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Acupuncture in Pregnancy

Acupuncture & Morning Sickness

During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, morning sickness can be viewed as a natural physiological process. However, when it becomes pathological – continuing beyond the first 3 months, or if frequent vomiting stops the mother (and foetus) receiving enough nutrients – then it can become a serious health risk. Acupuncture can help patients with morning sickness by reducing the severity and/or frequency of the nausea. One well researched Point on the forearm is used to treat travel sickness and post radiotherapy nausea, as well as morning sickness. In Chinese Medicine terms, Acupuncture can root the ‘rebellious Qi’ in the body, calm the stomach whilst relaxing the mind. It is important to contact your GP/midwife if you are concerned about severe morning sickness.

morning-sickness

Turning Breech Babies using Acupuncture

Acupuncturists needle Points on the body to treat patients. One of the most well researched Acupuncture Points lies on corner of the nail of the little toe. In China, this Point has been used for thousands of years to help turn breech babies. The Point isn’t needled, but is stimulated by moxibustion (the burning of a mugwort herb stick over the point). According to research, the optimum time to perform this gentle procedure is from the 34th week of pregnancy. Moxibustion can be done daily at home for up to ten days after the mother has been instructed on how to safely perform the procedure. Nicola can advise on this, whilst in the same appointment giving a safe tonifying treatment to strengthen the mother’s body for the birth process.

See this link on the British Acupuncture Council’s website for research studies conducted on Point BL-67.

Acupuncture for Labour Induction

Acupuncture focuses on the balance and circulation of Qi (energy) in the body. Labour is a downwards movement of Qi as the foetus is expelled from the body using Yang energy. In order prepare for labour, the body requires a suitable balance of Yin and Yang, and a sufficient supply of Qi and Blood. Acupuncture during pregnancy can help strengthen and prepare the body for labour, but there are Points which should be avoided during those precious nine months as they can open the cervix or stimulate contractions. Any well-qualified professional Acupuncturist will have learnt the cautions of these ‘Forbidden Points’ during their training. However, after the due date, some of these Points can be useful to stimulate the activity of the uterus and encourage labour in a gentle way. Labour-inducing Points include one on the inside of the lower leg, and one found between the thumb and index finger.

For more information on any of these treatments please contact Nicola Rycroft who is based at Rowan House on a Tuesday afternoon/evening.