Do you suffer from PMS or Premenstrual Symptoms, that transform you into a different person in the days before or during your period?
You are not alone. About 85% of women experience some form of PMS – but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence and accept this as the new normal.
Pain-free periods can become a reality by taking a holistic view of this time of month, examining the emotional and spiritual aspects linked to embracing your cycle as well as changes you can make to your relationship to your body and what you eat.
MINDFULNESS: START BY ACCEPTING YOUR CYCLE
Many women actually reject the menstrual cycle they experience every month.
They may feel ashamed, sick, tired and because they hate having their period, they try to avoid any symptom that comes with menstruation. This attitude is often passed down across many generations, and talking about menstruation is a taboo within the family and society in general.
Yet these painful memories, negative thoughts and emotions simply reinforce the physical pain that a woman is experiencing every month
Additionally, living and working in a society that expects women to be emotionally and mentally consistent all month subtly forces women to adapt to these expectations.
Yet on a biological and physical level, women change every day and resisting these natural fluctuations in our cycle by trying to adapt to societal expectations of stability leads to emotional and mentally exhaustion which merely increases physical pain.
One of the practices of the Glowing Woman involves embracing her womb and cyclical nature to better live up to her potential every month, every day.
A simple visualization to ease the PMS is the base of the Glowing Woman’s practice – get it here: WOMB CONNECTION.
BODY WORK: HONOR YOUR BODY
Many women who experience PMS tend to ignore the bodily experience of the cycle and its signs of heaviness, tiredness, low blood pressure, irritability. They force themselves to push through these sensations and keep going as usual.
By doing this, they forget that their bodies are cyclical in nature and beautifully adapted to accommodate the bleeding phase of our cycle. In the days leading up to this time and during menstruation, a woman’s womb can almost double in size, expanding from the size of a fist to a fist and a half or more. With these physical changes, it makes sense that the body becomes “bloated” and the abdomen area expands.
Due to the flat stomach obsession in our culture, many women reject and hate their stomach even more during this time, blaming themselves when normal clothes do not fit or become uncomfortable.
Instead of cursing your less-than-flat stomach, consider that your body is merely asking you to slow down and listen, preparing you to withdraw from demanding physical activities and sport.
By honoring your body’s needs and giving it the rest it needs during this time, you will be able to reduce PMS.
The aim of any physical activity during this phase of the cycle is to create the best possible environment for nature to follow its course and bring into balance any disturbances, mental or physical, which may occur in the days before or during menstruation.
For example, the following poses work against the nature of menstruation: Inverted postures, backbends, closed twists and strong abdominal contractions.
Discover how to create feminine balance by accessing your four feminine archetypes and the gifts each one of them have for you : Feminine Wholeness
BONUS GIFT : The “Love your Cycle” Chart (pdf) : a practical guide for creating balance in life, work and relationships throughout your cycle through food, exercise, clothing, attitudes and glowing states of being in each phase.
FOOD: NOURISH YOUR BODY IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY
In addition to working on the spiritual and emotional side of PMS and honoring your body’s needs at this time, eating the right foods is a powerful ways to turn PMS around.
You don’t need to eat a perfect diet – try instead to aim for at least 80% healthy foods and fully enjoy the 20% of less healthy foods you allow yourself. This is a more realistic way of making sustainable change.
EAT THE RIGHT FATS
Eating enough of the right fats while avoiding harmful fats is essential to hormonal balance.
Increase good fats such as avocados, olive oil, raw & unsalted nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil, coconut products and oily fish such as salmon and sardines.
Eat the best quality animal products you can find and afford: For example, make sure your beef was grass-fed and your eggs come from chicken who live outside and eat their natural diet.
Fats to avoid or reduce as much as possible include trans fats or processed hydrogenated vegetable oils found in deep-fried foods, processed and take away food, margarine and pre-packaged cakes and cookies with long shelf lives. Use real butter instead of margarine!
And no, fats don’t make you fat – at least not the right ones. You can read more about this here: http://bit.ly/1bBNgc4
This includes refined carbohydrates (white flour & white sugar), soda (including diet sodas) and refined sugars. Get your sugar from natural sources like fruit and when you need something sweet, opt for natural sweeteners like dates, maple syrup or honey.
UPGRADE YOUR SALT
Change your regular table salt to unrefined salt which is full of beneficial minerals and should be a little grey or pink in color rather than white.
EAT MORE MAGNESIUM & IRON RICH FOODS
Magnesium and iron reduce headaches and increase energy levels.
Foods rich in both include green leafy vegetables, beetroot, legumes, nuts, seeds, seafood and pastured red meat.
Magnesium is known as a natural relaxant and can be found in cacao/dark chocolate -one of the reasons women crave chocolate before their periods! Try to choose chocolate that is at least 70% cacao or make your own recipes using raw cacao.
Caffeine is strongly linked to painful, lumpy breasts. Before you have a coffee, ask yourself if this is really what you want right now. Often, coffee is just a habit or a pretext to take a break and replacing it with another habit, like a herbal tea, can be very effective.
Drinking too much alcohol depletes your body of B vitamins and magnesium which makes you more prone to depression. Try to make alcohol an occasional treat only and when you are out, drink a glass of water between each glass of alcohol to pace yourself.
MAKE SURE YOUR BOWELS ARE WORKING WELL
Having a healthy digestion ensures hormones are eliminated from the body. You should be having a bowel movement 1-3 times a day.
If things are sluggish, try increasing foods high in fiber such as whole grains (millet, quinoa, brown rice), chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, fruits and vegetables.
GO EASY ON THE DAIRY
For some women, reducing dairy, especially in the 2 weeks before their period, can be very helpful in managing symptoms of PMS. When it comes to choosing dairy, always make sure you eat organic, full-fat dairy and avoid fruit yoghurt which is filled with sugar. Add your own fruit to natural yoghurt instead.
Discover delicious milk alternatives such as almond milk, rice milk, quinoa or oat milk which can be found in the non-refrigerated milk section of most supermarkets now. Be careful not to replace dairy with too many soy products like soy milk or tofu though. Unfermented forms of soy tend to be highly processed and mimic the effect of estrogen in the body, leading to hormonal imbalance.
So where do you start with all these suggestions? Start with whichever point speaks to you most and feels most do-able and take it from there, making one small change at a time.
HERE ARE A FEW RECIPES TO GET YOU STARTED:
Raw Date and Nut Balls: http://bit.ly/1cMBmXx
Green Smoothie: http://bit.ly/1gqMGNC
Wholegrain Stir-Fry http://bit.ly/MpAYIc
HERE ARE SOME PRACTICES TO EASE PMS:
Womb Connection : here
Feminine Wholeness : here
Changing Woman : here
Celebrating your feminine body,