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Yoga for PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome) and Menstrual Cramps

Yoga for Menopause Menstruation is a natural monthly cycle in Women. It is approximately the monthly vaginal discharge in humans and other mammals. The discharge consists of blood and cells which sheds from the lining of the uterus. The bleeding can last from two to seven days and signifies that no conception has taken place. The main hormones involved in controlling Menstruation are estrogen and progesterone. The cycle begins when a dormant egg cell within an ovary begins to ripen. The cells around this maturing egg cell then release estrogen which prompts the lining of the endometrium to thicken as preparation for the receipt of fertilized egg. When the egg matures, ovulation begins. In ovulation, the matured egg will burst from the ovary and go down to the fallopian tube to the uterus. The cells that are left behind after ovulation will then begin the production of progesterone. This hormone, the progesterone, is responsible for the further growth of the endometrium. Menstruation is experienced by women between puberty and Menopause can start between the age of 8 and 18 and last until between ages 40 and 60. The Menstrual Cycle of most women is about 28 days, though it can vary considerably from one month to another.

Though Menstruation is normal, some women experience some dilemma during their monthly periods. Some experience Menstrual Cramps or Dysmenorrhea, or Pre-menstrual Syndrome.

Dysmenorrhea


Dysmenorrhea is a Greek word which literally means "Painful Menstruation". These are abdominal and pelvic pains experienced before and during Menstruation. Menstrual Cramps may last for hours or up to three days. The cramps may be mildly or severely painful and can be debilitating and can interfere in regular activities, sometimes leading to absences from work, school or other functions. Dysmenorrhea is caused by uterine contractions and can be aggravated by emotional stress. Dysmenorrhea can be classified into Primary Dysmenorrhea and Secondary Dysmenorrhea.

  • Primary Dysmenorrhea

    Primary Dysmenorrhea is the more common form of Dysmenorrhea. It is the form of Dysmenorrhea that occurs with no underlying cause or not caused by any pelvic lesion. It can be caused by platelet aggregation, vasoconstriction, or dysrhythmic contractions with pressure higher than systemic blood pressure. It is also believed to be caused by prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance produced by the uterine tissue, which triggers strong muscle contractions in the uterus during Menstruation. Genetics, stress, Obesity, cigarette smoking and body type also play a part since some Women has high prostaglandin levels but do not experience Menstrual Cramps.

    Primary Dysmenorrhea symptoms include Headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The pain usually occurs a few hours before the bleeding, comes to a peak within a few hours, and subsided within one to two days. Rest, heating pad on abdomen or back, aerobic exercise, nutrition, and medication are common therapies for Primary Dysmenorrhea. A balanced diet which includes an adequate amount of calcium, adequate fluid intake and Vitamin B6 can be great help in preventing or alleviating the pain. Medication may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, and hormonal alternation of the Menstrual cycle. Hormonal alternation includes the use of oral contraceptives to prevent ovulation and decrease the thickness of the uterine lining which result to lesser prostaglandin production.


  • Secondary Dysmenorrhea

    Secondary Dysmenorrhea is related to the presence of pelvic lesions such as endometriosis (implant of endometrial tissue outside the uterus), adenomyosis (benign growth of endometrial tissue in the uterine walls), pelvic inflammation, congenital uterine or vaginal abnormalities, leiomyoma, or cervical stenosis. The use of Inrauterine Device can also cause Secondary Dysmenorrhea. Pain starts a few days before Menstruation and usually lasts several days after onset of flow. The onset of the peak period does not happen as clearly or quickly as Primary Dysmenorrhea. The pain may also occur at other times of the month. Symptoms include continuous pain, tenderness of the pelvis, nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, quivering, rapid heartbeat, and sweating.

    Secondary Dysmenorrhea can also be treated with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen. Birth control pills can also be effective. However, the treatment of this kind of Dysmenorrhea depends on the cause. Surgical or medical treatment may be needed.


Premenstrual Syndrome(PMS)

Another form of Menstrual disorder is the Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS. This is characterized by uncomfortable mental and physical symptoms that can occur up to two weeks prior to the onset of Menstruation. Though most experts believed that it is caused by the estrogen level, they also consider that a combination of psychological, genetic, nutritional, and behavioral factors are likely to be involved. Some psychological manifestations of PMS include Anxiety, Depression, irritability, anger, confusion, forgetfulness and the exacerbation of existing Psychiatric Ailments. Physical symptoms include tenderness of breasts, Migraine, nausea, changes in energy level, swelling of arms and legs, feeling bloated, back pain and difficulty in sleeping.

Treatment for PMS includes the intake of vitamins and minerals like calcium, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. A person who experiences the psychological symptoms of PMS will also need a deeper self-knowledge and social support in order to cope with the changes in mood and behavior. Changes in lifestyle and diet will also help in dealing with PMS. Having a Healthy Diet will facilitate in alleviating irritability, fluid retention, joint aches, breast tenderness, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Caffeine, alcohol, simple sugars, salt, and fats should also be avoided to decrease bloating, fatigue, depression and tension.

Several Yoga poses are proven to ease Menstrual Pain. It can also help your mind and body adapt with stress, anxiety and depression making you feel relaxed and calm, and enabling you to cope with psychological symptoms of PMS. Having a generally relaxed mind and body can also help in alleviating the Menstrual Pain. The healthy Yoga Diet can also help by supplying the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to counteract the symptoms of PMS. However, it is important to recognize the need to slow down and practice Yoga gently. The abdomen should remain soft and inactive throughout the practice so that the Menstrual flow can continue unobstructed. Twists and inverted positions are not suitable as this may reverse the flow or squeeze the abdominal area and interfere with the natural discharge of Menstrual fluid.

Here are the Yoga Poses suitable for relieving Menstrual Pain:

Kapalabhati Kapalabhati
Kapalabhati is a Breathing Technique used specifically for cleansing. If you have a lot of mucus in the air passages or feel tension and blockages in the chest it is often helpful to breathe quickly. This article will introduce you to this breathing techniques and show you its its benefits.

Seated Poses - Easy Pose (Sukhasana) Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This is one of the classic Meditative Poses and is usually performed after doing the Corpse Pose. The Easy Pose helps in straightening the spine, slowing down metabolism, promoting inner tranquility, and keeping your mind still.

Warm-Up Poses - Cat Pose (Bidalasana) Cat Pose (Bidalasana)
The Cat Yoga Pose teaches you to initiate movement from your center and to coordinate your movement and breath. These are two of the most important themes in Yoga practice. Keep in mind that the Cat Pose may not be advisable if you have any chronic or recent back pain or injury.

Backbends - Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
The Bow Pose resembles an archer's bow. It strengthens the muscles in the back area, improves posture, and helps in dealing with several gastrointestinal problems. Take note that this Yoga Pose is not for people who are suffering from serious neck or back injury.

Backbends - Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This Yoga Pose improves spinal flexibility and strengthens the muscles in the arms and back. In addition, it is effective in relieving menstrual irregularities and constipation. Learn how to perform the Cobra Pose in this section.

Backbends - Fish Pose (Matsyasana) Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Doing the Fish Pose relieves stiffness of the neck and shoulder muscles and improves flexibility of your spine. It is the counter-pose of the Shoulderstand. Hold the Fish Pose for at least half the amount of time you spent in the Shoulderstand in order to balance the stretch.

Supine Poses - Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana) Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
The term Pavanamuktasana comes from the Sanskrit word 'pavana' which means air or wind and 'mukta' which means freedom or release. The Wind Relieving Pose works mainly on the digestive system. specifically, it helps in eliminating excess gas in the stomach.

Anuloma Viloma Anuloma Viloma
Anuloma Viloma is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril. Learn how to do this technique for beginners by following the steps found in this article.

Yoga Exercise - Final Corpse Yoga Exercise - Final Corpse
For you to appreciate the benefits of relaxation, you should first be familiar on how it is to be tense. This is what happens when you do the Final Corpse. Everything related to that position including suggestions on how to do it is discussed in further detail in this article.

Relaxation Yoga Pose Relaxation Pose
The first step in Yoga practice is to learn how to relax your body and mind. In this section, know why relaxation is essential in practicing Yoga and learn how to do the Corpse Pose and other techniques for physical, mental, as well as spiritual relaxation.

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Article Comments
Miyako
Thursday 15th July 2010 at 3:33:40 PM  

These yoga poses actually work! It helped reduce my menstrual cramps! I strongly suggest anyone dealing with dysmenorrhea to do these!

Erica
Monday 4th October 2010 at 12:20:43 AM  

I''ve had very bad menstrual cramps for the last few years. I''ve also noticed I haven done yoga for the lasy few years (more kids, less time). I started hatha yoga again 2 weeks ago and my Day 1 which is usually spent taking a 2 hour nap and rolling in fetal, was celebrated with normal energy and no debilitating cramps. I''m so glad I''ve brought my mat back out. Just 20 mins a day!

Sierra
Monday 25th October 2010 at 2:42:29 PM  

I am 14 and I have been having my period for about 2 years now and my periods have been very light and only lasting about 3 days. But this last month and the currant month have been absolutly terrible. I have experienced painfull cramps and headaches and nausea. I''ve been drinking raspberry leave tea which is supposed to support the female system and I''m going to try yoga and see if that helps also.

sandy
Thursday 27th January 2011 at 12:51:33 AM  

I''m 16 and almost every month since my period started i have to go to the emergency room. But I helps a lot if I don''t eat that much food the week before, and workout at least once a week. Yoga really helps, if I want make sure I don''t feel that much pain after i finish yogo I take a hot bath and Advil (Tylenol does''t help) and then a nap.

Ash
Wednesday 13th April 2011 at 11:38:45 AM  

Kapalbhati Pranayama provides quick relief from the cramps, everyone, and you can do it while walking even. I just did it and it worked.

Anusha
Wednesday 2nd November 2011 at 9:01:51 AM  

can we do above mentioned exercises during menstrual cycle( while undergoing periods)???
Pls reply


 
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