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How Journaling Can Help Alleviate Menstrual Pain and Other Symptoms

Those who suffer from menstrual pain and other symptoms like headaches, bloating, acne, fatigue, sore breasts, and irritability may see all of this sourcing in the physiological process of the menstrual cycle without understanding how our emotions, stress levels, and unresolved trauma from the past affect us physiologically.

When these connections are not understood, our physiological experiences can seem like random things we can do nothing about at worst and at best something we can take a pill or even change our diets and take herbs to alleviate. However, without addressing the effects of our emotional patterns, stress, and past unresolved trauma, even the best physical healing protocols may fall short of fully liberating us from debilitating menstrual symptoms, especially in the long run.

When we look at the systemic causes of menstrual symptoms in a holistic way, it becomes clear how emotional coping strategies, stress responses, and unresolved past trauma must be addressed in order to completely liberate ourselves from our menstrual symptoms.

Let's start with emotional coping strategies. Many of us have learned from a society that sees emotions as a nuisance, a sign of weakness, and an aspect of our human existence that is best avoided, that in order to be successful we must deny, suppress, ignore, and otherwise eliminate our emotions from our reality. We may have learned this from people in our lives who successfully did this in some way and gained power in so doing. We may have also learned this from people who were not successful at doing this and suffered the consequences.

Emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness are particularly problematic as they tend to call into question the validity of the status quo. Expressing these emotions can be very dangerous as it often evokes retaliation from those who are most invested in maintaining the status quo. I learned to very effectively suppress my anger growing up in order to avoid the wrath of my father who felt extremely threatened by female anger and would address this by becoming very dangerous and threatening towards my mother, and less frequently towards me as I learned early on how to avoid this.

Mostly the ways we learned how to suppress these dangerous emotions to avoid retaliation and other dangerous responses from our caretakers (which might include gaslighting, invalidation, abandonment, etc.) involved learning how to not speak about or express these feelings in any way. Some may have discovered outlets for these dangerous energies through creative expression. Writing was my outlet. I could express my emotions freely in my journal and keep the energy flowing.

However, creative writing and other expressive arts are often pushed aside as we move into adulthood in a society that only values lucrative activities and does not place much lucrative value on creative expression. There are a few exceptions to this that take the form of famous writers, musicians, and artists, but they are seen as exceptions to the rule.

This suppression of creative expression results in a suppression of the flow of energy and fluids in the body, especially the energies and fluids involved in menstruation, which is the center of creative energy. The menstrual cycle generates the energy and physiological conditions to create new life, one of the most creative things a person can do. So when we suppress our creative expression, it naturally suppresses the flow of this process.

When the flow of the process of menstruation is suppressed, we experience symptoms such as cramps, headaches, bloating, swelling, and irritability. And then on top of this general tendency to suppress our creative and emotional expression, we are also discouraged from talking about menstruation at all, so another layer of suppression is added. Plus there is a big taboo about anyone seeing our menstrual blood, so we put a lot of effort into plugging up the flow and making sure we aren't 'leaking'.

In addition to all of this, many of us have experienced a lifetime of trauma that our therapeutic community is only just beginning to understand how to treat effectively, and even then only for those who can access it. The effects of trauma on the flow of our fluids and emotions is suppressive as well. The body contracts and stashes away the memories of the unresolved traumas, preventing the energies of these experiences from flowing freely through our systems so we can carry on functioning. This contraction is often centered in the womb space, especially if the trauma has emotional and/or sexual components.

So with all of these layers of suppression, it is no wonder we have so many strong and persistent menstrual symptoms. The fundamental structure of our systems is based on staunching the flow of our emotions, creativity, sexuality, and fluids, all of which are what menstruation is all about.

So returning to practices such as journaling, especially with the intention of freeing up the flow of these energy pathways, unraveling the emotional patterns, resolving past traumas, and validating our creative flow, can be deeply therapeutic.

My journal writing process has been a central part of my therapeutic journey and I feel blessed to be called into service to support others in this way as well. I have been offering weekly Writing from the Womb workshops online for the past year or so and am preparing to publish the Bio-Mystical Womb Journal which includes writing prompts and excerpts to inspire readers to engage in their own therapeutic writing process to not only help with menstrual wellness but many other ways that the suppression of our creative flow has caused us pain. I have also started to bring the writing prompts from the journal into the weekly Writing from the Womb workshops.

If you would like to get an advance excerpt of the journal to check out, you can become part of the launch team for the book. Members of the launch team get free passes to the weekly writing workshops as well as invitations to purchase the book at a discount and write reviews for the book to help more people to gain access to it. Request your advance excerpt here:

If you would like to join the launch team and get a free pass for the weekly live online journal writing workshops, sign up here:

I look forward to seeing you soon and writing ourselves free of the emotional and creative suppression that results in menstrual and other pain.


Jessica Huckabay is the founder of the Womb Centered Healing Temple and the Bio-Mystical Womb Apprenticeship. You can learn more about upcoming events and offerings in the temple by exploring this website and signing up for the newletter.

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