Morning sickness and nausea are the most common pregnancy woes for the moms-to-be, especially during the first trimester. Different measures are suggested to expectant mothers to alleviate the discomfort. While some of these measures provide results, some don’t. However, pregnancy acupuncture is something that many pregnant women swear by for giving relief and easing bodily discomfort.
You may not have a clear idea about acupuncture, so the following section will help you better understand what it is and to which pregnancy symptoms it can provide relief.
What is pregnancy acupuncture?
The healing art of acupuncture originated several thousand years ago in China. It is based on the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, stating that the body comprises two opposing forces: yin and yang.
When an imbalance occurs between these forces, it blocks the flow of vital energy into the body. During acupuncture, the therapist inserts hair-thin needles into the body that help in restoring balance and improving health.
So, all these lead to the question, how does this apply in the case of a pregnant woman? Research indicates that needles’ insertion causes nerves’ activation, triggering the release of chemicals in the brain. With the release of chemicals, pain signals are blocked that provide relief to a host of pregnancy symptoms.
What pregnancy are symptoms treated with acupuncture?
Pregnancy acupuncture is credited for easing several pregnancy symptoms like oedema, heartburn, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, morning sickness, headaches and other pains. Moreover, as pregnancy limits the intake of different meds, pregnancy acupuncture can be an excellent way to get some relief.
Some common pregnancy symptoms that acupuncture can treat are discussed below:
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are common in the majority of pregnant women. Typically, symptoms start to show between the 6th and 8th week and reduce by week 20. Studies reveal that women who received acupuncture treatments weekly experienced significant improvement in health within three weeks.
Migraines tend to improve through the course of pregnancy with an increase in oestrogen levels. However, several women still report headaches at the end of the first trimester and throughout the pregnancy. Acupuncture has helped women experiencing headaches associated with pregnancy and improved mood and sleep.
A section of women reports a lack of sleep at the early stages and towards the end of pregnancy. It is caused due to foetal movement, back pain or the need to urinate. With acupuncture, the levels of melatonin increase resulting in improved sleep quality.
Anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are quite common in pregnant women, and if not treated early on, they may impact postpartum behaviour and mood. Acupuncture combined with psycho-education and psychotherapy can help women suffering from depression during pregnancy.
Pregnant women suffer from digestive disorders like bloating, epigastric pain and heartburn. It occurs due to changes in progesterone levels. And acupuncture is effective in treating the causes of heartburn.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition observed in women who are in their third trimester. Acupuncture has shown promising results in improving the symptoms and pain.
Several pregnant women experience back pain affecting their ability to walk, stand and sit. When acupuncture is done as a form of complementary treatment along with pelvic floor physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments, women experience relief from back pains.
Acupuncture, when performed by a professional, is considered safe. However, you may expect a bit of soreness or redness from inserting needles. Also, if you have other physical issues, it is best to consult your doctor before considering acupuncture as an alternative therapy.