Acupuncture is a specialism at The Gate Clinic. Having trained with some of the world’s most well-known obstetric acupuncturists, including Zita West, Debra Betts and Jani White, we have mastered the most effective techniques to help with a wide range of pregnancy-related conditions. Acupuncture is a gentle treatment that can safely be used at all stages of pregnancy.
For many women, the early weeks of pregnancy can be plagued with constant nausea, vomiting and exhaustion. Acupuncture is well known for helping with morning sickness, with the acupuncture point P6 on the wrist the most well known. However, there are also other effective point combinations that are tailored to individual symptoms, enabling you to see improvements immediately with complete recovery expected within one to three sessions.
Headaches and migraines
The hormone rollercoaster of pregnancy, coupled with the increased demands on the body can trigger lots of symptoms. Migraine and headaches are a prime example. As most mums-to-be prefer to avoid painkillers, acupuncture can be a helpful treatment to alleviate recurring headaches during pregnancy.
Haemorrhoids and vulval varicosities
Uncomfortable and troublesome, acupuncture can effectively alleviate haemorrhoids. In the case of vulval varicosities (haemorrhoids of the vagina), this can be extremely helpful as their presence can interfere with a natural vaginal birth. The acupuncture points for treating both problems are located on the collar bone and ankle, so this treatment is easily carried out at any stage of pregnancy.
Pelvic Girdle Pain/SPD
Pain in the pelvis can be extremely debilitating, with some women unable to walk without crutches or drive. Acupuncture has been shown to have a dramatic effect in alleviating pelvic, hip and back pain quickly and safely.
Pain Relief Acupressure
Using massage on certain acupuncture points can be incredibly helpful during labour to ease pain and anxiety, and help keep contractions and dilation steady. It can even be used when there is retained placenta or stalled labour. Birthing partners can be trained in the use of a few easy key points during a quick 45-minute session in the weeks before the birth. It gives the birth partner the tools to really help the labouring woman during her labour.
A technique, known as moxibustion, is used when the baby is lying in a breech position. This gentle, non-needle technique encourages the baby to turn, is effective in approximately 80% of cases, and is best used during weeks 35-37 (although later is still an option). Using a moxa stick, point BL67 on the little toe is gently warmed. There are many studies supporting the effects of moxibustion for this very reason, and it is a great option for malposition.
These are just a few examples of how acupuncture can be used during pregnancy. For more information, see www.thegateclinic.ie
Fiona O'Farrell is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Naturopath. She runs The Gate Clinic in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. See www.thegateclinic.ie
for more information.