This is the first of a series on women’s health that I plan on writing. It is believed that besides pregnancy our Moontime is the time that women are the most intuitive. This was honored in ancient societies, and if you have read the Red Tent you know what I am referring to. In today’s world we are expected to go about our daily lives during our cycle but there are still ways that you can honor yourself and it is very difficult to do that if you are living with painful cramps. There are several things you can do to help relieve them.
One of my favorite remedies taught to me by Susun Weed master herbalist…get ready for this…everyone always laughs when I tell them…is to smoke Catnip. I am not joking. Take catnip leaves (preferably grown by you organically) and put them in a pipe or roll them like a cigarette, take a few puffs and I guarantee your cramps will be gone in minutes. Catnip is a natural muscle relaxer and unlike with cats is calming for humans (great for kids..but not smoked of course).
Your diet is also very important during your cycle (and always) but it really helps to avoid red meat, eat lots of greens with vitamin K, and I take a liquid Iron & Herbs supplement called Floradix which is available in most health food stores. I take this everyday not just during my cycle. Lots of water is also key. Drinking a tea of Lemon Balm and Peppermint will also help to relax the uterus and surrounding ligaments, if you also experience nausea this will help.
I like nothing better than a very gentle abdominal massage using a massage oil made from 20 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil and 20 drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil diluted in 4 oz of a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond Oil . Massage into your abdomen always going in a clockwise direction and very, very gently. You can also use this blend on your lower back if that is where you experience the cramping. After completing the massage put a hot pack on both your abdomen and lower back. (Do not use Clary Sage oil during pregnancy!!)
Lastly, as much as you may want to stay in bed, movement and gentle exercise is very important. And you will feel better after some movement I promise. When I first started Belly Dancing I would go to class crampy and after a few drills my cramps would be gone. My favorite move for cramp relief are Figure 8’s. Here is a great video I found, and even if you are not a dancer this will provide some immediate relief.
Restorative Yoga is also another great way to relieve cramps and balance your hormones. I was going to pull some video for specific poses, but came across a great 24 minute video “Yoga for Your Cycle”. I encourage you to try this out.
I hope that these methods help make your moon time more comfortable and a time for self reflection.