You don’t have to grin and bear period pain. Developing menstrual cycle awareness can help you to manage and heal menstrual pain.
It might be hard to imagine that the cycle could be a force for good when you suffer from menstrual pain each month. You may experience period pain that you think of as ‘normal’ and sort of manageable, perhaps with a pain killer thrown in for good measure to get you through. Or you might experience unspeakable, agonising pain and/or have a condition such as endometriosis. Or maybe you experience something in between these two extremes. Whatever your condition, menstrual cycle awareness (MCA) is your foundational remedy for healing, on which all other treatments rest.
Soothe your stress to tame your period pain
At the root of any health condition lies stress. And MCA is a stress soothing process. It supports you to come into the flow of your own energy and nervous system. It alerts you when you are overdoing it and losing connection to yourself, and at menstruation itself you can experience actual release of tension and soothing as you let go and rest when you bleed.
Seeing your cycle as the enemy, or even just trying to ignore it, and imagining you can stay the same all the time adds to your stress. It creates tension and locks you out of a deeper knowing of yourself. However recognising the cycle as an ally in your life, learning to value and respect it, eases tension and releases inner resources that allow you to heal symptoms considerably. Enjoy the insights and revelations that naturally emerge as you observe and follow your own natural rhythm.
When I don’t fight my cycle and rest, pain and discomfort are greatly reduced and some months I feel a quiet joy in my femininity.Kelly, Australia
Become a revolutionary
Let the self soothing revolution begin…practice menstrual cycle awareness
Begin to chart your cycle on a daily basis, familiarising yourself with the pattern of mood and energy over time. When you are connected to your menstrual cycle you are connected to yourself, getting to know the unique nature of your rhythm of power, of you.
As you get to know this inner pattern, begin to cooperate as much as you can with your changing mood and energy. In other words don’t bully yourself to be something you are not. For example if you feel your energy is low or you feel you’d like to hide away, give yourself permission to go slower, take an afternoon nap, cancel something so that you don’t have to force yourself to be ‘out there’. The moment you give yourself permission, you will find ways to support your nature in any given moment, however modest.
Plan around your cycle to reduce period pain
Best of all, plan your life around this inner rhythm. It’s an imperfect business when your cycle or life itself can be unpredictable – accept that can happen – and you will find you can begin to live in accordance with your own inner flow more and more. In particular, aim to slow down and do less in the premenstruum. Arriving at menstruation itself less stressed can reduce period pain. One woman, a midwife, healed her pain by reducing her workload in the premenstruum. She said ‘no’ more often in that second half of the cycle.
Discover the miracle medicine of menstruation
Stop and rest at menstruation. Ring fence this time from activities as much as you can. You may find anyway that you can’t move. And the more stressed you are, the more you will feel this. The body knows what you need right now…to do nothing. Give yourself quiet, technology and ‘pressure to perform’ free time, ideally close to nature.
As you do this you can activate the bliss and love hormone oxytocin. It is literally like a wash of soothing through your whole system easing away the stress of the previous month. This is the miracle medicine of menstruation. Pain will ease, or you will find you can be with the pain without taking pain killers. This is important because although painkillers bring much needed relief they also contribute to the conditions creating the pain in the first place. And often when a woman can allow herself to really be with the pain she gets insight and guidance about herself and her needs.
Acceptance and Awareness
By accepting and cooperating with the emotional and energetic pattern of your cycle, its natural ups and downs, you naturally become more conscious of your needs, pacing yourself better and therefore getting less hyper and adrenalised. It also means you are cultivating stronger boundaries that make it so much easier to say ‘No’ to others and ‘Yes’ to yourself. You truly come in to the flow of your own nature and there is nothing more healing and liberating than that.
With cycle awareness as your foundational remedy for period pain, there are many other vital things you can do to support your healing such as through diet (including a detox diet), supplements, massage including womb massage and herbs.
About Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer:
Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer are co-founders of The Red School and they teach a radical new approach to women’s health and wellbeing; creativity and leadership; and spiritual life based on the menstrual cycle. You can learn more about your menstrual cycle in Alexandra and Sjanie’s book: Wild Power:discover the magic of your menstrual cycle and awaken the feminine path to power.