Healing Menstrual Cramps: Beyond Painkillers

It's estimated that about 60% of American women regularly suffer from menstrual cramps. To keep the pain at a minimum, many women turn to over the counter pain remedies. There are others ways to ease the pain.


These drugs inhibit the formation of local hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, some of which encourage uterine contractions. Women who experience menstrual pain (called dysmenorrhea by medical professionals) tend to have higher levels of the contraction-inducing prostaglandins.

Unfortunately, NSAIDs can have serious side effects. According to naturopath Karen Jensen, in her book Menopause: A Naturopathic Approach to the Transitional Years, NSAIDs may cause dizziness, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and, with continued use, possible gastrointestinal damage.

Yet cramps are like any other symptom: they are a sign that something in life is out of balance. As with any symptom, can choose to heed the message or ignore it. In this regard too, however, menstrual symptoms present a bit of an extra challenge. Many of have been taught since childhood to be ashamed of periods, to try and cover up their existence as much as possible. This shame can contribute to attempts to "cover up" menstrual symptoms with painkillers.

While the social taboos and misconceptions surrounding menstruation can make it challenging to heal menstrual symptoms, those same difficult circumstances can make the process all the more rewarding in the end, thanks to the new perceptions of oneself and society that can emerge.

Let's now take a look at the practicalities of healing menstrual cramps and pain (or, naturally balancing prostaglandins) without resorting to NSAIDs. Look at the following areas: lifestyle and nutrition, dream work and cultivation of menstruation's erotic and orgasmic potentials.

Lifestyle and Nutrition

In Conclusion

Unless a serious underlying condition such as endometriosis is present, it's not likely that your periods need be painful. Natural, non-medicated resolution of cramps and pain does require more of an investment in yourself than popping a painkiller does-something that totally worth it in the long run. After all, healthy eating habits help prevent many diseases, not just cramps. And getting in touch with your deep wisdom through dreams and acceptance of your eroticism and sexuality, can only help you live life more fully.

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