It is well known by now that acupuncture is effective in the treatment and prevention of many illnesses. From migraine headaches to premenstrual cramps to insomnia, there are virtually no limits to the conditions that can be alleviated by this ancient Chinese healing art. Used by physicians, dentists and holistic practitioners worldwide, acupuncture is highly regarded in both Eastern and Western medical practices. The National Institute of Health reports an ever increasing use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and one Harvard study estimates that Americans visit acupuncturists more than five million times per year.
In all of its purported uses, it comes as no surprise, then, that acupuncture is also effective in treating pregnant women. More and more, women are seeking drug-free treatment for various pregnancy-related conditions. Thus, acupuncture, having no contraindications, is becoming highly sought after, as women are learning that it is both safe and beneficial for mother and baby.
Pregnant women living here in Western North Carolina might consider visiting an Asheville acupuncture practitioner. Regularly scheduled balancing treatments throughout pregnancy enhance the health of the mother, influence the development of the baby, and help to prevent complications during childbirth. Acupuncture treatments can be given once a month until the final month, when weekly sessions help prepare for labor. Some treatments may cause a slight increase in fetal movements, but no acupuncture treatment – unless it is intended to induce labor – should significantly increase uterine activity.
There are many benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy; among these is its particular effectiveness in relieving morning sickness. This is great news for women who feel especially sick during the first three months of pregnancy, and even more so for those suffering from potentially dangerous hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe vomiting, during pregnancy. Studies are emerging that show women who receive acupuncture during the first trimester report having less frequent and shorter bouts of nausea than women who don’t receive acupuncture. During the first trimester, acupuncture can also relieve migraines, fatigue, and bleeding. During the second trimester, acupuncture aids in maintaining balance by easing heartburn, hemorrhoids and stress. It can also be used to treat high blood pressure, edema and excessive weight gain.
In the third trimester, acupuncture treatment can bring relief from backache, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pubic and joint pain. Fortunately for the mother, the benefits are often immediate. The third trimester is also a time when a great deal of attention is given to the proper positioning of the baby. The acupuncturist should begin to encourage a head-down position by 32 to 34 weeks.
If you live in Asheville, acupuncture is very much an available resource for you during your pregnancy. Be sure to find an acupuncture practitioner who is nationally certified as a diplomate of acupuncture and who has experience in treating women who are pregnant. Acupuncturists with adequate training in the care of pregnant women should recognize the potentially serious nature of certain symptoms and only offer care that coincides with their patient’s Western medical care regimen as dictated by their primary care doctor or obstetrician.