When I wrote a short post on period pain earlier this week, I had no idea it was going to be seen by over 2,500 people. My humble blog usually only reaches around 50-100 people, so it was a huge sign to me that I had hit a nerve for many women. After all, period pain affects up to 97% of all women at some time in their life. Personally, I think it’s very sad that this is still such a prevalent problem, considering all the advances in modern science. I have been told by doctors and gynaecologists that the pain is “all in my head” (the first time I was told this was when I was 14 years old). Unsurprisingly, this frustrated me to say the least. Male doctors , who have no idea what period pain is like, telling me that I’m imagining it. How dare they, I thought. Have they had to take time off school or work every month due to excruciating cramps? Unlikely. I’ve carried this anger and frustration around with me for a long time, whilst searching for natural solutions to period pain. I passionately believe that the body has an innate healing system, so there must be a way to stop the pain every month. I am still on the journey to completely eradicating my pain and PMS symptoms, but I want to share what’s worked for me so far.
A few months ago, I had a massive “ah-ha” moment in a General Medicine lecture. We were studying the female reproductive system (oh joy!), and our lecturer was talking about the causes of period pain. “Oh, here we go again,” I thought, “another man teaching me about period pain.” But then he said something that resonated: the FEAR of period pain can make the pain worse, and prolong symptoms long after any physical problem has cleared up. Could this be what was happening to me? I certainly feared my time of the month. I knew I was in for a couple of days of agony, dulled by heavy-duty painkillers which caused other unpleasant side-effects including brain fog. As a musculoskeletal therapist, I am fully aware of the impact that emotions can have on pain, with up to 85% of all physical pain having an emotional root. What if my fear and anticipation was making my pain worse? It was time to address that fear, and to learn to love every part of myself, even my damn uterus that seemed to be causing me so many problems.
For many years, I have been practicing Emotional Freedom Techniques (also called Tapping). I decided to try tapping to clear the fear. It certainly helped to bring the anxiety down, and it has helped to reduce the pain. Here is a video of Nick Ortner from The Tapping Solution, talking about tapping for pain relief:
It may seem a bit “out there” and wacky, but give it a try. For a few minutes, just suspend your scepticism and allow yourself to be open to a new idea. I hope that this can help you to reduce your fear, anxiety and pain each month.
In my last post, I discussed the use of kinesiotape for period pain. If you haven’t read it yet, please do – a very simple, cheap technique that has decimated my period pain. Over the next 5 weeks, I will be attending a series of lectures on female health, and will be posting at least one blog per week on this topic. If you would like to be notified each time a new blog is released, simply sign up below.