Jun 12, 2013

Does PMS ruin your month? Here's 12 Proven Lifesavers

I'm sure we've all experienced the crazy person we become when it's our time of the month. It doesn't happen to everyone, and it doesn't happen every month, but when it does it can be nasty - for everyone involved.

This pic had to happen :)

Pass My Shotgun, Pardon My Sobbing, Perpetual Munching Spree, Pimples May Surface…

PMS jokes are everywhere, as it is probably the most common female hormonal disorder. Many women accept monthly changes to their mood, appetite, energy and sleep patterns as an annoying but inescapable part of life, with up to 75% of women in Oz experincing PMS at some stage in their life, but PMS is a treatable condition.

For the most part of my life, I never got PMS - not pain, no cramps, no crankiness, anxiety, sore boobs, nothing. But in the last year or so I have. And I gotta say, it sure made up for all those years I got nothing.

So in trying everything I could to make my life a little easier each month, I've come up with my best tips for getting through with ease and grace. Here are 11 things YOU can try for yourself:

+ Eat warm foods

Cold foods tend to have a hastening up of the lower regions if you know what I mean, and around our period, females also tend to experience constipation. The cramps and muscle spasms are on the same nerve endings as our bowel muscles, so if we eat warming foods, this whole area will relax, and both our cramps and constipation will ease up.

+ Eat magnesium rich foods

Magnesium will help those nasty cramps, and will relax and distress the muscles the same way it does for crampy calves when we’ve been running and not done our stretching. Leafy green vegetables, almonds, cacao (not just Cadbury chocolate please) are all great. If you need more, Scheussler magnesium tissue salts and the (lactose free) spray are also absolute gems. Acute doses are every half hour, for up to 6 doses which I'm usually taking, and then I take a couple each day throughout my period. Brilliant.

+ Eat good quality dark chocolate

Yes you heard me. Everywhere I read says otherwise, but this is a magnesium rich food, and the emotional benefit far outweighs everything else in my books. Good chocolate is in a category all on it's own. When I buy chocolate, B will eat it willy nilly. But if it's my time of the month, he knows not to go near it, only once asking "baby may I please have a piece of your chocolate?" Awww. But in order to eat more than you otherwise would at any other time of the month, it's gotta be the good stuff. Dark. Rich. Velvety. No milk products. And no regular sugar. Aim for little sugar as it's inflammatory and we've likely already got plenty of that going on. Coconut sugar, stevia, honey, and xylitol are all good. My fav's were Loving Earth's Orange and Gubinge, or anything from Pana, but now it is (without a doubt) a Daintree raw cacao bar you can't get anywhere but here. O-M-G (and I've just demolished a whole bar. Yep 100g. It's my time of the month)

+ Ensure you're getting your essential fatty acids

Fish oils (anti-inflammatory) and Evening Primrose oils are both very good at keeping our hormones in check, and therefore doing the same for our moods, skin issues, bloating, and any other symptoms you may see come your monthly. You can take these daily, or for the week leading up to and during your period.

+ Chlorphyll

This is essentially the blood of plants so it goes without saying that it's going to be of benefit to our blood. Get drinking it. Daily. And tell me it doesn't improve your symptoms if only slightly.

+ Tell your partner when you're due

This way you both know a few days before that if you start tearing up for no reason, going a little OTT when he leaves the toothpaste lid off, or want a serious bucket-load of cuddles, it's all good. Work through it together.

+ Meditate

I was surprised (and then not) at how dramatically different my period pain was after 3 days of solid meditation away on retreat. From being crippling/get me to bed/my day is a write-off to being able to walk around and travel from one place to another, still with a little pain though, I was amazed. Have I kept it up? I'm getting there...

+ Do nurturing things for yourself

We can all get a little teary and a tad emotional at this time of the month, so it’s a good thing to know when you’re due and start slowing down a bit the few days leading up to your period. Have a bath each night. Add Epsom salts to really mellow out. Light sweet scented candles. Grab a good book and a big fluffy blanket and curl up early in bed. With a hot water bottle. Meditate a little more. Breathe deeply. And give gratitude for your magnificent body.

+ Try to do nothing

I know what you’re thinking – yeah right! But depending on your schedule you might just be able too. Ever since reading The Way of The Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover, I have done nothing the first day of my period. She explains in detail why, but in short, we are bleeding. Would you run around all day if you were bleeding from your leg? I sure hope not. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we should just get on with it. At school, swimming lessons, work, and around colleagues; particularly males. There’s a much deeper meaning to our “moon day” as Sara refers to it as, so try (or just manifest!) doing nothing on your first day. I love this day now, and I never used too. I give myself permission to do nothing and usually lie in bed all day with reading great novels, writing in my journal, watching cool stuff on YouTube, listening to music, getting up to make pots of tea, munch on chocolate, and feel super snuggly, cuddly, warmed up, loved and totally nourished. It’s an extra 2 weeks break each year too (but don’t tell any male that).

+ Add some hippy sh*t

You know what I'm talking about. Bush Remedies, crystals, essential oils, chakra oils, the lot.
I use Australian Bush Flower Womens Essence acutely (that is when I’m feeling or acting like a raging lunatic and need some space and deep breathes) and it works wonders. My Angel Cards when I feel I need to ask for something to help me, self love oil when I'm feeling urgh, and calming essential oils in the bath tub. Mmm.

+ And start to Heal...

Everything I've mentioned above will indeed help you with your PMS symptoms - because that's all they are. Diet changes will definitely help if your diet is sh*t to begin with. A few additional supplements may be of help to some. But these might only work for a few months, more if you're lucky, because underneath it all is very often trauma of some sort that our bodies are trying to bring to our attention. We need to feel it, release it and heal it. Total nurturing of oneself along with silent reflection and focusing in on what our bodies are doing and how they are feeling is vital to releasing PMS and period pain.

And one thing you might need help with once you've tried all the above:

+ Do you have adrenal issues or a liver not doing it's job properly?

Get to your nutritionist or naturopath to suss this one out if you're not sure. Both these issues effect our hormones, which in turn effect things like PMS. Either of these might just be the reason you're now getting PMS.

Tap into the wisdom of the cycle and use it to your advantage.

Christie xx

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  1. Wonderful post, so much valuable information...thank you.
    Peace and Raw Health,

    1. Your most welcome Elizabeth. Thank YOU for being such a loyal reader of mine :) I hope this has helped you or someone you know. x