Most people have heard of acupuncture, many know someone who has tried it, but few understand it or consider it during pregnancy. Hopefully this blog will give you an idea of what acupuncture is, how it works and what I can treat...then you can decide if it might be helpful for you!
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been used in China and other eastern cultures to restore, promote and maintain good health and energy levels for about 2,500 years.
Traditional Chinese philosophy states that our health is dependent on the body's motivating energy - known as Qi - moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin.
For any number of reasons, Qi may become unbalanced, which leads to illness. By inserting fine needles into the channels of Qi energy an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural equilibrium. (and contrary to popular belief, you can hardly feel the needles!)
Western acupuncture, which is what we practise at Fit Bumps and Mums, is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture, using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine.
So how does it work?
Researchers have found that acupuncture points correspond to deep-seated nerves, so that when the needles are twirled, the nerves are activated. This, in turn, triggers the release of several brain chemicals, including endorphins, which block pain signals and help to relieve a number of pregnancy symptoms.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted. It is normal to feel a mild tingle or dull ache as the acupuncturist adjusts the needle to direct Qi. While the needles are in place most people feel deeply relaxed which can continue after they are removed.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is very safe to have during pregnancy and is an effective option at a time when many women choose to avoid taking medicine for minor ailments.
How can acupuncture help during pregnancy?
Many conditions which routinely crop up during pregnancy would benefit from a natural solution. Acupuncture, when provided by a trained practitioner, can give relief for a range of pregnancy related conditions:
-Pelvic pain (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)
-High/low blood pressure
-Migraine and other headaches
And you don’t just have to take my word for it, there is plenty of evidence to prove it works.
Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology reports acupuncture could reduce pain in the lower back along with pelvic pain. Pregnant women in their late second and third trimesters received acupuncture on points on the ear; sham acupuncture (so-called “fake” acupuncture, done at non specific points); or no treatment at all. At the one-week follow-up, about 80 percent of women in the acupuncture group had a clinically significant reduction in pain, compared to 56 percent in the sham acupuncture group and only 36 percent for the group who received no treatment.
If you are still not sure if you would benefit from acupuncture, want to ask a few more questions or wish to book an appointment contact Laura via the contact page or call on 07738224861.