The science is clear. Meditation helps you during your horrible PMS bouts. In this post, we examine the science behind it and leave you with 3 tried and tested meditation practices that can help you.
The Brain & the Body
You may feel emotional or mental symptoms before your period. That’s because there’s a close connection between menstruation hormones and your brain. If you want to learn more about the connection between your brain and the hormone production you can check out Disa Mineurs modules about The cycle and Fertility awareness. Specifically, it’s the limbic system, which consists of the thalamus, hypothalamus, and hippocampus, that gets impacted by these hormones.
During these hormonal changes, messages are sent back and forth between the body and mind via the “hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal” (HPA) axis. If the HPA axis is imbalanced or hyperactive, both mental and emotional symptoms of PMS could manifest. The western medical community still believes the physical body is separate from our mind and emotions, even with evidence like this.
However, ancient Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic (Indian) Medicine view the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies as one ‘whole’ unit. As such, treating any dis-ease requires a holistic healing approach with a focus on treating the whole, not the individual parts.
The Science Behind Meditation & PMS
Meditation works to alleviate PMS symptoms because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), referred to as the “rest and digest” system in our body. This occurs through deep relaxation, slowing the heart rate down, and lowering adrenaline and cortisol (the “stress hormone”).
In short, having a consistent meditation practice (for at least 3 months) can shift us out of the sympathetic nervous system, known as the “fight or flight” system in the body. In turn, this reduces the strain on the HPA axis, which is a powerful way to lessen the mental and emotional symptoms you may experience during PMS.
Meditation Playlists for PMS/PMDD
1. Meditation for Grounding
This guided meditation helps with your anxiety during PMS by activating your five senses. This helps you stay grounded and connected to your body and yourself. If you feel symptoms of anxiety during your PMS, you might want to give it a try.
2. Meditation for Discomfort
Try this 10-minute guided meditation to help relieve some of the discomforts you’re experiencing, most likely in the lower abdomen, lower back, and pelvic area. It helps you open up to your own intuition and taking ownership of your body again.
3. Meditation for Hormonal Imbalance
This meditation is for anyone experiencing anything from mood swings, bloating, appetite changes, and cramping. It is for those of us on hormonal replacement therapy, going through a pregnancy, post-pregnancy, or anyone who experiences PMDD. It focuses on the pelvic area and then the brain. This allows us to clear any stagnant energy in these areas and leaves us surrounded by a sense of calm. This calm is the first step in treating any hormonal imbalance, as stress causes major hormone disruption.