Our recent guide to menstrual cycle tracking proved so popular that we thought now would be the ideal moment to talk to you about taking a more gentle and holistic approach to menstruation.
Menstrual dysfunction and intense symptoms are a very present topic here at WATM HQ. We have regular conversations with other women in a similar boat. Read on to discover how we approach menstruation holistically.
1. Understand your cycle
If you haven’t already read our blog post about menstrual cycle tracking, now would be a good time to hop on over and check it out. The truth is that getting intimately familiar with your own rhythm will make all the difference when it comes to your moon time.
Cyclic tracking is about so much more than just your bleed. It’s about all four stages of your cycle and learning how to best look after yourself during each stage. Just being able to have your menstrual care kit at the ready and knowing when to plan all important down time for yourself, will make your bleed much gentler.
Plus, if you are doing any work such as using cycling herbs, knowing which stage of your cycle you are at will help you to nurture your entire cycle more holistically.
2. Consider your products carefully
When you give it any kind of thought (or spend hours researching, like we have), you’ll realise how gross traditional menstrual care products are.
If you haven’t gone down this rabbit hole yet, you may find this article useful. Ditching toxic, chemical laden products for your precious womanly parts is a great start.
Regular tampons are full of harsh chemicals and the companies don’t have any obligation to disclose what’s in them. Despite our skin absorbing those toxins the entire time we are in contact with them. This is the reason we have warnings of Toxic Shock Syndrome on conventional sanitary ware. But there are some good organic options readily available now.
You may also be concerned with the environmental impact of menstrual care products. In which case, reusable options are the next step. We’ve both tried and loved menstrual cups, which may the right option for you.
Gina’s experience of switching to a menstrual cup, when choosing to take a more holistic approach to menstruation.
I remember when menstrual cups starting becoming a thing and my initial reaction to them was “eww gross”. But I soon started to learn that the only gross thing was what I was already doing – using chemical laden tampons inside of my body and holding an outdated notion that periods are something which are smelly and dirty.
Once I decided to take the leap and try a menstrual cup, my whole relationship with my bleed days changed.
Now that I no longer stuff my vagina with toxic chemicals month after month, I have noticed some incredible changes. My periods have become shorter and lighter – three days every time.
I rarely suffer from any cramping or pain either. Which is incredibly concerning when I think about what chemical laden tampons must have been doing to my body all of those years. And what they still do to so many other people’s bodies.
However, if you have an inflamed cervix (learn more about your cervix over in this blog post), you may find a cup uncomfortable. In which case, there are washable pads and period pants.
Lea is a massive advocate for period pants, especially these ones by WUKA. They are insanely comfy, appear to be leak proof and offer total peace of mind. Even during flooding. Lea switched to period pants after her surgery for her endometriosis and hasn’t looked back. WUKA also now offer period pants for swimming which allow a lovely little wild swim on light flow days.
3. Open yourself to the idea of working with multiple tools
When deciding to take a more holistic approach to menstruation, finding out what works for you requires time, patience and preparedness to invest in your well being. As a sufferer of Endometriosis, Lea works with a Herbalist and a Reflexologist to manage her symptoms. Alongside having had brief intervention from traditional medical approaches.
Chocolate is also heavily associated with periods. And with good reason. You may also find ceremonial cacao or an Alchemical Chocolate Session helpful in taking a holistic approach to menstruation. If you’re interested in learning how chocolate can support your healing, check out this blog post.
4. Don’t discount the use of conventional remedies
Leaning into woo during your healing journey, might tempt you to shun pharmaceuticals. We know how you feel. In fact, for a long time, in spite of intense endometriosis symptoms, Lea refused all conventional approaches. Having been “cheated” by the claims of The Pill, it can be difficult to trust that sometimes the good outweighs the bad when it comes to pharma products.
The truth though is that by allowing pain to ravage you, rather than allow yourself the occasional use of pain killers, you get far less of the quality rest that you need. Conscious use of over the counter drugs can be essential in a holistic approach to menstruation.
5. For a more holistic approach to menstruation, build your own menstrual care kit
Some of the things in our combined menstrual care kits that you may find useful in taking a more holistic approach to menstruation are:
- CBD oil or balm – there’s plenty of research and advocates for CBD as being helpful in pain relief. Make sure to do your own research before adding something new into your kit though. Lea uses CBD and agrees that it does seem to have a positive effect.
- Herbal tinctures – again, you should do your own research/consult a practitioner before dabbling with herbs.
Lea uses Cramp Bark Tincture to help with the high pain days.
Gina uses Tee Tree in her baths during her bleed days for two reasons. Firstly it’s wonderful for balancing your pH naturally, which prevents issues like recurring thrush. Secondly- period sweats. It’s great for a complete body refresh!
- Feminax Ultra and paracetamol – like we said, more conventional remedies have a place and these still have a necessary place in our toolkit.
- WUKA wearable hot water bottle – this is a GAME CHANGER. And could bring much more comfort and ease on the toughest days. Lea has been known to go out walking the dogs wearing this, mentally daring anyone to ask her what it is.
- Ginger capsules – ginger and turmeric are both anti inflammatory. And studies have shown that they can help with pain.
- Dong Quai – Used in China, Korea and Japan for over 1000 years, this plants root is also known as the female ginseng. Gina takes a Dong Quai supplement daily, as it has a balancing affect on the female hormones.
- Magnesium spray and Epsom bath salts – if you can’t sit in a salty bath, magnesium (which is highly present in Epsom salts) spray can be a great alternative. Magnesium helps with relaxation and can aid in pain relief.
- Good quality chocolate – we don’t mean chocolate flavoured confectionery, of course. We mean the likes of ceremonial cacao which is packed full of nutrients that help with both the physical and psychological symptoms of menstruation.
- Comfy clothing that you feel good in – yoga leggings and sweatpants have a place, but some days you will want to wear something a little more luxurious. With intense bloating, finding bottoms with a comfy waist can be tricky. These trousers are insanely soft, with a stretchy waistband and adjustable tie.
Using crystals alongside your journey to a more holistic approach to menstruation
If you find the energy of crystals a powerful tool, there are some wonderful options which you can use alongside your cycle to help ease unwanted symptoms.
Moonstone – Any type of moonstone will be perfect to use at all stages of your menstrual cycle. The moon herself is closely linked to our menstrual cycles and this stone helps us to flow with that same cyclic nature, bringing about a calming affect.
Carnelian – An effective stone for all female reproductive issues including regulating menstrual flow, easing period cramps and calming your mood.
Citrine – Beneficial for PMS, balancing out hormones and alleviating fatigue.
Amethyst – Relieves tension and headaches, reduces bloating and helps to regulate your cycle. You can place amethyst by your bedside, under your pillow or place directly on an area of physical pain to soothe your energy and help with sleep.
Working to maintain a healthy Sacral Chakra will also help regulate and ease your cycle.
As a rule, any orange coloured crystals will match the energy of your Sacral Chakra which is an energy centre located within your womb space. Maintaining a healthy flow of energy within your Sacral Chakra will help bring balance and ease to your whole cycle.
You can place the chosen crystals on your womb space, bathe with them or meditate with them. To intensify the energies of your chosen crystals, a Sacral Chakra Crystal Grid could be perfect for you.
Have you dipped your toes into caring for yourself more holistically during menstruation? Talk to us about your experience in the comments below 👇
Disclaimer: This blog post features affiliate links – this means that we may benefit from a small commission on sales via the links we include – these contributions help us to keep the Wild as the Moon dream alive. Only products that we’ve tried and loved are ever shared here and we do careful research into the companies we buy from ourselves before sharing them with you.