Throughout my Mirena Crash till now, as my immune system is clearly still healing, I have dealt with a lot of stomach and abdominal problems. Digestion, aches and pains, you name it, I’ve had it. And as I write this I happen to be plagued by a super-painful strain of stomach issues that is also wreaking havoc on my brother and male companion. Because I’m fairly overwhelmed by the discomfort at the moment, I figured I would include some of the mini-treatments I’ve learned and leaned on throughout this annoying journey.
- Relaxation: I know, if you’re in serious pain this probably sounds mean and absurd. Unfortunately, it’s a natural reaction to tense up and focus on the pain when it comes, because of course it is. Most of the things I do to ease stomach discomfort are in one way or another aimed at relaxing my body and mind.
- 4-7-8 Breathing: I usually can’t get through a meditation when I’m in serious pain, so 4-7-8 breathing is my stepping stone to mental relaxation and natural chemical soothing. This practice is breathing in for 4 counts, holding it for 7 counts, and exhaling for 8 breaths. Now I’ve included the instructional video link, and in it Dr. Weil says that all the benefits come from doing this regularly. Yes, doing it regularly is good. But breath controls the brain and the brain controls everything else. Even though I haven’t been doing 4-7-8 breathing regularly, bad on my part, doing it when I’m in pain still always helps. It’s also my go to for anxiety spirals. It’s awesome. Watch the master here: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/VDR00112/The-4-7-8-Breath-Benefits-and-Demonstration.html
- Peppermint Tea: A more mainstream, gentle source of help. Peppermint is heralded for soothing stomachs, and when I consume it in tea form it really works. Peppermint tea is caffeine free, so you’ll also enjoy hydration benefits from drinking it. One of the most frustrating parts of many digestive issues is that they dehydrate you while also making the drinking of liquid into an unpleasant experience. This herbal elixir helps me feel a little more relaxed, a little more warm, and a little more happy, all while getting water into my sad, dehydrated body.
- Distraction: For when you hurt too much to do anything of substance. This about knowing what works for you. Whether you live for vapid, silly, reality TV or you’d rather spend your time basking in a glorious playlist of your own creation, the only aim is to transport yourself. That your mode of distraction is transportative is key. When the pain is too much, the Netflix binge is what I turn to.
- Lavender Essential Oil: In the past year I have come to adore essential oils, and there is none I love so much as lavender. Lavender oil can treat everything from discomfort to anxiety to insomnia. It clears your head and relaxes your body far more efficiently than any over-the-counter medication I’ve ever tried. Right now I have a large drop split between my wrists and I’m inhaling whenever I need to. Sometimes I put this in my little old-fashioned diffuser, a pottery one heated by a tealight, but if the air-flow of my home is achurning (as it continually is) then the oil doesn’t always reach me. Instead I usually end up using the tissue method: 4 - 6 drops of oil onto a tissue and inhaling at my leisure. This is especially nice for sleep because you can put the tissue right next to your pillow and its magic will work all night long, or at least until the tissue relocates itself to the depths of your bedding. I’ve put a few drops directly onto the pillowcase before, but that can get in your eyes or mouth accidentally and be really annoying. One word of warning: Like with vitamins, there is no guaranteed standard for anything marketed as essential oil. The fear of buying “snake oil” has never been so literal! I personally use Aura Cacia oils, which have treated me very well and are never tested on animals.
- And when it’s an emergency, Imodium: Never have I ever (before this year) used an antidiarrheal medicine. And unfortunately, I hate to use it. It makes me spacy and dehydrated and it sucks, but at least it makes me feel like I’ll be ok if my digestive system is freaking out when I need to go be a real person. It’s not the most fun thing, but it works. So thanks, Imodium, for getting me through the whole Florence + The Machine concert on a very sick day.
Welp, those are my tummy tricks as they stand. Few things are more annoying than abdominal pain, especially when it makes you scared to be without a bathroom. At least you build a toolbox during the tough times! I hope mine might help you to ease your abdomen in the future :)
*I’m obviously not a doctor. So grain of salt, strangers on the internet who might try to sue me out of some silliness.*