Pregnancy is a time of physical and hormonal changes, and for some
a time of great discomfort.
Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. Many women report feeling healthier than they have ever felt before; however, the physical growth of the baby and changes in hormone levels can bring about pain, discomfort and a variety of health problems.
Many pregnant women suffer from nausea, fatigue, body aches and other conditions that are considered a “normal” part of pregnancy. When performed by a licensed and experienced practitioner, acupuncture is a safe and widely-accepted form of treatment during pregnancy.
What Acupuncture Can Do For Your Prenatal Support
Prenatal Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can play a vital role in the comfort of a pregnant woman. There is strong evidence to support that acupuncture is highly effective at treating some of the most common problems experienced during pregnancy including morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia, water retention and sciatica.
Acupuncture as it is practiced today is a safe, effective, comfortable and cost-effective treatment for many of the problems that commonly develop in Prenatal Support. This is especially true since pharmaceuticals are contraindicated in pregnant women in most cases.
The First Trimester can often be accompanied by nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and edema. Localized treatments encourage healthy circulation and are designed to be emotionally reassuring and relaxing during these first few months in particular.
During the Second Trimester, the growing uterus displaces and compresses intestines, nerve endings and impedes circulation. This often leads to constipation, leg cramps, and further edema. The treatment is focused on the back to relieve tension in the abdominal organs and to restore circulation to these areas.
During The Third Trimester, the body drastically changes to accommodate the baby. The symptoms are generally a culmination of all the above with the addition of both upper and lower backache, as well as headaches. Expectant mothers appreciate treatment during this time the most, as a way to restore energy and promote relaxation. Working primarily on the lower body, the treatments are tailored to ease sore muscles through careful stretching and gentle pressure points.
What Acupuncture Can Do for “BREECH” Babies
A fascinating use of Chinese Medicine in pregnancy is its role in turning a fetus that is presenting breech, i.e., feet first. The technique is most effective between the 28th and 34th week, up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. The optimal time for effectiveness is 32-34 weeks. Past the 36th week there is usually not enough room for the fetus to turn around.
The treatment uses the herb mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) called “moxa’ in Chinese. Moxibustion is the burning of the herb moxa and the application of the generated heat to certain acupoints. The whole procedure (either with the Moxa stick or the needle) should be repeated twice a day for a maximum of ten days, yet most babies turn within three days.
A Japanese study published in 2000 confirmed that stimulation of acupuncture points is effective in correcting breech positioning. By studying 357 women with breech presentation they found that the moxibustion treatment group had a correction rate of 92.48 percent compared to the control group which had a spontaneous correction rate of 73.66 percent.