PMS: Natural Cures for Women AND Men?!
Gone are the days when females played the single role of mother. Today we are often pressured into numerous roles in life that can take their toll on our health and our natural cycles. We often say things such as ‘I wish I was a man’ or ‘Men have it SO easy.’ But ask yourself, do they? Is it really a bed of roses for a man to live with a woman who suffers PMS? Guys, I’ve got your back and I hope this article is just as important for men as it is for women, so don’t stop now. Keep on reading -- the answers lie here.
I am one of those women who has taken on the challenge of supermom, householder and bread winner and have suffered through regular episodes of post menstrual syndrome while trying to achieve my daily goals, now realizing that a goal can never be achieved if your balance is off kilter
I feel enormous empathy for any woman who suffers from this monthly dis-ease, so I have explained the routes I have taken to gain a better understanding and awareness of the syndrome itself. Knowing how to care for the body mentally and physically from the inside out, by nurturing yourself with good foods, exercise and daily amounts of relaxation is of paramount importance. I have included foods that can help and foods that can hinder recovery. I truly believe that finding balance is the key and can help you live a healthy, happy and productive life which can benefit you and the whole family.
Premenstrual syndrome is a common complaint for a large percentage of women, and its severity can vary from person to person and from month to month. It is caused not only by an imbalance of hormones in the female body throughout her monthly cycle, but can also be due to stress, poor diet and a busy lifestyle.
Symptoms may include the following: Mood swings, headaches, bloating, poor concentration, weight gain, irritability, aggression back pain, depression, clumsiness
During a female's monthly cycle her mood changes approximately every two and a half days. She may find that one day she feels full of enthusiasm and is keen to communicate and socialize. Another day she may feel compassionate and giving, and other times she may take on feelings of insecurity and negativity.
A positive way to recognize these inner cycles as a woman is to keep a daily journal for expressing your deepest thoughts and feelings. Throughout the months a pattern will begin to form and awareness of the body’s inner rhythms will become apparent. This will then give understanding as to why certain feelings are predominant during specific times in the menstrual cycle.
In today’s society woman often find that they have little time for themselves. They are often expected to play many different roles on a daily basis. Mother, housekeeper and full time worker are just a few. It is important to take time to nourish individual needs, feeding the soul with nurturing activities such as a massage, a walk in the park or a weekly yoga session. These activities are positive for the whole being and will relax the body on a mental and physical level while naturally heightening the spirits.
What to avoid
Specific symptoms that may occur through a female’s monthly cycle can be magnified by particular foods. To keep the hormones balanced and the moods steady the following foods should be omitted or considerably reduced from the diet. To see satisfactory results, reducing these foods should become a permanent part of any PMS sufferer's lifestyle.
Foods to Lose
Alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars: These three things raise the blood sugar level causing it to peak and drop. They also agitate the functions of the body and are a strong factor for the majority of the physical and emotional symptoms mentioned.
What’s Good to Eat
To keep the internal body system balanced it is important to eat fresh, natural whole foods which contain plenty of ‘prana’ (lifeforce). Foods that feel and taste good when eaten and are loaded with vitamins and minerals to keep the blood sugar levels balanced. These are foods such as fruit and vegetables, whole wheat products with no refined additives. It is also important to drink plenty of water and herbal teas to keep the internal system cleansed a hydrated.
Potent Foods for Woman
- Ginger – reduces menstrual cramps.
- Sesame oil – helps menstruation.
- Mangoes – corrects cycle irregularities.
- Eggplant – energizes the entire system and regulates menstrual flow.
- Rice bran syrup – rich in all ‘B’ vitamins which helps to regulate moods.
- Raw almond oil – helps to keep cholestrol levels low, reduces body fat, cleanses toxins, makes skin healthy and is a high source of protein.
- Almonds (peeled) – 5 almonds a day are high in protein, fibre calcium magnesium, potassium, vitamin ‘E’, zinc and selenium.
- Green chillies – prevent constipation and are high in vitamin ‘c’.
- Wheat berries – cleanse the intestinal tract and are nourishing.
- Turmeric – heals internal organs (cook before eating).
- Yogurt – heals digestive system and can also be used as a douche.
To reduce PMS discomfort it helps to add foods to the diet that are high in ‘B’ vitamins especially B6, zinc, magnesium and essential fatty acids. These can also be taken as supplements.
A Meditation to improve PMS
Meditation can help to bring clarity and focus to any of the symptoms experienced when dealing with PMS. By taking as little as thirty minutes a day to balance the mind and body it can improve the lifestyle of anyone suffering from chronic or acute symptoms.
The following is a simple meditation to help bring serenity to a negative mind state that can often occur during a female’s monthly cycle. This meditation will help to balance out emotions such as anger, panic and agitation.
Be advised when practicing this meditation the breath should not be held if suffering from heart conditions, abnormal breathing difficulties or anytime during pregnancy. If concerned please consult a doctor before beginning the practice.
How to begin
To start the meditation practice begin by sitting cross legged, if this is not comfortable sit in a chair. Rest the backs of the hands on the knees with the palms facing upwards. While sitting begin to lengthen the spine visualising space being created between each vertebrae on the inhalation and relaxing the breath on the exhalation.
Inhale for five seconds
Hold for five seconds
Exhale for five seconds
Breathe through the nose and in time begin to increase the length of each count. When practicing it is important not to force the breath.
When starting this meditation for the first time begin with 3 minutes and work up to 31 minutes at a slow steady pace adding one minute per day.
Relax on your back with the eyes closed when the meditation is complete.
A Final Word
Throughout these physical and mental changes as well as taking time to commit to a healthier lifestyle one of the main aspects to consider is BALANCE:
Be patient with yourself.
Allow yourself time out to be who you are.
Listen to your body from the inside out.
Nurture the body’s needs physically, emotionally and spiritually with good nutrition.
Create and use a variety of media such as painting, writing or sewing to enhance self expression.
Embrace love and support from others. Love and support for yourself.
Establishing a regular meditation practice can drastically improve your health, and so can choosing the right foods. Ready to learn more about the power of food? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.