Yoga Therapy: for Menorrhagia – end the agony!

Yoga Therapy: for Menorrhagia – end the agony!

Menorrhagia is the term given for abnormally heavy or prolonged flow of blood during menstruation. It is a condition found approximately in 53 of 1000 women. The underlying cause may be varied. If the menses are painful, one of the following may apply:

  1.  Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries that is generally caused by bacteria
  2.  Endometriosis: a condition wherein the endometrium (the tissue that develops every month in the anticipation of the fertilization of the egg) grows outside the uterus rather than inside
  3.  Pregnancy related complications like miscarriages

If the menses are painless, one of the following maybe the underlying reason for Menorrhagia:

  1.  Uterine Fibroids: non-cancerous tumors on the inside of the uterus
  2.  Blood disorders of platelets: coagulation disorders
  3.  Cancer: Endometrial, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers
  4.  Endometrial polyp: non cancerous tumors usually found in women of reproductive age

Other causes may include persistent use of oral contraceptive pills, extreme physical or emotional stress, thyroid disease, ovarian disorders and prolonged estrogen production in the body.

However, the most common cause known is imbalance in the hormones. Due to irregular secretions of progesterone, heavy bleeding is common in young girls (menarche) and in older women approaching menopause.

Common symptoms of Menorrhagia include the following:

  1.  Heavy bleeding that may or may not be painful. It may require the woman to change pads/tampons way too frequently.
  2.  In many cases, women may have to wake up at night to change pads.
  3.  Day to day activities and social life may be affected.
  4.  Oftentimes, blood clots may also be noticed.
  5.  Pelvic pain is also a common symptom. If the underlying cause is an infection, then fever and chills may also be experienced.
  6.  Cramping pains – in case menorrhagia is due to intrauterine device (IUD)
  7.  Hirsutism – if the underlying cause happens to be Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD)
  8.  Milk secretions
  9.  Anemia – fatigue and tiredness; pale skin.

 

Therapy

 

Supta Baddha Konāsana

 

Supta Baddha Konāsana can bring great relief to women suffering from Menorrhagia/ abnormally heavy menstrual flow. Practice regularly.

Supta baddha konasana

Technique: Begin with Daṇḍāsana. Bend both knees out to the side, bringing the soles of your feet together. Place the heels in front of the pelvis, about a fist distance from the groin. To gain lift & length in the back you can bring the hands behind you. Then take hold of your feet with your hands, opening your feet “like a book”. After this position is comfortable, slowly lie down on your back by keeping your hands on the floor on either side. Hold the position for 5 – 10 minutes. To come back, keep breathing and come to the sitting position. Return to Dandāsana by releasing your legs.

Work carefully in case of:

  1. Knee problems / hamstring injury
  2. Sciatica
  3. Avoid for 3 to 6 months after childbirth.

 

Supta Vīrāsana

 

Supta Vīrasana is a useful yoga pose for many women related problems. It is specially helpful in the case of Menorrhagia/abnormally heavy menstrual flow.

76 Supta Virasana

Technique: Begin with Dandāsana. Move on to Vīrāsana. Rest the hands next to the ankles. Bend the elbows and slowly lie down on your back. Back should be as flat as possible to the floor, with fewer arches in the lumbar. Slowly raise your hands back over the head. Place the back of the hands on the floor, arms alongside the ears. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Note: Work carefully in case of back, knee and ankle problems.

 

Mula Bandha

 

In Sanskrit mula means root, and thus Mula Bandha is the root lock. To find it, sit, stand, or even be in an asana – contract the muscles at the bottom of the pelvic floor, behind the cervix. Initially the anal sphincter will also contract, but with time and practice you will be able to hone in on the Mula Bandha region and leave the rest aside.

If the bandha is to be performed ideally, it should be performed in Siddhasana. Otherwise it may also be performed in Padmasana. But Siddhasana is supposed to be the ideal preposition.

Duration

The real study and practice of this bandha is to retain it for maximum period. Duration of 5 to 120 seconds may not generate beneficial effects of this bandha. The bandha has to be retained for at least 3 to 4 minutes. With further practice, the duration can be increased to 5 minutes.

Note: Do not practice this during menstruation. Expert guidance advised.

 

Full yogic breathing

 

Technique: Sit in any comfortable meditative posture. Become aware of your breath. Keep it slow. Allow the abdomen to expand fully as you take a deep inhalation. Feel the air reach the bottom of your lungs as your chest opens wide and moves upward. Continue inhaling till some tension is felt in the neck region. Once you feel this and your ribs have expanded fully, start to exhale. First, relax the neck region and the upper chest. Then, allow the chest to contract downward. Without pressurizing much, empty the lungs as much as possible. The whole process should be harmonious and devoid of jerks of any kind. Hold the breath out for a couple of seconds. This completes one round of yogic breathing.

 

So-ham

 

Soham or Sohom or Sohum or Sohaum (so ‘ham सो ऽहम्) is the Sanskrit for “I am He/That”.

When it applies to a person’s name, according to Vedic philosophy it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. Some say that when a child is born it cries Koham-Koham, which means, “Who am I?” That is when the universe replies back Soham. You are the same as I am. It also stems from the Sanskrit word which means, “self pride.”

When used for meditation, “Soham” acts as a natural mantra to control one’s breathing pattern, to help achieve deep breath, and to gain concentration. It is generally good as a stress reliever as it calms your nerves.

Soham meditation can be of immense support to those women suffering from Menorrhagia. The technique is simple:

Sit in a meditative position you’re comfortable in – say Sukhāsana and focus on the tidal rhythm of your breath. And continue with this:

  1.  Sooooo – the sound of inhalation; say it to yourself in your mind as you inhale
  2.  Hummmm – the sound of exhalation; say it to yourself in your mind as you exhale

 

 

 

 

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