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Old 06-08-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,762
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Stats: 236.5 start (Jan 2012) /199.7/150 goal 5'9", 42 yr
WOE: Atkins (though I think a fairly early version)
Start Date: Jan 6 2012
PMS, Cramps, and menstrual pain

This is largely copied from another post OF MINE on an unrelated forum. But this sort of thing keeps coming up, so I wanted to share it here, as well:

OK, I've been talking about this for a while...

First, a recap (this is in other posts, but I'd like it all in one place):

Hormones are complex chemicals created by one organ in your body and used by a different organ. Prostaglandins are complex chemicals created and used in the same organ of your body. This is the primary difference between them: Location.

PMS has been shown to be caused by a deficiency of Prostaglandin E6. The tools your body uses to build this prostaglandin are found in Evening Primrose Oil. Taken orally, this can greatly improve symptoms.

Menstrual CRAMPS, on the other hand, are caused by an excess of Prostaglandin F2alpha. This prostaglandin causes the contraction of smooth muscles. (There are three types of muscles in your body: �Voluntary -- the ones that move your arms, legs, & body at will. �Cardiac -- your heart. �Smooth -- everything else, including your uterus, your digestive track, and your blood vessels.) Women with severe cramps sometimes have up to 200X the normal amount of prostaglandin F2alpha, some of which "escapes" the uterus and affects other systems such as the circulatory system (causing hot/cold flashes, cold sweats, and dizzy spells) and the digestive system (causing diarrhea, constipation, nausea, & vomiting).

See? All those symptoms have a logical cause! (Knowing just that did a lot for my sanity in my 20's!)

Now how do I know all the stuff I've said (and am about to say)? Many, many hours of research in the UC Davis Med School Library circa 1994-95, during which time I read over 300 medical extracts and at least 60 articles on the subject. While I cannot give specific citations anymore (I've lost the data for that), I could at one time.

During severe cramps. the uterine muscles contract so hard they cut off their own blood supply, much like the heart does during cardiac arrest. When evaluating the effectiveness of treatment, clinicians measure this intrauterine pressure.

Most "holistic" remedies for cramps involve adding nutrients or eliminating certain foods (typically sugar, salt, and alcohol) from the diet. While many women report good results from such methods, multiple studies have found NO change in intrauterine pressure as a result of diet changes. (After years of being made to feel like my pain was my fault because I clearly wasn't following the guidelines carefully enough, this came as a HUGE personal relief!)

There were three therapies that WERE found to work.

The first was hormonal birth control. By decreasing the amount of menstrual blood, they decrease the problem. Obviously, though, this is not a good solution (though women who have cause to use hormonal birth control ANYWAY will find some relief).

The second were NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs). These drugs both block prostaglandin production AND block the receptor-sites. However, these drugs are not exactly "safe", and the dosages required for effective relief are quite large (1000mg ibuprophen every 4 hours).

The third, surprisingly, is physical manipulation. The articles discussed things like TENS and osteopathic manipulation... As it so happens, around that same time period I was introduced by my Ju-Jitsu sensei to a massage technique for cramps. The "quick & dirty" version works as well as a dose of meds, only MUCH faster (ie: instantly). The more prolonged, expert version? I've been puking from cramps since I was 11. I was at an outdoor festival, when AF showed up unexpectedly. I got a pad, but didn't have meds... but the dojo had a massage booth. I told Sensei what was wrong, and she made my cramps go away like they never existed.

The basic technique is quick and easy to learn. It works instantly, and will take you from wanting to hurl to... functional. I used to like to show this to college guys. They were grateful to know something to help their female friends at "that time", and I made them all swear to show it to as many women as possible. Spread the healing.

Anyway, start by having the victim lay flat on her belly.

I know. But trust me -- flat on her belly.

Kneel on one side of her. Now, take one hand and find the place where her pelvis and spine come together.

Place the heel of one hand on the far side of her spine from you, right where they come together (as in the picture). Place the other hand on top of the first, and push DOWN (towards the floor) and OUT (towards the edge of her body) with a rocking motion. Let the "victim" guide you on how hard.. start light, and build up to almost as hard as she wants. Do about five strokes, then switch sides.

(If you practice this with a woman who is NOT currently menstruating, she can still feel this affecting her reproductive organs. So you can practice -- and have your spouse practice -- when you're not actually in pain.)

Every woman I've done this on has sat up, going, "Wow... that's... BETTER!" But chances are she's not 100% yet. So if you can, get her to lay still for a bit longer, work your fingers along the edges of her tailbone, on both sides, just pressing the edges of it.

Finally, a technique I have no personal experience with, since I learned it while I was pregnant with Colette & haven't had a painful period since to test it:

Lay your ankle across your lap.

Now, hook your little finger over the ankle-bone.

Using that as an "anchor", bring all your fingers together.

Usually, I'd use two hands for this next bit, but I couldn't do that AND hold the camera. Look at the above picture. See where the index finger is? With your other thumb, feel around the "back" side of the bone right there till you find a tender spot. Once you've found it, hold it.

Then repeat the process on the other leg.
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