How to manage menstrual pain without medication

Over half of women who menstruate experience period pain (dysmenorrhea) every month. Period pain can include menstrual cramps, headaches, general discomfort, and some women and girls may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea. There are many causes of period pains and you should consult a doctor if you wish to seek the cause. A licensed/registered traditional practitioner may also provide useful insight.
While over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen and naproxen may help, you can also try other ways to relieve mild to temporary cramps.

Apply Heat

Applying heat at about 104°F (40°C) to your abdomen and lower back may relieve pain. You can use a hot water pack, or make your own by stuffing heated uncooked rice or beans into a pillow case. Adhesive heating pads or a heating waist belt are useful for use in office or out of home.


Massage therapy for menstruation involves pressing specific points around your abdomen, side, and back.

Adding essential oils for an aromatherapy style of massage may have additional benefits. Some blends that have been used include lavender, clary sage, and marjoram oil. Buy high-quality oils that are tested for purity. You should always dilute pure essential oil with an unscented cream, lotion, or carrier oil before applying it on your skin to avoid irritation. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests diluting pure essential oils in an unscented cream, lotion, or carrier oil before placing it on your skin to avoid irritation.

Boost Endorphins

The body’s natural endorphins are known to boost your mood. They can also decrease pain perception. A well-known way to boost endorphins is aerobic exercise, such as a light walk. 

While there are no clinical studies on the direct effect of orgasms on menstrual cramps, a vaginal orgasm can trigger your brain to release neurotransmitters such as endorphins and oxytocin. If having sex while you are on your period sounds messy and uncomfortable, you can try sex aid devices like vibrators. 

A Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device might work by raising the threshold for pain signals and stimulating the release of your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins). Electrodes in adhesive patches to be placed on the skin, deliver a varying level of electric current to stimulate nerves.


While you may crave for cakes, brownies, ice-cream, fast foods, foods high in sugar, trans fat and salt can cause bloating and inflammation, which makes muscle pain and cramps worse. Carbonated beverages, caffeine and alcohol may also contribute to the pain. Opt for decaffeinated coffee, caffeine-free tea, dealcoholized wine and beer. Speaking to a dietitian or TCM practitioner for dietary advice on period pain can also be helpful. 

Read: How diet and wellness can help menstrual pain in the long run (from dietitian and TCM)

While you may crave for cakes, brownies, ice-cream, fast foods, foods high in sugar, trans fat and salt can cause bloating and inflammation, which makes muscle pain and cramps worse.


Yoga could help alleviate menstrual cramps either from stretching of your muscles or the relaxation it brings. Participants in an experiment who did 60 minutes of yoga once a week for 12 weeks reported lower menstrual pain intensity and menstrual distress.   The program consisted of physical exercise combined with relaxation and meditation.

Practising yoga during your period should be fine, but some instructors advise against inverted poses (such as a shoulder stand), to prevent interference with your natural flow.

Alternative and Traditional Medicine

While most alternative therapies for treating menstrual cramps haven’t been studied enough for experts to recommend them, some have been reported to be helpful. 

Some treatments under TCM include herbal medicine, acupuncture, Tui Na massage and dietary advice. These should be administered by a licensed/registered TCM practitioner who can assess your specific needs. TCM can also provide guidance in managing menstrual symptoms in the long run

Some herbal remedies contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic compounds that could reduce muscle contractions and swelling associated with menstrual pain. Chamomile tea, fennel seeds, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and dill have been reported to relieve menstrual symptoms.

However, you must always make sure the herbs and supplements you are purchasing are high quality and from reputable sources as some products are not regulated. While herbal remedies usually have few side effects, you should check with your doctor before consuming them as well as for information on dosage recommendations.

Related Posts

3 thoughts on “How to manage menstrual pain without medication

  1. Justine says:

    Great tips! I’ve just discovered your Youtube channel, and I love it! Thanks for sharing your content and the day and life of a designer.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thanks so much for the tips both in the blog and on your YouTube channel. As a new Interior Design student, I find them to be incredibly helpful, interesting, and inspirational. Keep up the great work!

  3. Sandy says:

    I love reading your blogs and watching your video. I am really impressed by the way you are doing business and I am just inspired by it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *