Essential Oils

5 Ways to ease menstrual cramps -aka Dysmenorrhea

Natural remedies for menstrual pain

can_acupuncture_help_pms.jpeg

While periods are a normal part of life,  menstrual cramps don't have to be. In fact, in Eastern Medical theory, PMS is considered a disorder.  I treat it often in my practice and it truly does help women have a much less dramatic period.  If you have a healthy period, you should have very little to no discomfort during this time. 

I have a few tips for you to make the time of the month go a little smoother.  First, get to know the signals your body gives you right before your period is about to start. Of course, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is different for everyone, but I find these are the most common signs. 

  • Dull, achy lower back
  • Mood changes- like depression or quick tempered
  • Bloating
  • Lower abdominal cramping
  • Dull headaches
  • Sudden constipation or diarrhea
  • Heightened sexual desire

1.  Tea for cramps

As soon as the bloating starts, make tea using Turmeric, Cinnamon and Hawthorn. Drink at least three cups of this throughout the day, it's great for the bloating and pain because it's anti-inflammatory. 

2.  Energetically warming tea for PMS

If you're someone who tends to feel cold easily, make tea with the following ingredients the week before your period starts: (Get the P Tracker App if you're not sure when the week before your period is supposed to be) 

Ginger, green onions, fennel, black pepper and orange peel.  Let it boil for 10 minutes then strain and drink.  Drink three times a day for the entire week to decrease PMS symptoms. 

3. Essential Oils

There are essential oils that help with painful cramps specifically. It may take a little experimenting with which blend in particular will work for you.  Mix the appropriate amount of essential oil drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba.  Massage it all over your abdomen, lower back and shoulders. Using a hot pack on your abdomen or lower back with a wool cloth along with the massage oil is very warming and feels great. 

For continuous intense pain:

Roman Chamomile  10 Drops

Clary-Sage  5 Drops

Red Thyme  15 Drops

For spasmodic pain:

Lavender  5 drops

Peppermint 10 Drops

Nutmeg 10 Drops

Cypress  5 Drops

4.  Essential Fatty Acids.

Since menstruating is basically inflammation, you'll need to stick to as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible. Fish oil is perfect for this and yes I have one I like.  If you're vegetarian, take flaxseed oil regularly.

5. Acupuncture.  

I get asked all the time, what does acupuncture do? Reduces inflammation, improves circulation and balances hormones (and is great at reducing pain!) I mean...what more do you need to know? Acupuncture is perfect for treating PMS, PCOS and an irregular period. Since I also practice skincare, my bridal clients especially love coming here to prep their skin for their wedding AND working on the PMS so they can just enjoy their big day.  

6. Acupressure.

Can't come in to see me? Then there are two areas on your body you can press and hold for 3 minutes each as soon as any bloating or lower back pain begins.  Pictured on the left is LI4, and on the right is LV 3.

The combination of these point improves the smooth flow of Qi and blood which leads to less pain, a regular period that arrives on time and lasts the same amount of days.  Acupuncture can definitely yield better results than acupressure but something is better than nothing.   Press and hold these points on both hands and feet. 

Wishing you a happier period,

xoxo

Lorraine ūü¶Ą‚ú®

5 Tips for Insomnia without meds

Rule #1 for insomniacs, STAY AWAY from caffeine. Try Yerba Mate tea until the insomnia passes.

Rule #1 for insomniacs, STAY AWAY from caffeine. Try Yerba Mate tea until the insomnia passes.

Holistic Insomnia Cures

Insomnia is so frustrating. 

New Yorkers in general, seem to have it pretty often thanks to out fast paced lifestyle.  Getting a good night's rest is important if you want to have any energy at all when you wake up the next day. 

 

What to do when insomnia happens

1.  Essential Oils. 

It seems to good to be true, but essential oils do work. They are highly concentrated oils pressed from different flowers and plants with medicinal properties.  I carry Peaceful Sleep, $22. which is a lovely essential oil blend based on Eastern Medicine herbs made specifically to help you sleep. 

Essential Oil diffuser

Essential Oil diffuser

2.  Have a bedtime ritual. 

Whether you have insomnia or not, everyone should have a bedtime ritual, especially if you're in full blown insomnia.  This signals your brain that it's time to "chill out" and get ready to sleep. 

Place a drop of Peaceful Sleep essential oil blend on your finger tip and apply it to your temples, your "third eye", the back on your hairline-including the area behind the ear and on your wrists.  These are acupuncture points and applying oils there will help you fall asleep. A quick swipe on the soles of your feet and you're ready for bed. 

3.  Get a sound machine. 

Ocean waves, a babbling brook, light rain, birds chirping, or anything else you think you'd like to fall asleep to. If you don't want a machine, there are plenty of Apps available that you can play. I like Tao Mix, NatureSpace and ThunderGod because I'm a weirdo that finds thunder relaxing. ūüėŹ

4.  You're awake and it's well past midnight. What do you do?

First, prepare ahead of time.  Download a podcast, some ted Talks, a guided meditation, binaural beats (sound waves that help your brain relax) or anything that's not exciting and leave it on your phone ready to listen to, for when the moment strikes.  Rather than getting up and waking yourself up further, put an ear bud in ONE ear and stay in bed listening to it. The hope is that you will just fall asleep. DON'T read on your phone or iPad, the light coming from it will fully wake you up. 

5.  Get Acupuncture.  

I've treated many people for it and it really does get you to sleep pretty soon if you're going through a rough patch.

I had a client in her early 30's that had been on sleeping medication for years and wanted to get off of it permanently. A combination of everything on this list got her off the medication and back to her own natural sleep rhythm. 

To schedule your healing session, click below. 

Wellness abounds

                                  Ah yes, the obligatory smoothie bowl shot. 

                                 Ah yes, the obligatory smoothie bowl shot. 

What is wellness? 

This is a great question that came up when I listening to @fatmascara latest Podcast, Episode 28: Stick to Red, check it out if you love Christian Louboutin as much as I do. 

I think of wellness as a state of balance in which you feel best.  You sleep well, therefore you wake up with energy, you get hungry at appropriate times and aren't too hungry or without an appetite, your poops are healthy -according to Dr oz, stools should be long and in one piece like a snake. Healthy stool is a sign of a healthy digestion.

The path to "Wellness" is going to be different for everyone. 

Wellness seems to always be associated with some fancy yoga poses and pics of smoothie bowls on Instagram. Frankly, we all know those pics are set up and the yoga poses take several takes to do.  That may not be your version of "wellness" and that's more than ok.

As an acupuncturist,  I have to decipher what "pattern" a patient fits.  There are patterns where salads, green juices and smoothies are literally the worst foods you can eat so that's not wellness either. 

If you're curious which pattern shouldn't have salads, smoothies, dairy and other "cold" foods (like smoothie bowls and yogurt) --a person who gets bloated after eating, has loose stools, tends to go right after eating raw veggies , has a tendency towards feeling cold and has this low level tiredness all the time. They take a while to wake up in the morning and may even feel the need to take a nap after eating. 

In this example, this person should stick to eating clean proteins (nothing fried) and cooked veggies (not raw).  Some light exercise would be great as well.

So what is wellness to you? 

For me, it's doing my best to stay away from sugar, gluten and dairy, eating real food (which means it doesn't have any ingredients, doesn't come in a box or is pre-packaged) Because cooking for yourself really is best. Taking the right supplements my body needs and doing a combo of #HIIT workouts and yoga. Using essential oils, ridding my home of toxic chemicals and going to bed roughly around the same time every night. Of course daily meditation, acupuncture and skincare factor in. Plus the occasional margarita and pizza, I did say balance.

I don't beat myself up if I don't achieve perfection. Trying to be perfect just creates stress and that's not what wellness is about. It's not a competition, it's a lifelong journey that's unique and different for all of us. A journey in which you switch out a bottle of kombucha instead of Diet Coke because you know Diet Coke is crap and probably gives you migraines. If your "wellness" also happens to include reading the September issue of Vogue and listening to podcasts with Christian Louboutin then by all means, be well.