ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE AND TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
Alternative healing modalities can compliment the care given by your primary care provider (midwife or doctor), and help you to have a healthy pregnancy and easier childbirth, by bringing your body into balance in an optimal state of wellness.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) ascribes problems of health to imbalances in the basic flow of Blood and Energy (Qi -pronounced “Chee”). The causes of these imbalances can be from external influences, such as weather changes, or from internal imbalances, such as emotional strain, dietary causes and overwork. Any physical abnormalities which have developed are considered to be due to the involvement of one or more of the these influences interacting upon the basic hereditary make-up of the person.
What are the benefits of Acupuncture in Pregnancy?
Acupuncture has many benefits for the childbearing cycle. A few include: regulating the menstrual cycle, promoting fertility, lessening menstrual discomforts and morning sickness, preventing herpes outbreak, energizing and relaxing the woman during pregnancy, inducing labor in a post-date pregnancy and strengthening weak uterine contractions, to name just a few. In the postpartum period, acupuncture and oriental medicine can help cleanse and revitalize the body after birth, and increase milk supply. Various disorders of pregnancy and postpartum can be helped with TCM, utilizing acupuncture, herbs, diet, massage, acupressure, cupping and moxibustion (a method of applying heat to acupressure points) as modalities to aide in re-balancing the body’s energy and blood to achieve a healthy state. Some of the conditions which have been helped are morning sickness, abdominal pain, edema, urinary pain, miscarriage, scanty lactation, breech and posterior presentation, prolonged labor, etc.
What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a gentle, noninvasive form of acupuncture. Thumb or finger pressure is applied to points to balance internal functions Below are a few points that you can utilize.
Pericardium 6 (Neiguan–Inner Gate)
Location and technique: 3 finger-breadths above your wrist crease, in the middle of the forearm (palm side) between the tendons.
Use the thumb to press down firmly and in a circular motion 20-30 times, or press down firmly with your thumb while opening and closing your hand. Can repeat this cycle several times as needed.
To Be Used For: Any chest or stomach complaints, such as morning sickness, shortness, of breath, or heartburn
Spleen 6 (Sanyinjiao–3 Yin Crossing)
Note: This point should ONLY be used during labor, as it can trigger early or premature labor!
Location and Technique : 4 finger-breadths up from the inner ankle bone behind the tibia. Use your thumb to press down hard and toward the shin bone for 20 seconds each time, repeat 3-4 times. Press during contractions to relieve discomfort.
To Be Used For : Ease labor pain and speed labor along.
This page contributed by:
Dr. Marsha Connor, R.N., Lic. Ac., O.M.D.
If you have any questions regarding this page or oriental medicine in general, please call Dr. Connor at: 1 323-225-0820
For answers to your childbirth related questions, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org