Periods without Pain: 6 Tips for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle
If you’ve ever looked down and wondered, ‘Is this normal?’, you’re not alone. Tackling everything from PMS mood swings to cramps and clotting, Zilch Formulas founder Vivian clears up much of the mystery around menstruation. Read on to learn what a healthy period looks like – and for six simple tips to help you sail through that time of the month.
Remember this: common does not mean normal
When it comes to your menstrual cycle, common and normal are not the same thing. Period. Symptoms like painful periods, angry breakouts and spotting are indeed common, but they’re not normal. And you don’t have to endure them, month after month.
While some light cramping is nothing to worry about, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, we see pain associated with periods as a sign something is out of balance. This pain is something we can address, along with other unpleasant period symptoms.
What does a healthy menstrual cycle look like?
Your cycle should range from 28 to 35 days, with a period that lasts 5 to 6 days. Menstrual blood should start flowing on day 1, not spotting for a week leading up to your period. Bleeding will be heaviest on days 1 and 2 and taper off, becoming lighter on days 3-4 and very light by days 5-6. Blood should be bright, thin and flow well – not watery and pale, or clotted, dark purple/brown or thick.
Suffer from bad PMS? Whether it’s bloating, pain, fluid retention, sore breasts, acne, backache, migraines, insomnia, mood swings or cramps cramping your style, you don’t have to put up with it – and Chinese Herbal Medicine and its ingredients can help.
What’s causing your PMS, pain or heavy bleeding?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, menstrual symptoms almost always come back to one thing: stagnation. This is simply Chinese Medicine speak for a blockage, or when something is stuck and not flowing freely.
Blockages can happen at any time, but stagnation is often seen in the lead-up to your period and during the period. It’s exacerbated by external stress and anxiety, which only add to the blockage. Stress causes PMS, PMS leads to stress, and around it goes in a vicious cycle.
How stagnation impacts your cycle
Experience any of the following? You're likely dealing with stagnation.
PMS: A lot of premenstrual symptoms are blockage related. For example, bloating, fluid retention (water is not moving, and your body is holding onto it), irritability and anger.
Spotting: If you experience a few days of spotting before your period begins in earnest, stagnation may be stemming your flow.
Pain: Cramping and pain before and during your period are clear signs of stagnation.
Heavy periods: Think of a blockage in a pipe. Once the water gets past the blockage and starts flowing it really rushes. In much the same way, stagnation causes your period to be very heavy when it finally does flow.
Clotting: When there is a blockage or stagnation, blood is unable to flow freely, leading to the formation of clots.
6 simple tips for periods without pain
Find that HIIT class extra punishing during your period? You’re not imagining it. Women are often more tired when they menstruate and more sensitive to pain. Now is not the time to soldier on; it is time to listen to your body and indulge in some self-care. Here are six TCM-approved tips to try next month:
- Avoid cold foods and drinks. The system likes warmth during your period, and the cold from ice cream, iced water and smoothies can infiltrate and disturb this system, causing blockages and pain.
- REST! You’re tired because your body is about to shed and lose blood. Listen to your body and don’t push through it. Nap if you have to, go to bed early and swap social plans for a warm bath and a good book. We’re a busy society and forget it's OK to take time off. Don't feel guilty and don’t feel like you're wasting your day/night – you’re doing exactly what’s needed.
- Reduce stimulants like caffeine, refined high-GI sugars, tobacco and drugs and give your body and mind permission to slow down.
- Skip your wax and other pain inducing activities. Your pain threshold is often lower during your period, so avoid laser hair removal and waxing and consider rescheduling that skin peel or anything that may cause you discomfort.
- Eat warming and nourishing foods that are easy on your body: think casseroles, soups, bone broths and stews, plus filling foods like meat, eggs, root vegetables and lentils. Also add warming spices such as ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Yum.
- Take a supplement. Zilch PMS + Stress Formula is a 100% natural, hormone-regulating and stress-calming supplement. Made with Chinese Herbal Medicine ingredients, it’s designed to tackle premenstrual and hormonal symptoms, all while easing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. The healthy body is designed to regulate and heal; this powerful blend is the perfect tool to encourage the optimal environment to do so.
Period pain can be a challenging experience for many individuals, and finding effective ways to manage it is crucial. At Zilch Formulas, we understand the impact that menstrual pain can have on a person's daily life. That's why we have developed a PMS + Stress formula specifically designed to support menstrual health and alleviate symptoms associated with period pain. Our formula contains a unique blend of natural ingredients that work together to promote hormone balance, reduce inflammation, and ease discomfort. We believe that everyone deserves to feel their best during their menstrual cycle, and our PMS + Stress formula is just one way that we are committed to supporting menstrual health and well-being.