Wednesday, February 27, 2013

PMS - Go With The Flow



One of the biggest complaints I have from my female clients are cramps, PMS, and menopause issues. And these are the reasons our periods have been considered the CURSE for generations. Many young women still see their periods as something shameful and parents aren’t giving their daughters a healthy perspective on becoming a woman. I think one of the first things we must do is reclaim the power that comes with menstruation and stop treating it like a negative aspect of being female.

Some experts believe the monthly symptoms of PMS are showing us what is out of balance in our lives and personal relationships. Women who are co-dependent or surrounded by alcoholics are more prone to PMS than other women. I find that I only get cramps and moody when I’m already in a stressful state. We are made to ebb and flow with the tides which are controlled by the moon. The mysteries of the moon can be a source of meditation and revealing of personal power. In ancient times women in the village would ovulate and menstruate together. The full moon would bring the height of fertility and the dark or new moon would show all the women menstruating at the same time. It was a sacred event that the community respected. I’m not saying we should put a hut in the town square and gather monthly, but finding what the sacred is for you, is highly recommended. By doing so, you might be surprised to see your cramps lessening and that you actually look forward to your monthly time of creativity and divinity. This is also is a good time to examine the life around you and see if there are aspects that your body is telling you to change or eliminate.

Moving from the sacred to the physical, there are integral physical components to lessening menstrual issues. Diet, once again, is important to help with cramps and other PMS symptoms. And just a note, cramps are a separate entity from PMS and may or may not be accompanied by it. PMS consists of mood issues, bloating, sleep problems, accident proneness, fatigue, salt cravings, rage, joint pain and numerous other physical and emotional symptoms. You can have cramps without PMS. Either way, taking a good multi vitamin is important with the B vitamins providing extra help. Magnesium is often deficient and this is why we crave chocolate during our cycle (well, let's be honest, we want the chocolate too.) Fish oil also helps with symptoms by decreasing inflammation. PMS is often caused by an inflammatory substance produced in the body called prostaglandins which can create those common nuisances associated with our periods. Advil and similar drugs reduce that inflammation and can quell symptoms. Some women are sensitive to meat, eggs, caffeine and dairy and eliminating these for a few days before your period starts can be helpful. Try to lessen your stress through meditation, massage or energy medicine like reiki. Exercise is important, and try to keep your weight under control. Interestingly, the same nutrients that help PMS also help muscle cramps, headaches, mood disorders and sleep issues. So if you have any of those even when you are not menstruating, you may be deficient and should consider adding B vitamins, Magnesium and Essential Fatty Acids into your daily regime. And look into things like acupuncture, homeopathics and herbs like dong quai. Avoiding alcohol, processed foods and carbs might help during your period as well. And if you can take time for you, do it!

With PMS I can’t stress enough the need for a healthy attitude. Take these occurrences as an opportunity to get to know you and what you want with your life at this time. Reduce stress, strengthen your relationships and let go of things that are no longer healthy for you; whether it’s a job, habit or a partnership. Look at your menses as a time of new opportunity and a period of growth. And good luck in your quest for finding the sacred feminine in you. 


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