It is common for a mother-to-be to experience symptoms of discomfort during pregnancy. Some of the discomfort symptoms are due to hormonal changes in the body, while others can be caused by the increased pressure on organs around the uterus from the growing foetus.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms
Common unpleasant symptoms include tiredness, dizziness, morning sickness, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, headache, neck pain, backache, leg cramps and difficulty sleeping. To top it all, pregnant women often feel anxious or depressed, which can aggravate the distress. Even though most of the time the discomfort symptoms are not serious and they occur as normal changes in the body, the discomforts can be draining and debilitating.
Many pregnant women are turning to complementary and alternative medicine to help them relieve the discomfort symptoms, and optimise their health as well as that of the baby's. They are more conscious of the treatments they receive during pregnancy, wanting to minimize any unnecessary adverse effect the treatments may have on the foetus. If you are one of them, acupuncture could well be the answer to your search for a natural, safe and effective alternative treatment.
Acupuncture In Pregnancy
Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment which has been practised in China for thousands of years. It is based on the TCM theory that there is Life Energy (Qi) flowing throughout the body along energy pathways, known as Meridians. According to the theory, any disruption of this flow will result in discomfort symptoms or illnesses.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles on specific points (acupoints) on the body to restore a free flow of abundant Qi throughout the body. The needles used are very thin, and often people feel very little pain when the needles are inserted. Sometimes, they are not even aware that the needles have been inserted. The needles are usually left on the acupoints for 20 to 30 minutes to optimize the stimulation of the energy flow.
Acupuncture during pregnancy can help you with many of the discomfort symptoms. It has the effect of promoting mental & emotional balance, which eases symptoms of restlessness, anxiety, irritability and depression. This helps the body to become more relaxed and restful. In addition, acupuncture stimulates the body's healing system, and relieves pregnant women of the common discomfort symptoms mentioned above. Certified TCM physicians trained in pregnancy acupuncture know the effective acupuncture points that best suit your symptoms and conditions. Certain points that are not suitable during pregnancy will be avoided.
Labour Preparation & Induction
Besides relieving the common problems experienced by pregnant women, acupuncture treatment is also often used by TCM physicians in the final weeks of pregnancy to prepare the mother for a natural, smooth and efficient labour.
Acupuncture can also be used in the induction of labour when pregnancy is overdue.
If you are experiencing some uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, it is advisable to have the acupuncture treatment at the early onset of the symptoms. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you may need to be treated two to three times a week initially. The frequency can be reduced to once a week when the symptoms have been alleviated. In an otherwise healthy pregnancy, you may arrange for a once-a-month treatment to improve energy, maintain body balance and have a healthy & pleasant pregnancy experience.