According to Dr. Richard Nahas, acupuncture is a Chinese healing art that involves stimulating certain key points in the body using tiny needles to activate the natural healing capabilities of your body. It is an alternative form of treatment that can help treat a variety of conditions such as pain in the body, insomnia, swelling, indigestion, and more. In fact, many women have shown increased interest in acupuncture as a complementary treatment for relieving common pregnancy ailments.
Here is what you need to know about maternity acupuncture:
1. How maternity acupuncture is performed – During a maternity acupuncture session, a certified acupuncturist will insert tiny needles into the skin at specific points on the body to stimulate and balance the yin and yang forces in the body. The only difference is that they will avoid stimulating the forbidden pressure points in your body, at least before week 37 to avoid causing any harm to your body.
The primary goal of maternity acupuncture is to help women conceive, especially during the in-vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination treatment process. Other potential benefits include reducing fatigue, alleviating pain during labour and after surgical birth, treating constipation, and more.
2. How maternity acupuncture can help you – According to a 2016 study, women who received acupuncture treatment have a higher chance of conception and well-being compared to women who only make lifestyle modifications. Plus, they also have better fertility awareness which reduces the risk of infertility.
Various studies have proved that stimulating the P6 pressure point (spleen channel) can help improve the digestive system and prevent morning sickness. In fact, it can reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting, both during pregnancy and outside of pregnancy.
Studies have shown that stimulating the pressure points BL67 and SI1 between 32 and 35 weeks of pregnancy can help with breech babies and ensure the babies are present headfirst.
Many people complain of aches and pains during pregnancy since the hormone Relaxin loosens the joints during pregnancy. Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat lower back pain and even labour pain.
3. Pressure points to avoid during pregnancy – According to current research, acupuncture treatment is relatively safe even during pregnancy. However, there are certain pressure points that should be avoided to prevent minor risks during pregnancy. Generally, the risks are limited to the birthing mother and may involve nausea, infection at insertion points, irritability, pain, redness, swelling, bleeding, and more.
They’re forbidden pressure points that should be avoided during pregnancy include LI4 (large intestine channel), BL27-BL34 (sacral region), SP6 (spleen channel), GB21 (gall bladder channel), CV3-CV7 (lower abdomen), BL60 (bladder channel), BL67 (bladder channel), and LU7 (lung channel).
Dr. Richard Nahas suggests you consult with your doctor to thoroughly understand the safety and benefits of opting for acupuncture treatment during pregnancy. Although more research is needed, preliminary findings suggest the risks are very low. Still, it is important to get the go-ahead from your doctor and ensure you get your treatment from a certified and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in pregnancy.