Through the use of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Nutritional Therapies we are able to effectively and safely address a wide variety of women’s health issues. Many menstrual and reproductive concerns are treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, including Premenstrual Syndome, heavy periods, painful periods or irregular periods, amenorrhea (no period), menopausal symptoms, and infertility. In addition, acupuncture can help to prevent miscarriage and have a healthy pregnancy. From simple morning sickness to more complex imbalances during pregnancy we specialize in working safely and effectively to help a mother-to-be have the best possible pregnancy she can, and prepare physically and emotionally for the labor and delivery.
At Florida Complete Wellness we specialize in treating pregnant women from the beginning of the pregnancy through the postpartum time. For women who prefer a holistic complement to their prenatal care, Traditional Chinese medicine is a gentle, yet highly effective way to help prevent miscarriage, alleviate morning sickness, reduce aches and pains, and prepare for labor and delivery, all while helping to keep baby and the mama-to-be healthy, happy, and strong. In addition, women who receive acupuncture through their pregnancy report having easier labor with less interventions, as well as an easier time recovering from the birth.
According to the theories of Chinese medicine, the woman’s body right before birth presents an optimal time to balance hormone levels, strengthen the organ systems and make sure her and her baby’s bodies are in harmony. Acupuncture treatments leading up to birth have proven to increase the likelihood of delivering on the due date, reduce the time of labor and substantially reduce the need for interventions and caesarean sections. Certain points are known to help the cervix soften and dilate and others aid in helping the ligaments relax and loosen for the easy passage of the baby. Women who receive pre-birth acupuncture and do not go into labor spontaneously usually respond very well and quickly to induction either by acupuncture or medication.
Debra Betts of the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Wellington, New Zealand has written extensively about acupuncture pre-birth. One such writing can be found at:
Another source of information can be found in a journal article at the following title and address:
Acupuncture use for pre-birth treatment. A literature review and audit-based research.
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2005 May;11(2):121-6.
In our experience working with women from preconception through labor and delivery, we recommend that women begin to come in for acupuncture treatments periodically throughout the entire pregnancy as needed for nausea, pain control, and anxiety alleviation. The end of the third trimester treatments gives the woman a chance to lie quietly and connect with her baby, preparing for the birth. Regular acupuncture through early third trimester can also encourage proper fetal positioning and address breech presentation with acupuncture and at-home recommendations. Starting at week 36 we recommend women come in once a week and we work to get her body ready for the labor process. The acupuncture is gentle and the experience is deeply relaxing for the mom-to-be.
Hip and back pain during pregnancy can be caused by various factors: the weight of the pregnant belly, a previous back injury that is resurfacing, altered or poor posture, instability of the joints caused by ligaments that are relaxing, or an increased lumbar curve. Most of the time women are sent to the physical therapist to learn strengthening exercises or given a back brace and left to their misery. Back pain cannot be ignored however, because it is important for the mom-to-be to keep her mobility as far into the pregnancy as possible. Staying active not only keeps the mom and baby healthy but it helps the mom maintain the stamina she will need for labor.
Once the acupuncturist has ascertained the cause of the back pain, the acupuncture treatment can begin. It is important to note here that the exact cause of the pain does not dictate how successful the treatment will be. Pain that is caused by herniated discs responds just as well to acupuncture as back pain caused by muscle spasms. This is because the acupuncture works by bringing more circulation to the area and helping to reduce inflammation, reducing swelling and relaxing the muscles so that spasms cease. Acupuncture also affects the nervous system and helps to reduce the pain response being elicited from the troubled area on the hip or back.
When treating pregnant women, they are asked to lie down on their side and their body is well-supported with pillows to ensure maximum comfort during the treatment. The area of pain will be palpated and then the needles will be placed locally near the pain and also distally along the acupuncture meridian. It is common to use only a few needles, usually 6 or less. The woman is then left to take a deeply relaxing nap for 20-30 minutes while the acupuncture needles are retained.
In pregnancy, the hip or back pain is usually at the acute phase which means that the pain responds more quickly to treatments that are given closer together. The most benefit will result from treatments two or three times during the first week. By this time, if the woman is careful not to overdo her activity level, her pain should be greatly diminished. The next week treatments should be given one or two times. She can then return for maintenance treatments every other week or so in order to stay pain-free as the weight increases.