Massage Therapy During Your Period

I'll admit, when I first heard about menstrual massage, I was slightly skeptical.  

It's now become a self-care ritual that I feel like I've been missing out on.  

As women, we grow into womanhood thinking that our period problems should be silenced with pain killers. We spend decades of our lives menstruating, and yet as a society, it’s something we rarely seek to support.

It’s a myth that we have to suffer every month, and it’s a myth that drugs address our hormonal imbalances.

Menstrual massage is one way, we as women, can nurture our menstrual health. 

Here are the most common questions I often get asked about menstrual massage. 

How does massage therapy support my period?

Massage therapy is a natural and effective method for alleviating aches, cramps and spasms. It relaxes the nervous system and helps calm muscle pain, aching joints, abdominal discomfort, and even hormonal headaches.

According to one study from the University of Miami, women who got regular massages had relief from mood swings and pain. 

Can I get a massage during my flow? What about when my flow is heavy? 

Massage therapy during menses, day 1-7 of your cycle, is safe and supportive. 

Gentle pressure around the pelvic area and abdomen can be encouraged during the first few days (day 1-3) when flow is heaviest.

Everyone’s flow is different, so if you're uncomfortable or sensitive to touch, request gentle and relaxing over firm. 

Be sure to wear a tampon, sanitary pad, or period underwear and let the therapist know how heavy your flow is that day.

Can massage therapy reduce PMS symptoms? 

The PMS phase of your cycle, 7-10 days before your period, is a great time to get a massage. 

If you struggle with PMS symptoms like hormonal headaches and mood swings, massage therapy can provide a potent mood boost by prompting the release of feel-good brain chemicals.  A bonus if the massage therapy includes aromatherapy! 

How does aromatherapy support menstruation? 

Aromatherapy (via inhalation, massage, or oral use) has been proven to help with period pain reduction over placebo according to a study in the Journal of Clinical medicine.

Another study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine shows that essential oils can help reduce pain and discomfort possibly by inducing relaxation.

Which essential oils are best for PMS and menstruation?  

  • Clary Sage: can help to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce menstrual cramps and help with stress reduction. 
  • Peppermint: has a cooling effect on sore, achy muscles. It also has analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Frankincense: can improve circulation and reduce muscle pain and tension 

I hope you’ve found this useful. I'd love to know, have you ever tried a menstrual massage? Let me know in the comments below. 


About the Author 

Elaine Clark
Founder of LADYFLOW & Nutritionist


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