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Mainstream first world culture today has us so far removed from our bodies, from our connection to the Earth. From our material makeup, the foods we ingest, and the medicines we take to heal our bodies, there is little regard to hold our connection to Earth in tact. This can be seen in the popular food of North America that expands worldwide (fast food, dairy, starches, few fruits and vegetables), to the products we put on our bodies that contain mass amounts of chemicals not supported by our material makeup, and lastly to the ways of our medical system in pharmaceuticals that are widely used for many ailments including headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), belly aches, allergies, as well as ailments like cancer, depression, and heart conditions.
The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, PMS, occur in the phase after ovulation, the luteal phase. For many women this is usually the week before menstruation, but for some the onset occurs even earlier. Recognizing the cyclical nature of its symptoms clues us in on what is not working in our bodies.
To preserve us as a species (and particularly as women who birth life to our species), we must bring ourselves back to optimal health; we must learn to be more in tune with our bodies to continue the preservation of homo sapiens as we have known. Not only is healing PMS naturally a wonderful option for those who suffer on a month to month basis, but it reconnects us to the Earth, her powerful healing gifts, and will encourage our preservation.
Utilizing products, medications and foods for PMS relief that are not supported by our body’s systems, can possibly mask other medical conditions that need to be addressed and ultimately lead to greater health issues over a long period of time. There seems to be a vast hyper dependency upon pharmaceutical drugs for ailments that can be resolved with using the elements of nature- fire, water, air, earth. Our disconnection to and independence from Earth can encourage other ailments to arise, as our bodies are not designed for processing these foreign substances.
Healing PMS can be empowering, as well as a great joy and hallelujah moment for many. Even Mary J Blige states in her song, “PMS” that – “The worst part about being a woman is PMS”. This doesn’t have to be so when we take natural, mindful steps toward our healing.
Because PMS has a broad range of systems to qualify for diagnosis (over 100), without proper cognizance of when they are occurring during a woman’s menstrual cycle and whether they are dissipating with the onset of one’s bleeding, it can be confusing to pinpoint the true cause of such symptoms as headaches, abdominal bloating, food binges, fatigue, and back pain to name a few.
The quote below demonstrates the alternative health issues that have been found when the seemingly initial complaint was PMS.
“Organic causes of PMS-like symptoms must be ruled out. Marked fatigue may result from anemia, leukemia, hypothyroidism, or diuretic-induced potassium deficiency. Headaches may be due to intracranial lesions. Women attending PMS clinics have been found to have brain tumours, anemia, leukemia, thyroid dysfunction, gastrointestinal disorders, pelvic tumours including endometriosis, and other recurrent premenstrual phenomena such as arthritis, asthma, epilepsy, and pneumothorax (24).”¹
There seems to be non-PMS disorders that need further attention but get brushed off as ‘normal’, part of a woman’s cycle, or found relief with an over the counter pain pill or birth control pill. Adding false hormones, or suppressants of pain can merely mask a possible other issue that is crying out.
Help is possible. Healing is possible. Alissa Vitti, author of WomanCode, speaks to this when she states – “…the only way your hormones can achieve balance is if your body does the job– and only if you safeguard and nurture it, with every meal and habit, every day, to optimize endocrine function.”
Embodiment/ Self Care Practices
A few options for healing PMS naturally include cycle charting, dietary adjustments, exercise, rest, point of view, as well as a spiritual practice.
Cycle charting would indicate whether there is a cyclical nature of symptoms and therefore most probably related to one’s menstrual cycle. Paper charting is one effective way to notate when one menstruates, when one feels like they are ovulating (usually a heightened sense of libido, more watery cervical fluid, and a heightened position of the cervix), and when one experiences any symptoms that arise prior to menstruation and whether or not they halt at its onset. There are also apps that have been created to help this process as well.
Some dietary adjustments that have shown to be effective are:
- Increase water intake
- Increase dark, leafy greens
- Increase whole grains
- Increase fruits and vegetables
- Decrease sugar
- Decrease caffeine
- Decrease alcohol consumption
- Decrease dairy
- Decrease starches
Shortly after ovulation, creating more spaciousness with one’s schedule, allowing for more down time, self reflection, time with girlfriends, journal writing, connecting with nature, and meditative, healing baths with Dead Sea salt or Epsom salt with added essential oils of choice, and candles, flowers, and relaxing music in the bathroom can make the transition smoother as menstruation time approaches. Treating one’s self to romantic dates at home are a powerful tool to viewing our menstruation time as beautiful and natural. Additional self care practices might be a warm compress on the womb, a womb massage or even a full body massage!
Another ‘small’ yet powerful embodiment practice would be to practice one’s deep breathing. This also creates spaciousness, pause, ease, and down regulation during a time when we might feel more agitated and irritable. The practice of one’s deep breathing can be as deliberate as during a meditative practice- in a quiet space at home for a comfortable amount of time, during a yoga, qi gong, walking, or other movement practice, or less deliberate during any point of one’s day – while driving, pausing while at work, or while gardening, etc.
Breathing can also allow time to pause and reflect the value of one’s triggered emotions- are they fully warranted and valid? What is truly the trigger for any agitation, anger, irritability, sadness, isolation, or flustered feelings? Pausing to breathe can allow us a moment to recognize the source as well as the opportunity to release it, address it, or return to it when we have more time.
Pause and breath can also allow for perspective on how one views their menstrual cycle. Expert Joan Chrisler shares in an interview the impact on social learning with regards to how women view PMS. If what one has been taught and constantly sees perhaps via media that menstrual cycles are hard, painful, challenging, and dreadful, then that can come to be one’s socially learned experience as well. And the same is true for the exact opposite. If one learns, sees and practices embracing their menstrual cycle as beautiful, reverent, sacred, and special, then that can be the experience received.
Being aware of, and naturally healing our PMS, not only creates more ease, joy, flow and freedom in our lives, it also cleanses our bodies of other stressors and illnesses, and creates better health for us as women, mothers, sisters and daughters for generations to come. Our connection back to our bodies, back to Mother Earth~ who gives us life through her foods, herbs, oceans, seas, mountains, and rivers can leave us PMS free!
You can regulate your levels of PMS. You have ownership of your own body. You can manifest your world of less PMS!
*If your symptoms are debilitating, or are not on a cyclical nature, please be sure to seek the help of your medical provider.*
I've been plugging away continuing to learn and grow my private practice as a Certified Women's Holistic Life + Sexual Wellness Coach. I'm so excited to currently be seeing clients on issues ranging from diastasis recti, weak pelvic floor, low libido, time management, life balance, career change, and self-care.
My focus is with moms who feel ready to make transformations in their lives and who are committed to creating a better lifestyle for themselves as well as their entire family. Through holistic guidance, I help empower women to become their own healers and leaders of their lives.
I have availability for 2 more private clients this month. If this interests you or someone you know, please reach out and we can hop on a call to see if it is a good fit and begin your journey toward wellness right away.
Sound the horns! I am so thrilled to be able to share with you 2 new classes I'm offering! Both are near and dear to my heart as they've been tools that I've personally needed during my journey as a mom. Please read more about each one below.
I've been intrigued by diastasis recti, weak pelvic floor and associated low back pain for over 5 years ever since I've had to personally address these issues with my own body. As a former dancer, I have always been in touch with my body and had control over virtually every muscle you could imagine. However, after having children, it's been a long road to feeling like myself again, feeling in control of my body. I admit I have not been able to spend THAT much time on it, but there have been some fabulous tools that I've learned along the way that have truly made a difference. In particular, the Restore Your Core Method from Lara Catone, one of my mentors, has been a pivotal resource, which is why I'm excited to now share this material with you!
Secondly, I'm ecstatic to be able to share my new Sacred Mama Support Circle! Yay! As a new mom, it was REALLY challenging for me to embrace my new role in life. Social circles and support groups really helped me feel integrated back into the world and into this new life.
My desire is to create a space that honors each of us uniquely as women and mothers. We are all serving a divine purpose through raising our children. I look forward to witnessing and holding space for you all as we support, listen, honor, and respect one another.
Check out details on the PURCHASE page and please feel free to reach out with questions.
Mrs Dancing Moon
I was inspired to write about incontinence today as this cool chill in the air has me sneezing. I recall a bit of uncontrollable leakage of urine every time I sneezed and coughed post babies. Although I was the only one who knew it was happening, I remember feeling a bit embarrassed that my urine got away from me!! It was obvious that my pelvic floor muscles had weakened, or more accurately, no longer supported my urethral sphincter as it had previously.
I know I am not alone in my experiences of urinary stress incontinence (too much intra-abdominal pressure on the pelvic floor). Kegels can be the answer for you, but if you're experiencing pain when performing kegels or not utilizing all of the muscles involved in the pelvic floor, this may not be your answer.
Let's clarify. Kegels are an exercise for the pelvic floor muscles- this includes 3 muscular layers as the parts 'down there' are all so closely connected and interwoven. The pelvic floor muscles intersect at the perineum (the area of skin between the anus and the vagina). This means that kegels involve more than the vaginal walls. It also involves the sphincters of the anus and the urethra. So if performing kegels, one must be mindful to work from the intersection- utilizing the muscles surrounding the anus, vagina, AND urethra.
Many of us may already be aware that we can perform kegels virtually anywhere, anytime. I prefer elevator kegels that lift higher with each 'floor' then reversely, lower/release with each floor, particularly in a low squat position. If this position is troublesome for your knees, one option is to roll up a towel or small blanket and place behind the kneecaps. If your heels disengage from the floor, feel free to fold up a yoga mat, blanket, or towel to place under your heels. Remember to keep the feet no wider than a 45 degree angle.
Other simple exercises to re-engage the pelvic floor are pelvic breathing and chair squats with a block.
Pelvic breathing is truly all in the name. I prefer this exercise seated upright in either a cross legged position or while sitting on a physio (yoga) ball. Think of breathing into the bowl of your pelvis, feeling a gentle expansion or downward press at the root and also noticing a slight space between the sitz bones on the inhale.
Lastly, the chair squats with a block can be seen in the photos below. Some cues for this exercise are to stand with your feet hip distance apart, gently squeeze the block between your upper thighs to engage the adductor muscles which in turn helps engage the transverse abdominals and even pelvic floor. Neck long, shoulder blades hugging the back, and ribs hugging the front of the body. Remember to breath and keep the spine long and neutral. Arrive in this position and then return to standing with the arms down at your sides. Repeat a few times taking notice of what you feel moving and engaging in your own body.
Each of these exercises can be done with 1 minute of time or if you have more to dedicate, then so be it! The more you practice visualizing and intentionally working the pelvic floor, the better you will become. Be gentle and patient with yourself as you've just had a baby! Your body has transformed and needs to now re-learn some of what it knew before. It is a process and urinary incontinence will not go away over night. Again, patience and persistence is key. You are not alone! I've been there and I'm sure many other postpartum women are right there with you!
For additional support, feel free to join our Facebook group HERE.
Essential Oil of the Day!
If you don't know yet, know you do. I'm an essential oil geek. So I'm committed to sharing essential oil wisdom with you all. As with everything in life, including the exercises shared above, healing takes place on a small, micro level and takes time and consistency for results to be seen.
Today I'd like to share about a Young Living Essential Oil blend called Release. This oil holds a frequency of 102 mega hertz (MHz), and can be used specifically to release emotions of anger and frustration. For me, this ability to release memory trauma from the cells of my liver where negative emotions are stored is so powerful on my own healing journey. I'm committed to not being my traumatic events and situations in my past as they are NOT ME. I am a higher, elevated individual that learns and grows from my experiences.
Some oils contained in Release are:
- Ylang Ylang: balances male/female energies to help focus thoughts and bring feelings of self-love, confidence, joy, and peace
- Lavandin: anti fungal, antibacterial, strong antiseptic, and tissue regenerator
- Geranium: helps with hormonal balance, liver and kidney functions and the discharge of toxins from the liver. Opens the solar plexus. May help foster peace, well-being and hope.
- Sandalwood: increases amount of oxygen around the pineal and pituitary glands, helping improve one's attitude. Alleviates depression, assists in the removal of negative programming from the cells of the body.
- Olive Oil
Release can be applied directly over the liver, or as a compress over the liver, on the reflexology points of the foot associated with the liver, as well as worn on the body as if applying perfume. And it's absolutely YUMMY!!!
For more info on oils click HERE.
Thank you for reading. If you feel anyone you know would enjoy or could benefit from this information, please feel free to share the love!
I offer birth and postpartum doula services, life and sexual wellness coaching for the postpartum woman, and group and private dance lessons.
Happy holidays to you and yours!!!