Manage your Menstrual Cramps with These 4 Poses
Posted byDiane Hoffmaster
As women, we are blessed with many things. Resourcefulness, determination and the willingness to ask for directions when lost are just a few of our amazing qualities. Unfortunately, we are also blessed with our monthly period and that isn’t always a joy to live through. Getting off the couch may be the last thing you want to do, but you may find better menstrual cramp management from just changing your posture.
Dr. Suzanne Trupin, a gynecologist, tells Fitness Magazine that the deep breathing in yoga “helps relieve the effects of oxygen deprivation to the tissues, one of the main causes of cramps.”1 Additionally, stretching your lower back and pelvic muscles help relax your cramping muscles, according to Health Magazine.2
A quick trip to the yoga studio or a few minutes on your living room floor might do the trick. Check out these four poses that may manage menstrual pain.
1. Forward Bend
There are several variations of the forward bend. Stand with your feet together and your arms resting at your sides. Keeping your legs straight, inhale and slowly reach your arms toward the ceiling. Exhale and bring your arms out to your sides as you hinge forward from the hips to touch the floor. Hold for one minute and return gently to your starting position.1
2. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is a very common yoga pose, used mainly for relaxation. It helps to have a carpet or mat under you before you start. Sit on your knees on the floor, with your back straight and your arms at your side. Keep your spine and head relaxed, but upright. Close your eyes and breath deeply. Lift your arms over your head, keeping them straight and shoulder-width apart. Slowly exhale, bending at the hip to reach your arms out in front of you. Make sure your butt stays sitting on your heels. Rest your arms and forehead on the floor and breathe gently as you relax into the pose. Do this for two to three minutes and return slowly to a seated position.
3. Reclining Twist
According to Medical Daily, the reclining twist stretches your lower back and hips to help sooth abdominal pain.3 You will need space to lie down with this exercise. Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides at ear level. Cross your left knee over to your right side. Rest your knee on the ground and relax, breathing gently for at least five breaths. Use your abs to lift your knee back to the center and lower your leg back to the floor. Repeat on the other side.
4. Tiger Pose
Tiger pose can be an effective way to alleviate lower back pain. It stretches the spinal column and your abs. To begin, place your hands and knees on the floor. Lift one leg up toward the ceiling and hold the position for three deep breaths. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Make sure to lift your head while you lift your leg to maintain proper alignment of your spine, advises Medical Daily.
The key to menstrual cramp management through body positioning is to make sure you are stretching the muscles of the abdomen, hips and lower back. Just taking a walk will help loosen those muscles to provide natural pain management for your menstrual cramps. If all else fails, tuck a heating pad into your purse before you head to work and gently relax those muscles with a bit of warmth. As always, if your periods are always very uncomfortable, consult your doctor.
1“5-Minute Workout: Relief from Cramps.” Fitness Magazine. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/express/5-minute/moves-to-relieve-cramps/.
2Melone, Linda. “9 Best Workouts to Do When You Have Your Period.” Health Magazine. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20953267,00.html/view-all#yoga-8.
3Bachai, Sabrina. “6 Poses Every Woman Should Know for Period Pain Relief.” Medical Daily. http://www.medicaldaily.com/menstrual-cramps-period-pain-period-relief-388256#big-shots/388256/5.
- Posted by Diane Hoffmaster
- On May 12, 2017