[Herbalist] Monthly visitor
kblackthorne at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 17 19:14:44 PDT 2002
OK, some hard info on cramps:
They are caused by an excess of Prostaglandin F2á. This is a hormone-like
substance produced in the uterus, which regulates smooth-muscle
Women with severe cramps produce up to 10 times more of this prostaglandin
than "normal" women. When this prostaglandin gets into the blood-stream, it
can be carried to other parts of the body, affecting smooth muscle in blood
vessles (leading to hot/cold flashes, dizzyness, weakness) and digestive
system (nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarhea). In addition, the uterine
contractions can be so severe that the uterus cuts off its own blood-supply
-- rather like the heart during cardiac arrest.
NSAIDS -- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drugs -- act as
prostaglandin-inhibitors. They both decrease the production, and block the
action of the chemical. Asprin, Midol, Aleve, etc. are all NSAIDS.
Tylenol, codeine, demerol are not.
When doctors study cramps, they measure the intrauterine pressure. NSAIDS &
"the pill" reduce it. "Dietary" methods ("avoid sugar, avoid white flour",
etc) do not.
But there is one other chemical-free treatment which reduces intrauterine
pressure: Physical manipulation.
In the studies I read (>300 abstracts & 20 full studies, about 7 years ago),
they talk about a particular type of chiropractic manipulation of the
lower-back. However, my martial arts instructor taught me a method which
has worked for me and every women with cramps I've tried it on.
Have the "patient" lie on their stomach. (Yes, I know -- it hurts. Just
for a minute, I promise.)
Now, kneeling on their left side place the heel of your hand next to her
spine on the right side, just above the pelvic bone.
With a gentle, rocking motion, push down & out, moving your hand to the edge
of her hip. Repeat several times, then switch sides.
(If you practice this when she's "well", she should be able to feel it &
tell you if you've got the right place.)
When you're done, if you massage around the tail-bone & pelvic bones a bit,
it should provide further relief.
The draw-back is you can't do it to yourself. The up-side is there are no
chemicals involved, and it's fairly instant. So you can combine it with
whatever else you are using for relief.
>On Tue, 16 Apr 2002, Janece Suarez wrote:
> Does anyone know of any remedies that the ladies used to utilize for
>monthly pain and cramping? I was thinking perhaps willow bark tea, but
>that's not something I keep, or can use easily. I can't take Tylenol at
>all, and so most common over the counter stuff (like Midol) is pretty much
>out of the question. Which got me started wondering what the ladies USED to
>do to resolve such things and if there was something that could be easily
>added to an herbal carry along basket for events.
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