Many women are turning to holistic practices like ayurveda for problem periods and hormone balance because western medicine continues to fail at offering solutions to these all too common problems. Common but not normal by any means, PMS, PMDD, and irregular periods are a sign that something is not right and shouldn’t be dismissed as the price women pay for having a uterus. Ayurveda regards a women’s menstrual cycle as the fifth vital sign, and therefore a key factor in total body wellness.
Definition of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a 5000 year old science that literally translates to ayur = life, and veda = knowledge (or science) or knowledge of life or more succinctly the science of longevity. Unlike modern medicine that treats individual issues separate from the whole body, ayurveda teaches us that everything is connected, not only in relation to the body, but also in relation to the environment we live in. This is why so many women are turning to ayurveda for period concerns, total body wellness, and as a blueprint for lifelong wellness.
If you want to learn more about key principles of ayurveda and how it relates to nutrition download this guide.
Ayurveda and Women’s Health
Your period is an indicator of overall health. Athletes that over train and stress their body will lose their period, women suffering from undernourishment will see their period become irregular and finally disappear altogether. When experiencing extreme stress, women report difficulty getting pregnant, more hormonal acne, and intense mood swings. These indicators of total body imbalance are often overlooked as unrelated issues, when in fact, your menstrual cycle is giving you abundant information as to your health status. After all, since pregnancy relies on a healthy period, it’s nature’s way of saying “maybe not right now, let’s talk when conditions improve.”
Still not sure how all of this relates to your period problems? Let’s look at some imbalances and their associated dosha.
Vata: scanty and dark red flow, painful-especially in the back, insomnia, and salty cravings.
Pitta: starts heavy and tapers off around 3 days, sharp intense cramps, acne, and sweet or spicy cravings.
Kapha: slow and heavy flow, lethargy, and general swollen feeling, cravings are usually comfort foods.
Finding Balance for a Happy Cycle
Finding balance for a happy cycle begins with establishing good habits. Here are five habits you can start today that will make a world of difference the longer you practice.
- Eat foods in season and local. Nature knows what you need, often the foods available are just right for finding balance.
- Schedule time in nature- and tech free. An hour or a whole day, routinely get outside in the elements.
- Prioritize rest- especially when your energy is lowest. Setting up a bedtime routine that gets you to bed in time for 6-8 hours of quality sleep will make you a whole lot happier.
- Move your body- in the right way. Quality movement is medicine, and it doesn’t have to be intense or for a long time. Do what feels good and let that be enough.
- Quit chemicals. You know that eating chemicals is bad, what about what you put on your skin? If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin.