Have you ever suffered from period pains, PMS or any kind of menstrual symptoms? Chances are, that unless you’re in a male body - the answer to the above question was yes! With 90% of women reporting that they suffer from (or have suffered from in the past) some form of PMS, it’s extremely common. And 42% report that period pain has affected whether they were able to do their job. Cramps can be debilitating. I know this as I grew up in agony each month when my bleed arrived. I’d often have to take time off school and was put on the contraceptive pill as a teenage to manage the pain (it hardly worked).
Whilst it may be extremely common to suffer with PMS symptoms or cramps - that doesn’t mean its normal. These symptoms are not something you just have to endure throughout life. When I used to suffer with my periods I felt like I was at war with my body. “Why is my body doing this to me?’ “I hate my period” These are such common narratives to hold as it really doesn’t seem fair that we should be suffering each month as women. It’s not fair. But we don’t have to continue to suffer. Your body is your home. It communicates to you all the time via subtle and sometimes not so subtle messages. When something is amiss, the messages get louder so that you’ll tune in and listen. I found through my personal journey that everything starts on the energetic and emotional level. I spent my life feeling ungrounded and disassociated, at war with my body, putting her through periods of starvation to make her thinner, extreme workouts to make her adapt. I wasn't listening to what she was telling me she needed so she screamed louder for me to listen. The sound came through menstrual issues, digestive issues, body dysmorphia and a loud inner critic - as is common for so many women I work with and hear from. For me, things changed when I started the journey of coming home to myself. I started practicing in a way that grounded me and brought me to a place of embodiment, I learned about my cycle and began honouring my cyclical needs - I started to listen and work with the intuitive guidance of my feminine wisdom. If you’re in a female body, you have access to that wisdom too, no exceptions. Your cycle can be a tool and guide on your journey. The first step is noticing what she’s communicating to you. If you'd like to begin tracking your cycle then download my free guide to tracking if you don't already have it and read my blog post about the benefits of tracking your cycle.
How to ease Menstrual symptoms naturally :
1. Track Your Cycle - Tracking your menstrual cycle allows you to understand what is happening within. This practice allows you to recognise patterns and pinpoint instances of PMS or unwelcome menstrual symptoms. While it sometimes may feel that these symptoms persist throughout the entire month, cycle tracking could reveal they occur only on specific days - giving you an awareness of the days that feel like an edge. This heightened awareness allows you to anticipate how you'll feel and proactively create a supportive environment during these more challenging phases of your cycle.
2. Embodiment Rituals - Engaging in embodiment practices facilitates a deep connection with your body's moment-to-moment sensations. As women, we frequently detach and disconnect from our physical selves, especially our womb or Yoni. Societal norms have perpetuated the notion that menstruation is shameful, urging us to conceal, alter, or even reject our bodies. Many women suffer with body dysmorphia and a sense of inadequacy, leading to a dysfunctional relationship with their bodies. Cultivating practices that bring you back home to your body and rewrite this narrative supports the journey of reclaiming your physical self as the beautiful divine being you are, someone who deserves to be celebrated and embraced. This transformation can fundamentally shift your dynamic with your menstrual cycle, ushering in greater comfort and alleviating PMS symptoms.
3. Nourishment and Nurturing - We go through different phases within our menstrual month so it’s important to honour your nutritional needs in each (you can read more about that here). During the luteal phase, which is usually the home of PMS, our cortisol levels are high and we require an increased caloric intake. Neglecting proper nourishment during this phase can trigger PMS symptoms. We're all familiar with the "hangry" sensation that arises from inadequate nourishment; this becomes more pronounced during the second phase of your cycle. To preempt this, prioritise consuming the appropriate amount of calories, aim to eat every 3 to 4 hours and forego any kind of fasting. Consistent nourishment prevents your body from entering a stress response and reinforces a sense of safety. Additionally, supplementing with natural herbs like Vitex, raspberry leaf, nettle, and burdock root, as well as incorporating adaptogens such as medicinal mushrooms and Ashwagandha, can harmonise your menstrual phases and cultivate a heightened sense of equilibrium. (I'm not an herbalist so please do your own research as to what will work for your needs)
4. Embrace Rest and Space for Stillness - As women, we go through ebbs and flows, ups and downs within our menstrual cycle. Phases of natural activity are contrasted with periods of longing for rest. Often in our society, where busyness and achievement are prioritised due to the influence of a capitalist culture, the restorative aspect of our cycle tends to be overlooked. Unfortunately, this oversight can lead to burnout as we fail to honour each unique phase and provide our bodies with what they genuinely require. Remarkable wisdom and insight await us within our cycle, especially during the menstrual phase, which becomes accessible when we allow ourselves to rest. This inner winter phase in particular serves as a time for reflection, unhurried moments, and doing nothing. Ironically, the more you allow time to rest here the more you catalyse the peak in energy at the other side of the cycle, ovulation, as it's all linked. This leads to enhanced overall productivity within the whole 28-day cycle. By embracing rest, you pave the way for heightened ease in dealing with PMS symptoms.
5. Reconnect with the Earth - Recognising and embracing the connection between our relationship to the Earth and to our own bodies holds profound significance. Often, when one connection is strained, the other might reflect a similar discord. Cultivating a deep sense of appreciation for the Earth beneath our feet naturally extends to a greater reverence for ourselves. The Earth is our mother, and our physical bodies are an extension of this nurturing connection. By investing time in grounding ourselves and being present in nature, we strengthen our sense of rootedness within our physical form. Take some time to walk barefoot whenever possible, grow your own food if you can (or even just nurture a houseplant), embrace foraging, and dedicate moments to spend time outdoors. As you align more with nature's rhythms, your connection with your body deepens, which in turn can help on the journey to healing PMS.
6. Journaling and Embracing Femininity - Our society often puts the concept of the 'inner summer' feminine archetype on a pedestal. This version of femininity is associated with achievement, activity, selfless service, and attaining goals. When we think about energy within a spectrum of both masculine and feminine qualities (I'm not referring to gender here; this same spectrum of energy resides within all of us, irrespective of external gender expression) The masculine or yang energy is directed outward, proactive, and propulsive, characterised by motion. On the other hand, the feminine embodies receptivity, creativity, and containment. It carries a sense of gentle tranquillity, it's the opposite to yang energy – the yin essence. We ALL require a balance of BOTH to live in harmony.
For women who've predominantly prioritised the yang energy, dedicating their lives to busyness and achievement, their relationship with the feminine, and consequently with the cyclical nature of femininity, might be less than desirable. This can in turn affect menstrual symptoms.
If this is the case for you I would invite you to take some time to journal, reflecting upon your relationship to terms such as 'femininity,' 'womanhood,' 'motherhood,' and 'menstruation.' This practice encourages exploration of your emotions tied to your inherent feminine wisdom. Do you grant yourself permission to slow down and receive? Or does resting feel like forfeiting progress? Through this introspective practice, you can unpack how you relate to both aspects of energy and ultimately create a more harmonious connection with your feminine cycle.
For many of the women I work with, an overarching emotion that comes up around this topic is anger. Anger that we often have to live the majority of our lives without this knowledge, anger that we are not taught this information in school, anger that our bodies have felt like our enemies for so long. If you feel this too, I see you. You're allowed to be angry. It's not fair that we have been made to feel so disconnected from ourselves that we have ended up just enduring such debilitating menstrual symptoms for so many years, inter-generationally. It's not fair that our emotional reactions to capitalist rule get smirked at under the guise of "her time of the month". Let me say it again - you're allowed to be angry - at a system that centres the male 24 hour, yang cycle and forsakes the feminine.
Get angry, then let that anger catalyse the momentum to make the change that is so desperately needed. The power is in your womb and it's your birthright to reclaim it.
If you’re ready to find the magic in your menstrual cycle then join me for my new menstrual cycle awareness course, details here.
I love nothing more than to teach on these topics and help you to feel empowered by your cycle, living in harmony with it and having access to your deepest feminine wisdom. I cannot wait to take this journey with you
If you'd like more 1:1 support on this journey or have any questions then do get in touch.
My work encourages you to utilise the healing and transformational powers of the menstrual cycle and reclaim your cyclical nature in a cultural system that feels limiting or linear. Your cycle is your super power!
If you want to learn more about working with your cycle you can :