Relearning how to manage painful cramps. By Natalie Woodhouse, RMT

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When we experience pain there is often an accompaniment of fearful thoughts, physical tensions, or emotional overwhelm. Whether we are aware of it or not, pain can often trigger a fear response and create anxiety stored in the body. Cramping in the abdomen, that is not linked to high risk pathological concerns but has been confirmed by a doctor, as Dysmenorrhea (painful periods), Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be more easily managed with the support of healing touch or Acupuncture. Reoccurring pain can signal the body to repeat habitual holding patterns, like menstrual cramps the habit is to tense muscles in the fetal position, clenching the abdomen, hip flexors and compressing the chest. Such holding patterns, although intuitive, can prevent the body from being able to relax and can intensify the contractions by cutting of oxygen and blood flow and keeping the nervous system in a fight or flight mode. This level of primal and instinctive behaviour occurs at the Brain Stem, which responses well to massage and breath work.

For that reason I am reaching out to women who experience dysmenorrhea, or digestive pains, or have diagnosed endometriosis to learn about your postural patterns during painful cramping in a massage session with Natalie Woodhouse at Yinstill. Using breath, touch, hydrotherapy, movement awareness and relaxation techniques to help establish a new understanding and allow comfort with discomfort.

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