9 Ways to Support Your Reproductive Health
Sometimes we may not realize that our reproductive health, particularly our menstrual cycles, can tell us a lot about our overall general health.
The reproductive system is just that, a system and like all the other systems in our body they all work together.
Feeling anxious, depressed, stressed? Is your gut health needing some extra love? Are you hustling in your everyday work and home life to keep everything together? Feeling emotional, exhausted or burnt out? All that affects the menstrual cycle and can lead to an imbalance of hormones. Our bodies are in a state of fight or flight and our nervous system needs a check in.
Here are 9 ways you can support your reproductive health:
Castor oil Packs: These packs promote wound healing and tissue growth. It can reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. It's an external application using castor oil and heat (hot water bottle) put on the lower abdomen to liver. This is generally considered safe and gentle when used externally. The best time to use a castor oil pack is after menstruation and before ovulation. Do not use castor oils packs if there's a chance you may be pregnant.
Womb Massage: This is a gentle and beneficial way to improve circulation to the tissues, promote healing, elimination of waste and movement of lymph. Womb massages can be done daily but should be avoided during menstruation and pregnancy.
Vaginal steaming: Also known as Yoni Steams, can improve circulation in the pelvic area including the vaginal tissues, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes by moist heat from steam and herbs. Steam can burn so be mindful of the temperature of your steam by testing for your comfort level. Vaginal steaming should be avoided during menses, ovulation, if any vaginal or pelvic infection is present or if you think you may be pregnant.
Tracking your cycle: The Fertility Awareness Method is a great way to track your cycle. This will allow you to observe any symptoms, detect hormone imbalances, confirm ovulation or know when it usually occurs, and feel empowered when trying to conceive or prevent pregnancy.
Proper nutrition: Food is medicine. You hear a lot of people say this and is true. What is your body telling you when you eat different foods? How do certain foods make you feel? Try eating more whole, organic foods that make you feel better. A Local farmers market is a great place to start.
Daily movement: I'm not going to tell you to go to the gym and workout for hours each day. But I will say listen to your body's needs. During menstruation you may feel more motivated to rest, go for a light walk or do some stretching/yoga. During other stages of your cycle you may feel more motivated for a good run or some strength training. Move your body in ways that feel good and are fun for you.
Reflexology: It supports hormone balance, reduces stress, promotes circulation, relieves aches and pains, regulates the menstrual cycle, and is safe and enjoyable for everyone. Reflexology promotes the body to heal itself by bring it back to a state of rest and digest.
Reiki/meditation: We can do all of the physical things to help our body but our minds are also a huge component. Reiki or meditation sessions can also reduce stress and promote the relaxation our bodies need for healing.
Rest: This might be the most important of all. Our nervous system is constantly working hard and often spends too much time in fight or flight mode. Rest, along with everything else listed above helps regulate our nervous system so we can truly give our body what it needs to heal and function.
I'm sure we can come up with many more ways to support or reproductive health, but these are a great start. It certainly does not mean you need to be doing everything on this list, but pick what feels right to you and start there. You can always build on that later.