Pregnancy is a joyous and exciting time but the enormous physical and emotional changes your body is undergoing can create uncomfortable symptoms ranging from nausea to back pain. Western medicine has little relief to offer for these common conditions of pregnancy, as many women are reluctant to take Western drugs due to the unknown effects they may have on the baby. Traditional Chinese Medicine, with its long history of treating pregnancy and postpartum conditions with acupuncture, offers a safe, effective alternative for treatment of pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Moreover, it provides an excellent compliment to midwifery, doula, and obstetrical care.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic medical system that treats the root causes of dysfunction or disease. It has been practiced for over 2000 years, making it one of the oldest and most widely used systems of medicine in the world. In Chinese medicine health is the result of balance and the free flow of energy or Qi (chee). Many things can disrupt this balance including environmental changes, poor diet, improper exercise, heightened emotional experiences and stress, and especially physical changes such as pregnancy. Acupuncture, the practice of inserting hair thin needles into certain anatomical points in the body, restores balance and relieves specific symptoms.
Current medical research suggests that acupuncture’s pain and stress relieving effects may be based on the fact that it releases endorphins — the body’s own natural painkillers.
Acupuncture has been shown to safely alleviate conditions associated with pregnancy including:
• Nausea & vomiting
• Threatened miscarriage
• Insomnia & anxiety
• Back pain & sciatica
• Premature labour
• Breech presentations
• Cerivical ripening to prepare for delivery
• Overdue pregnancies
Advanced Chinese medical texts contain detailed descriptions on how and when pregnant woman can be treated. According to Dr. Bob Flaws, one of North America’s foremost experts on Chinese Medicine GYN OB, practitioners who receive post graduate, professional training in Chinese Medicine GYN OB can learn to treat problems in pregnancy safely, effectively and with confidence. When looking for a practitioner in British Columbia it is important to find a qualified and regulated practitioner of acupuncture who not only has experience but additional “acupuncture in pregnancy” training.
Under the care of an experienced and qualified practitioner, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine provides a gentle, safe way to support your body during pregnancy. Not only does it help alleviate many common symptoms and prevent illness and complications, but also it can enhance your overall health and sense of wellbeing during this special time.
By Lorne Brown & Raeghan Siemens