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How is your flow?

Posted by on Jul. 13, 2012 at 9:44 AM
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Hi Ladies!  How is your menstrual flow?  Is it easy or difficult?  Heavy or light?  Do you get cramps?  What are your natural remedies/tools for your discomforts?  

One of my friends actually has a facebook group called "blessed bleeders" where women share in all the horror they encounter each month.  Clearly many women are suffering.  

A few years ago I did a workshop for women only on remembering their divine feminine.  One of the ceremonies that was facilitated was to celebrate the onset of menstruation for women.  In our culture, it has such negativity around it.  But once upon a time it was celebrated.  Although fictional, a great book on the celebrations is "The Red Tent."  Anyhow, there were several women in the workshop who had painful periods and after celebrating with other women the beauty of our moon time their pain diminished if not disappeared over the following months.  

There's much more to easy periods than a ceremony however.  Lets here how yours are... 

by on Jul. 13, 2012 at 9:44 AM
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Drumdiva
by Group Owner on Jul. 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Fortunately, I've never had painful periods and they were easy until my late thirties when I started to get huge clots.  The first one I saw shocked me...I thought for sure I miscarried or something.  But I managed with them for a few years.  Then at about 40 I began to flood.  One time I got up at a restaurant and gushed all over myself.  I was mortified.  I ran to the bathroom and afterwards it looked like a murder scene in there.

After my miscarriage at 42 I bled for over a month - straight!  Doctors only wanted to do invasive proceedures or give drugs, neither of which I wanted, so I turned to natural healing and herbs.  Shepparrd's purse tincture and Red Rapsberry Leaf infusion finally brought the flow to a hault.  I continued with the RRL infusion and began a regimin of Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex) tincture, vitamin suppliments, and dietary changes to bring my hormones into balance.  Since then, my periods have been totally normal.  No clots, no flooding, and as usual, no pain.  If I have a "slip-up" month where I'm not as diligent with it all, I notice a little heavier flow, but NOTHING like it was.  

May NO ONE ever need a miscarriage to "clean" them out, but clearly there was a build up of crap in my body that had disrupted my endocrine system.  There are many routes to go about balancing the flow.  Every woman is different, so there are many different applicable solutions.

Bradya
by on Jul. 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Mines is horrible I use pads and tampons I have no choice or I would bleed everywhere the cramps are horrible my doctor prescribed me lysteda and I dont even think it work.
NDADanceMom
by on Aug. 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

My cramps are terrible!  Id love to know what to do.  I cant even work when I have them.  Last week I took 2 tylenol, 2 advil, and a regular asprin before I felt enough relief to even shower.  It wasnt always like this.  Any ideas what the deal is?  

Drumdiva
by Group Owner on Aug. 22, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Dealing with painful periods is NO fun for sure!  Especially when it is severe enough that you cannot even live your life.  There are some natural ways to ease and eventually eliminate the pain, but first you should really rule out any medical condition that may be causing the pain such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or uterine fibroids.  If those are the cause, you have to deal with them first - which can also be done naturally.  Diet can be changed and herbs added to help ease the pain and heal the issue.  I am a huge fan of Red Raspberry Leave infusion.  In fact, Its flow time for me right now and I'm drinking plenty.  It tonifies the uterus so that it can easily contract and release the blood, rather than spasm and cause pain.  

But in addition to the physical issues to be addressed are the mental ones.  I have lead workshops where we take adult women through a journey that honors the time when there periods began as teens.  We also address any negativity around bleeding and replace it with the awareness of the truly powerful time that it is for a woman.  I have witnessed women completely heal there painful periods through this mental/spiritual process. 

Here are some dietary and herbal recommendations that may help.:

Natural Ways to Decrease Menstrual Cramp Pain

I will share with you some natural remedies to help treat menstrual cramping when it is happening, but also remedies and mind/body practices to consider long term to help relieve your menstrual cramp pain forever!

Nutritional Considerations First!
That’s right, getting adequate nutrition every day should be top priority! Considering that Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) is an inflammatory state in the body, it is important to avoid foods that increase inflammation response. High glycemic foods are known to increase levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body, including PGF2. When looked at holistically both doctors, naturopaths and herbalists agree that an anti-inflammatory diet is important.

Avoid refined carbohydrates. Stick to whole grains like oats, millet, brown rice, quinoa, ect. Eat only 3 servings of grains at most a day.

Eliminate sugary foods and processed sugar. Choose very limited amounts of honey or agave. Choose Stevia as a sweetner when possible.

Consider eliminating dairy. Dairy products are congesting to the body and many doctors have seen a reduction in menstrual cramp pain in women who eliminated dairy products. If you choose dairy, try to purchase organic or organic raw dairy only to avoid added hormones.

Reduce red meat and egg yolk consumption to at most 2-3 times a week. This is because both red meat and egg yolk are high in arachidonic acid (AA). This has been found to increase cellular inflammation in some people. To find out if you are senstive to AA, eliminate red meat and egg yolk for a month. Reintroduce it and see if your symptoms come back. Choose organic free range meats and eggs when possible to avoid added hormones.

Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables!

Important Nutritional Supplements

Whole Food Multivitamin
Be sure to take a good whole food prenatal multivitamin. This will help you to maintain adequate nutrition. Many do not consume enough fresh foods because of our food system, therefore our nutritional levels are lacking what our bodies need each day to function properly.

Vitamin A
Be sure to get enough Vit. A through a natural whole food source (cod liver oil) or beta-carotein (carrots). This will help to keep estrogen levels regulated.

Magnesium
Magnesium helps to relax smooth muscle tissue. It has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping greatly. Magnesium deficiency is a leading cause of menstrual cramps.

Omega 6
Are you getting enough Omega-6 fatty acid? Both Borage oil and Evening Primrose Oilare high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fats can assist fertility by improving reproductive cell structure, decrease risk of inflammation and improve the condition of organs in the body. Borage and EPO tone the uterus. Honestly it is best to take a complete essential fatty acid supplement like Fertilica Omega 3, 6, 9. This will help you to get a wide variety of EFA’s!

Pain Relief & Cramp Relaxing Herbs

Note: none of these herbs should be used during pregnancy, unless directed to do so under the care of a qualified health care practitioner skilled in the use of herbal remedies.

Cramp Bark & Black HawThese are probably the most effective herbs for reducing uterine spasm and cramping. These sister herbs bring relief of pain and muscle spasm in the uterus. Cramp bark and Black haw have been shown safe for use for several days prior to onset on menses in anticipation and prevention of painful cramps. There is also no risk of liver damage from this herb like there are with NSAID use.

Black CohoshThis plant is very anti-inflammatory and wonderful at reducing spasm in both the smooth muscles, but also the skeletal muscles associated with pain that radiates to the lower back and down the thighs.

Dong QuaiDong Quai is popular for women with absent period, but it has other beneficial actions. It helps to reduce menstrual cramps in women with a boggy, heavy feeling uterus due to stagnation, poor circulation and scant blood flow during menstruation. Dong Quai acts on the circulatory system and lymphatic system reducing tissue congestion. It has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also very relaxing to the nervous system, which may be helpful to those with anxiety or tension during PMS and menstruation. Interestingly this herb has been shown to first stimulate the uterus and then go on to relax it. Dong Quai is also a wonderful hormonal balancing herb, used since the 16ht century for the female reproductive system. Note: This herb is best not used during menstruation for women with heavy bleeding.

Wild Yam: Wild Yam has a wonderful action on smooth muscle tissue, reducing muscle spasm of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, aiding in painful menstruation and chronic pelvic pain. Wild Yam helps the uterus to work more efficiently during menses. This uterine support allows for proper function of the uterus while working to prevent uterine cramping or spasm. This herb has a wonderful action on the ovaries, toning them and aiding in ovarian cyst pain.

Digestive Upset with Inflammation

Ginger: If you experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea due to painful cramping and hormonal changes, ginger is one of the best herbs to soothe the stomach. It is also anti-inflammatory. Also see Chamomile.

Anxiety, Nervous Tension, Irritability with Menstrual Cramps

Chamomile: This sweet little flower is both anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It is also helpful for women with digestive constipation contributing to pain. Because this herb is also a nervine and mild sedative it may help to reduce stress, relax the nervous system and induce a restful state in the body. This can be very useful when experiencing menstrual cramping accompanied by anxiety and irritability. Chamomile is best sipped as a tea during menstruation.

Motherwort: Very effective at reducing uterine muscle spasm, cramping and improving uterine tone. It is also a wonderful mild sedative, aids in insomnia, headache and dizzyness. It is a specific remedy for heart palpitations, stress and anxiety associated with pelvic pain.

Dong Quai is also in this catergory.

Severe Cramping and Pain

Jamaican Dogwood: This herb combines will with Cramp Bark or Black Haw. It is important to seek the guidance of a qualified herbalist, midwife or naturopathic doctor if you are considering this herb for pain. Never self prescribe this herb. This herb is extremely antispasmodic and analgesic. It is traditionally used for all neuralgic and muscular cramps and spasm. This is an herb that is often relied on by herbalists for women who have unrelenting pain disturbing daily life activities; debilitating pain. I wanted all of you to know that there are natural options for extreme dysmenorrhea, Jamaican Dogwood may be a good option for women who have lost all hope, or where other remedies have failed.

Aromatherapy Support for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Essential Oil Massage blends or hot compress are another form of pain relief for menstrual cramps. Below are some of the best essential oils for painful cramps.

German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla, Matricaria recutita)
German chamomile is best known for its ability to reduce inflammation. This oil is a deep blue in color due to the presence of azulene. It also has some pain reducing effects, promotes calming of the nerves, reduces anger, irritability and depression.

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana, Marjorana hortensis)
This is a great oil for menstrual cramps. Reduces pain on all levels. Great to use with a hot compress on the abdomen when experiencing menstrual cramps.

Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare, Foeniculum officinale, Anthum foeniculum)
Helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, may help reduce hormone fluctuation. It is also aids in reducing muscle spasm.
* Do not use if you have epilepsy.

Self Fertility Massage and Fertility Yoga
Uterine spasm is sometimes associated with a weak uterus. If the uterine muscles are “out of shape” they are more likely to spasm. Self Fertility Massage may greatly help to strengthen, stimulate, detoxify and support overall uterine health. Self Fertility Massage also increases endorphins which help reduce pain. Another good option is to practice Fertility Yoga. Fertility Yoga uses specific poses to keep the reproductive organs in proper alignment, with adequate circulation.

The Mind & Body Connection to Painful Menstruation

Dr. Christiane Northrup brings this topic up in her wonderful book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Is there a connection with our thoughts, past experiences, and social expectation in the role of pain during menstruation? She thinks so. She has been a doctor for over 25 years and has bridged the gap between conventional medicine and holistic practices. Through her years of clinical work she has found there is indeed a relationship with past thoughts of our bodies and menstrual cycles, as well as what we still currently believe about our bodies that contribute to menstrual pain. With up to 60% of the US females having mild to extreme dysmennorhea it is an idea worth mulling over.

If you continue to struggle with painful menstrual cramps it is definitely worth considering what ideas or thoughts about your cycle, your body and your entire life that no longer serve your highest good. Perhaps you have been sexually abused, or even emotionally abused by someone in your life, could this trauma be contributing to your monthly pain? Do you look at your menstrual cycle as a burden or with disgust? Now is the time to go within, change your thoughts on you; love yourself completely. Allowing yourself love. Let yourself know you love you, this may actually be release enough to let go of painful menstruation.

Hope this helps ladies!!

NDADanceMom
by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Wow.  I want to try this.  Will it affect me ttc? Where do I get it?  Im a target kind of gal but I do live in a college town so im thinking there must be a place where I can get this stuff. 

Drumdiva
by Group Owner on Aug. 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Lol, which "stuff" are you referring too?  Lots mentioned there.  Red Raspberry Leaf?  I get that through mountainroseherbs.com.  I know, I'm a target kind of gal too, but i'm afraid they don't sell quality herbs for infusions there.  Once you get the herb, you will need to make the infusion.  Its really quite simple. I can post a video here if you like.  Also, remember, herbs are not quick fixes.  They take time balance the body as the body is designed to "process."  Although I must admit, I noticed pretty quick results when I first began working with this herb.  Everyone is different.  

Quoting NDADanceMom:

Wow.  I want to try this.  Will it affect me ttc? Where do I get it?  Im a target kind of gal but I do live in a college town so im thinking there must be a place where I can get this stuff. 


NDADanceMom
by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Ahh online.  thanks.  I thought it would be like brewing and drinking tea.  If not please post-thanks. 

Quoting Drumdiva:

Lol, which "stuff" are you referring too?  Lots mentioned there.  Red Raspberry Leaf?  I get that through mountainroseherbs.com.  I know, I'm a target kind of gal too, but i'm afraid they don't sell quality herbs for infusions there.  Once you get the herb, you will need to make the infusion.  Its really quite simple. I can post a video here if you like.  Also, remember, herbs are not quick fixes.  They take time balance the body as the body is designed to "process."  Although I must admit, I noticed pretty quick results when I first began working with this herb.  Everyone is different.  

Quoting NDADanceMom:

Wow.  I want to try this.  Will it affect me ttc? Where do I get it?  Im a target kind of gal but I do live in a college town so im thinking there must be a place where I can get this stuff. 



Drumdiva
by Group Owner on Aug. 22, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Here are two videos for you.  The first is Susan Weed just talking about why infusions vs. teas.  The second is her making a Red Clover infusion.  It would be the same process with Red Raspberry Leaf.  PLEASE NOTE: I know you are ttc - so am I.  She will mention Red Clover being a fertility infusion.  However, if you may be estrogen dominant, you have to be careful with Red Clover as it is a phytoestrogen.  Although I LOVE the infusion, I only drink it on occasion because Im 42 and need to watch my estrogen levels so they don't get too high.  Red Raspberry would be fine with your ttc efforts, but I would only drink it from the time bleeding begins or your get a bfn (whichever comes first) until ovulation.  Some women are very sensitive to the effects it can have on the uterus and worry it will prevent a pregnancy from sticking so-to-speak.  However, it's long term effects will strengthen the uterus and it is then recommended for the last trimester of pregnancy to get ready for birth.  Many women drink it throughout their pregnancy however.  So, until you know how quickly you respond to the herb, since you are ttc, I recommend only drinking during the first part of your cycle.  Message me with any questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pKpe_YGUUw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kINxqaNW4HY

Jenn_T
by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Great thread!

I have a fairly light flow which lasts from 3-5 days. And I almost never bleed at night or if I nap during the day. Very rarely do I cramp - perhaps twice a year and it is usually accompNied by a severe migrane.

However, for about 5 days before my flow starts, I have a boggy, weighted down feeling. I am very damp and wear a pantyliner for that. I also just have a heavy feeling in my lower abdomine.
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NDADanceMom
by on Aug. 23, 2012 at 5:48 PM

thank you!  I placed an order today.

Quoting Drumdiva:

Here are two videos for you.  The first is Susan Weed just talking about why infusions vs. teas.  The second is her making a Red Clover infusion.  It would be the same process with Red Raspberry Leaf.  PLEASE NOTE: I know you are ttc - so am I.  She will mention Red Clover being a fertility infusion.  However, if you may be estrogen dominant, you have to be careful with Red Clover as it is a phytoestrogen.  Although I LOVE the infusion, I only drink it on occasion because Im 42 and need to watch my estrogen levels so they don't get too high.  Red Raspberry would be fine with your ttc efforts, but I would only drink it from the time bleeding begins or your get a bfn (whichever comes first) until ovulation.  Some women are very sensitive to the effects it can have on the uterus and worry it will prevent a pregnancy from sticking so-to-speak.  However, it's long term effects will strengthen the uterus and it is then recommended for the last trimester of pregnancy to get ready for birth.  Many women drink it throughout their pregnancy however.  So, until you know how quickly you respond to the herb, since you are ttc, I recommend only drinking during the first part of your cycle.  Message me with any questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pKpe_YGUUw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kINxqaNW4HY


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