Menstrual Cramps Got You Down?

Menstrual cramps are a natural part of life for women. They are the perfect excuse to take some aspirin and lay on the couch all day long. Cramps are a natural part of the menstrual cycle — the result of hormonal fluctuations that cause the uterus to contract. Normal menstrual cramps, known as primary dysmenorrhea, increase in intensity with the increase of prostaglandins, the fluctuating hormones. Ways of dealing with this painful time of your monthly cycle include:Over the counter pain reliever that contains aspirin or ibuprofen. When taking this OTC remedies, make sure to take the dose listed or you can weaken the overall effect and possible damage the lining of your stomach or liver.Use applied heat to relieve menstrual cramps. Apply the heat directly to the area of your body most affected by the cramps (usually the abdomen or lower back). Heating pads, a warm wet towel, a hot bath, and time in a sauna are all effective methods of dealing with menstrual cramp pain.Drink lots of water and herbal tea to get rid of cramps. One excellent remedy I found in dealing with cramping is an herbal Detox Tea. Although this tea is part of a weight loss program, the benefits are actually better for menstrual cramping then weight loss, according to a friend of mine who is a naturopath in NJ. It contains Dong Quai, an herbal supplement that has been used for centuries in Asian cultures to help alleviate womens health issues dealing with the reproduction system, especially painful menstruation, recovering from childbirth, and exhaustion. Proponents of Dong Quai claim that the herb has estrogen-like qualities that alleviate gynecological problems. This tea helps to support the normal functions of the liver, kidneys anad blood while supporting toxin elimination.Even if you already feel bloated, staying hydrated will improve you overall feeling of wellbeing. And the herbal elements in a cup of hot chamomile, mint, or gingerroot tea can help relieve some menstrual cramp pain along with the warmth of the liquid.Light exercise can relieve menstrual cramp pain by raising endorphin levels, which the brain associates with pain relief. A light cardio or yoga workout can get your blood pumping and stretch out your tense muscles. Anything more intense, like lifting weights or hard running, might just make you more miserable.Stretch out your pelvic muscles to relieve some of the menstrual cramp pain. Create a triangle by standing with legs spread past shoulder width, then bending sideways to reach your left/right hand down to your left/right ankle and holding right/left arm up in the air. Sit on the floor and create diamond with your legs by pressing the soles of your feet together then bending forward while exhaling. Curl up in the fetus position, with your face and legs down on the floor and your arms at your sides.

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