If you suffer from PMS (pre-Menstrual syndrome) then please be aware that you can find relief through the regular practice of Pilates. There are also other ways that you can reduce the systems such as introducing lifestyle changes, eating a healthy diet and practising regular exercise. In this article I’m going to share with you some of the ways that you can use Pilates to reduce symptoms.
PMS is estimated to affect between 75% and 80% of all menstruating women. Symptoms are varied but can include back pain, mood swings, headaches and breast tenderness. It is thought that fluctuating hormones cause the symptoms. Let’s look at each symptom and how Pilates can help.
Back pain. Practising some form of exercise for 30 to 40 minutes on 3 to 5 days a week can not only keep our bodies fit, but it can keep muscles stretched and strengthened. One of the benefits of Pilates is that the spine is mobilised during the exercises and this can give relief to tight back muscles and the nerves that get affected by uterine contractions.
Discomfort in the stomach area and menstrual cramps can be eased by laying on your back with the knees lifted and bent. Breathe in and as you breath out, then lift the hips from the floor. Be sure to curl through your spine, breathe in again at the peak of the movement and then breath out as you come back down, with one vertebrae at a time.
The cat stretch is another move that will help to ease the back. Go on all fours then curl up the back into an arch, just like a cat. Inhale and exhale with each movement. Each breath will massage your internal organs and the back stretch will release tension around the spine.
End with the child pose. Sit with your hips on your heels and stretch your arms out forward as you go forward bending your back. Do this for as long as you like.
Menstrual cramps. Any exercise that works the abs can help with menstrual cramps. Exercising with deep breathing can produce endorphins that will not only help to ease the pain, but it will leave you with a sense of well-being.
The side hip extension can be of great benefit. To do this you need to lie on your right side. Put your right hand beneath your head with the weight of your head on your arm. Now position your legs straight and to the front of you at 30 degrees. Now lift your left leg, bring it forward and point your toe, then push it back for a count of two. Keep your torso and hips in the same position as you repeat this for up to ten times. Then work on the other side.
Pilates can do a lot for the PMS sufferer. Remember that keeping to a healthy diet can do a lot of good too. Avoid white flour, refined sugar and keep dairy product intake low. Fill your meals with fresh vegetables, salads and fresh fruit to keep your immune system and your hormones at their peak. Pilates is a powerful medicine and by practising it regularly and consistently, you can alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS if not all.
Stop by my online store to view Pilates DVDs that can help with PMS symptoms.