If you are like me and deal with bad PMS/PMDD symptoms, you probably regularly search for relief. You also probably feel like you have tried everything there is!
I have been hearing/reading about yoga and its benefits for many years now. A couple weeks ago, I randomly wondered about whether practicing it could help with PMS/PMDD symptoms. In this post, I will be sharing what I found out!
First, about PMS/PMDD
Most people know about PMS and its constellation of symptoms that can occur up to two weeks before one bleeds. PMDD has some of the same symptoms except they are more severe and even more disruptive to people’s lives.
The symptoms can be mental and/or physical in nature. It might be surprising to know that there are 150 different ones reported. Wow! If you weren’t already aware, here are some of them:
- Headaches and/or migraines.
- Mood issues.
- Appetite increase and cravings.
- Constipation and diarrhea.
- Worsening asthma.
- Brain fog.
- Insomnia and/or fatigue.
The percentage of people who experience PMS symptoms is around 75%. When it comes to PMDD, it less prevalent as it affects only around 3% of people.
To treat PMS and PMDD, there are various methods and they don’t all work for everyone. This means that it will take some trial and error on one’s part to figure out what helps them. Here are some treatments that some people have gone to for relief:
- Birth control.
- Diet and exercise changes.
- Supplements (be cautious with these).
- Getting more sleep.
- Antihistamines and Pepcid.
Most people are never cured of their PMS or PMDD but things can get better. It is important to do your research and consult with your doctor before going certain treatment routes.
A little bit about Yoga
Yoga is an age-old practice that originated in India. Its use in the early days was for the connection of the body and mind as well as being part of spiritual rituals. In recent times, the use of yoga has come to include it being for health and fitness. It has still retained its original intent as well though.
There are several types of Yoga that have varying poses, sequences, intensities, props/no props, focuses, breath control etc. The following are a few popular ones that people practice:
- Ashtanga- This is a more physically vigorous form of yoga than the others. It is not for beginners.
- Hatha- This name encompasses all types of yoga and is generic in practice. It is great for beginners as it introduces poses at a relatively slow pace.
- Bikram- This is a series of yoga poses that are done in a hot room.
- Iyengar- The poses in this type of yoga are held longer than one does in the other types. Props are also used to ensure the proper technique is learned and executed.
- Restorative- This type of yoga involves
- Vinyasa- This type of yoga involves continuous flowing between poses. Because of this, more calories are burned when it is practiced.
- Kundalini- This type of yoga is physically and mentally intense. It involves chanting, focusing on breathing and lots of movement.
- Yin- This involves doing slow and relaxing movements that are held for longer than they would be in other types of yoga. They are also seated or lying poses.
- Prenatal- This type of yoga includes moves that are safe for pregnant women to do.
Many people suggest that there are health benefits that can come from doing yoga. The following are some of them:
- May help with pain in the body.
- May improve flexibility.
- May improve mental health.
- May help with sleep issues.
- May help improve physical balance for daily functioning.
- May increases muscle strength.
- May help boost energy levels.
- May reduce inflammation in the body.
It is important to note that there is no hard, scientific evidence that backs up the above health benefits that people tout. That being said, millions of people have enjoyed positive results from practicing it.
There are so many ways to start and/or continue doing yoga. These include following along to videos (free and/or paid) and going to a studio for in-person instruction. If you are just starting, it is best to do your research on the different types and try beginning videos/classes.
Can yoga help PMS and PMDD?
As stated before, there is very little science that backs up yoga benefits. Let’s just say that the benefits are completely real (as they are to many, anecdotally) though-can it be used to help PMS and PMDD symptoms? Let’s take a look.
When we think about the symptoms that plague women who deal with PMS and PMDD, there are certain ones that are more common than the others. These are pain (head and body), bloating and mood issues. Being that some of the benefits that are touted claim to help reduce these symptoms, it is entirely possible that yoga could be something to turn to.
The following are some moves and routines that may help to relieve the symptoms:
Pain and bloating
For painful cramps in the abdomen and aches in the muscles, there are several moves that may cause relief. They all involve the gentle stretching of the abdominal area. The positions can be held for as long as one feels is necessary.
There are yoga routines that have been created specifically for body pain and bloating. The following are some examples-
When it comes to headaches, a couple of the above poses may be able to help as well. There are other ones that target them even better though. Here are some yoga routines that were created specifically for headaches-
The types and intensities of mood issues caused by hormones can vary. People who are diagnosed with PMDD experience them worse than ones with PMS, however.
Doing yoga may be of help for one’s mental health because of the relaxation that can come from the gentle movements (not all types of yoga are relaxing though) combined with the focus on breathing. This could cause one’s mind to calm down as concentration moves away from negative thoughts.
Just like the pain and bloating routines on YouTube, there are ones for mood issues as well. The following are some good options-
Great yoga products
If you haven’t done yoga before and are interested in trying it out for your hormonal symptoms- you should consider getting a few accessories.
First, you are going to need a yoga mat. You can just get on the floor if you really want to but a mat is better. Second, you are going to need comfortable pants that aren’t too baggy. Third (extremely optional), you may want to get a disinfectant to wipe it down with after you are done- if you don’t already have some.
Here is a list of a few product options:
- Beautifully, designed yoga mats- ProsourceFit offers beautiful ones that may inspire you to practice yoga on a regular basis.
- Thick yoga mats- Some people may like a thicker mat for more cushion and durability. There are many options out there but this one is particularly great and comes in different colors.
- Well-fitting yoga pants- Baggy pants will most likely get in the way of effectively doing yoga moves. These yoga pants from Heathyoga on Amazon are perfect.
- Disinfecting wipes- It is a good idea to wipe down your yoga mat once in a while to kill off any kind of icky germs that may be on you. The germicidal wipes from Super Sani-Cloth are a great option.
PMS and PMDD are not fun due to the discomfort they cause. Fortunately, there are some things that one can get and/or do to reduce the severity of their symptoms. Yoga may just be one of those things!
If you are interested, do some research and watch videos first to see if it is actually right for you.
Do you like yoga? If so, has it helped you with anything?
Thanks for reading!
Affiliate disclaimer: I am part of an affiliate program. This means that I may get a commission for any clicks and purchases you make.
Medical disclaimer: I am not a doctor so what I saw is not a substitute for advice. I am simply relaying information I have read. It is best that you talk to your doctor before trying anything I talk about in my post. Your health is your own and I am not liable for any consequences that occur due to your choices.
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