allow students to bring in any kind of drug, medicated or not.
- Fill a sock with rice, beans, or flax seeds and microwave for 1 minute, then put it on your abdomen.
- Make continued visits to the bathroom, you may be constipated.
- Push between big toe and little toe as a pressure point to relieve pain.
- Lay in a downward dog position and rock forwards, back and forth.
- Laying on your left side specifically can help menstrual cramps and other types of abdominal pain.
- Swallow 1tsp of apple cider vinegar with an 8 oz glass of water.
- Do not stay balled up. You need to walk around, but only a little, just don't over-do it.
- Lay on your left side of you're body with your legs curled up with you as if you were in a ball. Then drink water and sit with a hot-pad on you.
- Take a warm bath. Soak for about 30-40 minutes. While in there read a book, or close your eyes and think to keep yourself relaxed.
- Dance or yoga helps.
- Go in for a relaxing hot shower, it really helps.
- Leaning against a counter or something that puts pressure on your abdomen really helps.
- Do some simple exercises and stretches to ease the pain.
- Eat bananas, they contain potassium. This helps lower inflammation and lessen heavy bleeding.
- You could try herbal tea or hot chocolate. It has worked for me!
- Always follow directions on medication bottles. An overdose could be deadly.
- If cramps are severe, long-lasting, and impeding your day-to-day activities, consult your doctor. You may require a stronger painkiller or birth control to manage your pain.
- Be careful with heating pads and hot water bottles. If you are not watchful, you may get burned.
- Follow the allergy advice on any bottles or food packaging.
Things You'll Need
A painkiller, such as Ibuprofen
A heating pad or hot water bottle
Sources and Citations
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Video: 7 Ways To Stop Menstrual Cramps
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