Pregnancy is a wondrous, natural event in a woman¡s life. Even so, there are changes during these nine months that can be challenging. Culturally, we have adopted a largely hands-off approach to many of the physical and emotional challenges posed during pregnancy. Women are often led to believe that their discomfort is part of the package, or something to be endured. However, there are ways to seek comfort in pregnancy, and acupuncture is one of them.
Women may be afraid to seek acupuncture during pregnancy because they have heard that it can cause a miscarriage. All licensed acupuncturists have been schooled to understand which points on the body are best avoided during pregnancy. While it is true that acupuncture can be used to induce labor in a patient who is overdue, there are plenty of other acupuncture points that are safe to use throughout pregnancy. Overall, pregnant women are treated more gently than other acupuncture patients--using fewer needles, no stimulation and modified body positions for comfort.
In early pregnancy, women may struggle with the frequent nausea and vomiting known as morning sickness. Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that a woman¡¯s lifestyle choices and basic constitution prior to pregnancy will affect her development of morning sickness. Worry, anger and fear are emotions which can contribute to morning sickness by affecting different organs and leading to patterns of bodily disharmony. Worry weakens the spleen and stomach. Anger stagnates the liver energy. Fear depletes the kidneys. Acupuncture can help correct these imbalances. Relaxation and regular exercise can also help offset some of these excess emotions. A balanced diet is certainly helpful, and some women benefit from small amounts of fresh ginger juice swallowed or rubbed on the tongue.