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6 menstrual cramp remedies you'll wish you'd known sooner.
Period pain can reach excruciating levels, but luckily there are several easy ways to find relief. - photo by McKenna Park
I once heard a friend joke that the her favorite mythical creatures are happy women in tampon commercials. While every ladys cycle differs, most women can attest from personal experience that menstrual cramps can make you want to curl up with a hot pad and movie to distract from the pain.

Period cramps can bring you to your knees (or the fetal position), but luckily there are ways to soothe the pain.

Yoga for cramps

There are several yoga positions that can relieve that horrid pain every month. "Childs pose" helps alleviate lower back pain. "Knees-to-chest pose" helps relax the abdominal muscles. "Reclined spinal twist" helps ease nerves (and abdominal muscles). With these easy and simple poses, youre sure to reduce those cramps quickly.

Cut the caffeine

In some women, caffeine can increase menstrual pain and cramping because it can act as a vasoconstrictor mildly constricting blood flow which can lead to pain.

Massage your tummy

Lady Care Health recommends using your fingertips to massage your stomach. Start massaging in small circles, slowly increasing the circumference of the massage area, until you reach a wide circle over your whole abdominal area. A good two-four minute massage session should do the trick.

Apply heat

An easy way to ease those painful cramps that many women use is heat. The cramping stems from your uterus muscles contracting, and applying heat to the area relaxes those muscles and increases blood flow, which eases your pain. So plug in that heating bad or draw yourself a hot bath.

Herbal tea

There are several kinds of herbal teas that women drink to get relief from their cramps. One of the most common types is chamomile. Chamomile tea is great for soothing muscles in addition to have a calming, soothing attributes. And, as a bonus, most teas will also help you feel less bloated. Other teas you can try include Black Cohosh, Skullcap and Cramp bark.

Vitamin E

This vitamin is a wonder for periods. It reduces inflammation and pain in your body during that painful monthly period. A study showed that women who took vitamin E two days before her period and three days after it started reported less pain than those who took the placebo. Pop a few vitamins leading up to your period and things will go much more smoothly than usual.

Change up your diet

Medical professionals suggest several diet changes to help relieve period symptoms. First, you can eat more foods that are rich in calcium. These include beans, almonds, dark green vegetables and dairy. Also, eat foods high in antioxidants, like blueberries, tomatoes, cherries, squash and bell pepper. They also advice to avoid refined foods like white breads and sugars and to exercises at least 30 minutes, five days a week to help reduce symptoms.

With these new options for period pain relief in your tool belt, hopefully youll be able to have a better (or at least less horrible) experience with Aunt Flow every month.