- Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting
- Haemorrhoids/valval varicosities
- Itching during pregnancy
- Breech position
- High blood pressure
- Sciatica and pelvic pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Preparing for birth/induction
So how does acupuncture/Chinese Medicine work?
Chinese Medicine view for a healthy pregnancy is a good diet, proper rest, and emotional wellbeing.
When we look at problems in pregnancy in Chinese medicine we look mainly at the Kidney Qi and the Spleen Qi, the other Zhangfu as they are called can be involved as well Heart Qi, Liver Qi and Lung Qi. (Qi means energy)
Your Kidney in Chinese medicine is the fire under the cooking pot, it fuels our bodies. We need Kidney energy to work at its optimum to have a healthy pregnancy. Kidney Qi is the foundation of Yin and Yang. The yang element is the fire for everything to move in your body, the Yin is the water element for everything to be nourished and cooled in your body.
- Kidney Qi rules the uterus
- Chong Mai and Ren Maicontrol and nourish the blood in the uterus with kidney Qi vital for a growing fetus. Chong Mai and Ren Mai are two pathways that run through and around the uterus.
One of Spleen function is to transform and transport, turns what you eat and drink into energy Qi.
Spleen energy is responsible for holding thing in place, holding your pregnancy in up. I’ll give you a few more examples holding your blood in the blood vessels, holding your head on your shoulders.
1 Miscarriage –
With an early miscarriage, in the first 12 weeks Chinese medicine looks at Kidney Jing Qi and blood deficiency not supporting the growth of the foetus. You need to look at the health of the mother Kidney Jing Qi and blood to support her so it doesn’t happen again.
When a miscarriage happens after 12 weeks in Chinese medicine we look at spleen Qi not holding your pregnancy in place. Generally speaking if spleen transformations and transportation is dysfunctional in any way the mother will not be adequately nourished. Acupuncture will support the spleen Qi to nourishing the mother thus the foetus is not nourished and miscarriage happens.
TCM and common sense dictates rest after miscarriage and abortions to replenish you kidney and spleen Qi.
2 Morning Sickness – nausea – vomiting
All your energy and blood is going to nourish the foetus though the Chong Mai and Ren Mai. This can upset the rhythm of the stomach the descending action of the stomach Qi and causes Qi to rebel up causing vomiting and nausea. Acupuncture points and acupressure points are used to help.
3 Haemorrhoids/vulval varicosities
I can promise you that acupuncture is amazing at treating haemorrhoids and valval varication, ridding you of the pain and itching. Your spleen Qi is not holding things in place; this is common in pregnancy because you are holding your pregnancy in place, it forgets to hold up your bottom. It is really important to lie down and rest during pregnancy to help support you spleen Qi, do acupuncture and acupressure points
4 Itching during pregnancy
Before I talk about itchy skin, you need to contact your doctor or midwife this can be dangerous in pregnancy and be a sign of obstetric cholestasis this can pose a risk to the health of your baby.
Chinese Medicine calls itchy skin heat and or wind it presents with redness, burning, itchy and pain. Caused by Liver Yin Qi or blood deficiency. Remember I told you Yin is water nourishes and cools. So we need to calm the Liver and get rid of the wind.
5 Breech Position
For the best results you should treat before 34 weeks into the pregnancy but can be effective at 38/39 weeks. Heat treatment called moxa is applied to the small toe, helps the foetus to change positions. The heat is applied for 10 days. Yes it really does work.
6 High Blood Pressure
It is critical to start treatment as soon as possible for the best results. Reduce stress; take rests during the day, make sure you are eating a good healthy diet. Liver Qi, Liver blood deficiency, Kidney Qi and Spleen Qi can cause high blood pressure.
7 Sciatica Pain
Pain in Chinese medicine is a blockage. There is no smooth flow of Qi and Blood in the channels. Can be caused by trauma, overuse or external factors like cold or damp. Can also be a deficiency of Kidney Qi especially if you have lower back pain and spleen Qi if tiredness makes the pain worse?
8 Anxiety and depression
This is not recognised so much in western medicine during pregnancy. Mood swings, irrationality, crying, anger, fear, dull are all considered normal in pregnancy. Chinese Medicine have five emotions that are related to different organs in our body Heart happy, Kidney fear, Liver anger/frustration, Lung grief/worry and Spleen pensiveness. When all your emotions are in harmony you are fine, but if there is an excess or deficiency in your emotions it has an effect on you and the organ associated to this emotion, with symptoms like can’t sleep, poor energy, angry outbursts, excessive crying, highs and lows in your moods. Chinese Medicine diagnosis looks at the whole picture physically, mentally and emotionally and will address you symptoms accordingly. This is a very successful treatment.
It can be really surprising how tired you can feel in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or towards the third trimester of pregnancy, when this happens Chinese medicine looks at your spleen Qi not transforming your food and drink properly to provide your body with the correct energy. Or the Kidney Qi the Yang element not enough fire under the cooking pot to provide energy to your body. We need to look at your lifestyle, possible changes in your diet, exercise, rest, stress and sleeping habits.
10 Preparing for birth
This works amazing. We start treatment at 37 weeks by using points to soften the cervix the treatment is done weekly until you give birth. We are working on the mother physically, emotionally and mentally so she is ready to give birth and have an easy labour. Helping with symptoms, pregnancy-induced hypertension, heartburn, haemorrhoids or fear of giving birth for the first or second time around. You will also be told about acupressure points that you can do yourself
By using this method you increase your chance of a natural normal labour.
A study from two groups of 70 women by Debra Betts
Research has demonstrated that the mean duration of labour in a group of women giving birth for the first time was reduced from eight hours and 2 minutes in the control group 70 women to six hours and 36 minutes in the group of 70 women who received pre-birth acupuncture.
Midwives in Germany use this method.
By using this pre-birth method you can increase you chance of a natural birth, reduce medical intervention and reduce the risk of a C-section.
This is different from pre-birth treatment. We are asking your body to go into labour. Acupuncture points are used to help you go into labour. If you know you have to go for a medical induction it is best if you see an acupuncturist 2 to 3 days beforehand she will use acupuncture points to help you go into labour also acupressure points that you can do at home. If you use acupuncture for an induction to soon you can create complication in you labour similar to a western medicine induction.
Chinese medicine viewpoint – if you cannot go into labour natural it can mean you are a Qi and blood deficiency.