Use yoga for menstrual cramp relief 

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Use yoga for menstrual cramp relief 

Ask any woman about menstrual cramps and you will get a wide range of comments. Some women have little to no cramping while others have cramps severe enough to interfere with daily activities.  Symptoms can range from mild to moderate and can include abdominal and pelvic pain which may also spread to the lower back.  Other symptoms associated with menstrual cramps can be nausea, vomiting, loose bowel movements or constipation, bloating in the belly area, and headaches or feeling faint.  Not exactly a time of the month women look forward to.

For women who have to experience the misery of menstrual cramps, it can become a routine of enduring the debilitating symptoms making life miserable several days each month. 

Studies suggest that menstrual cramps are more common in adolescent girls and may reduce as a woman ages.  But many experts believe that one of the major contributing factors to these painful days of menstruation can be lack of exercise.

Research from a systemic review of studies published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine shows that women may want to invest in a yoga mat.  Findings from the study suggests that practicing yoga, an ancient form of movement, may be an answer to relief from the grip of menstrual cramps.  

For the research, 15 studies were analyzed looking at how regular yoga practice affects a woman’s experience of menstrual cramps, PMS, polycystic ovary syndrome (which can cause missed or infrequent periods) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (a severe form of PMS that involves serious mood-related symptoms as well as physical ones). 

The results found that every single study evaluated showed severity of symptoms and pain of menstrual cramps were reduced in women who practiced yoga.  Other improvements noted by the women in the study were reductions in bloating and breast tenderness, better regularity of their monthly cycle, enhanced mood, increased well-being and feelings of better relaxation and concentration.

Yoga has been well known for helping to relieve both physical and mental symptoms for people who practice it routinely.  It helps strengthen the body physically and aids in alleviating pain caused by menstrual cramps.  The various moves and poses of yoga along with controlled breathing help increase the flow of oxygen throughout the body improving circulation.  The deep breathing used during yoga facilitates relaxation of the body and mind which can help pain caused by menstrual cramps to subside.  It may even increase pain tolerance resulting in a greater ability to move through period discomfort with ease. 

Any woman considering yoga whether as a means to relieve menstrual cramps or just for improving health and fitness, should start with a beginners class before branching out to a more advanced one.