Whether it’s intense weepiness, sore boobs or horrible bloating, PMS affects everyone in different ways. While conventional medicine – such as the contraceptive pill – can work wonders for some women, there are alternative ways to treat your symptoms.
Reflexology is a holistic treatment that uses points on the body – mostly the feet – to help deal with problems elsewhere in the body. Not only is it very relaxing, which can definitely help with cramps and mood swings, but it can help re-balance the nervous and hormonal systems, helping with those emotion-led PMS symptoms.
Good for: Cramps, bloating, disrupted sleep, hormonal headaches and anxiety
Homeopathy is a form of complementary healthcare that works with natural healing process. It’s based on the idea that ‘like cures like’ – in other words, a substance taken in small amounts will cure the same symptoms it causes if it was taken in large amounts. While it isn’t for everyone, it can be a great aid – a study in Bristol discovered that 70% of those that use homeopathy experience improvements in health.
Good for: Bloating, cramps and irritability
Herbs have been used for centuries to treat various ailments and some women have found them to be beneficial in treating PMS symptoms. Talking to a herbal specialist is essential as everyone’s body reacts differently, however the following herbs have been found to help:
- Agnus Castus helps regulate blood flow, which helps with painful cramps and in balancing hormones.
- Evening Primrose Oil can help lessen breast pain and bloating. Some women have also found it helps even out pre-menstrual mood swings.
- Angelica Root, a Chinese herb, is good for combatting fatigue and irritability.
- St. John's Wort is often used to treat depression, and as such can be a good way to treat low moods and anxiety related to PMS. Just be careful if you take the contraceptive pill, as St John's Wort can stop the pill from working.
Best for: Mood swings, irritability, cramps, sore breasts
Derived from Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into certain points of the body – and it seems to work. One study showed that it reduced PMS symptoms in 78% of women. You may need several bouts of treatment before you see a difference, although some women have reported feeling better after just 24 hours.
Good for: cramps, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, nausea
Exercise is often promoted as a great tool for dealing with PMS but very few of us fancy a 10K run just before our period hits! Instead, gentle exercise like yoga can be a better choice. Not only can it help relax you, helping reduce stress and anxiety, but there are specific poses that can help with certain symptoms.
- Cat pose: Relaxes stomach so good for cramps
- Child’s pose: A relaxing pose, which is said to calm the nervous system, so a good all-rounder for beating those emotional PMS symptoms
- Bow pose: This is great for relieving tummy pain and is also an energy booster, so a good one if your period leaves you feeling fatigued
Best for: Emotional issues, irritability, anxiety and cramps
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