A yoga pose that opens up the pelvic area can relieve bloating and cramps. Try a pose called Reclining Bound Angle. To do it, sit on the floor with a long pillow behind you. The bottom should touch your sacrum, and a folded blanket should cover the top. Lie back into the pillow, resting your head on the blanket. Put the soles of your feet together and let your knees and thighs fall to the sides. Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 minutes and breathe deeply.
>A recent study found that taking 200 IU of vitamin E twice daily 2 days before -and 3 days during -menstruation can ease cramps. Those in the study who took the vitamin E experienced fewer than 2 hours of cramps per cycle, down from 17 on average. And only 4 percent of the women needed a pain reliever for cramp relief. The theory is that vitamin E hinders the formation of prostaglandins, the hormonelike chemicals that cause uterine contractions. But take E only for those 5 prescribed days each month; high doses taken over years at a time have been linked to heart trouble.
>Ask your doctor about tweaking your birth control regimen. In a Yale study, oral contraceptives reduced PMS symptoms by 50 percent in half the participants using 24 hormone pills and 4 sugar pills.
>Acupressure may also help ease symptoms. Research suggests that acupressure stimulates blood flow and releases endorphins--the body's natural painkillers. In one study, those who had acupressure had 72 percent less pain (the same as those who took ibuprofen), while those who had a false acupressure treatment (not performed on the correct spots) had a 58 percent decrease.
The Abs Diet for Women by David Zinczenko also has advice on managing menopause and workouts and eating plans for pregnant and post-partum women, too. There's also a chapter on The Stress-Busting Workout. I can't recommend it highly enough! :-D