Growing a tiny human comes with its fair share of physical aches and pains, sometimes in places you didn’t even know existed. There are a few different ways to cope with pregnancy pains, including over the counter medication, massage and chiropactic care. But those aren’t your only options: Acupuncture, a form of treatment that involves inserting tiny needles into specific spots in the body, is another method worth giving a go if you’re looking for some relief.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional East Asian medicine practice that uses very thin needles inserted at specific points on the body to rebalance the circulation of blood, qi, and fluids throughout your body to bring you better health and balance, which also helps relieve pain and stress. Thus, making it a popular treatment for those experiencing pregnancy aches and pains.
How does acupuncture work?
Here’s how it works. An acupuncturist will strategically place thin needles so that they “stimulate certain acupuncture points, [essentially] activating your body’s ability to heal itself,” by activating your central nervous system, immune system, circulatory system, and lymphatic system.”
And what are acupuncture points anyway?
Practitioners of acupuncture believe that there are around 2,000 such points in the body and that they’re connected by pathways. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “ These pathways create an energy flow (qi) through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease.” When needles place pressure on those particular points, it’s believed to improve that flow, which can alleviate symptoms you may be feeling.
What does acupuncture feel like?
The answer to this question will change based on who you ask. Some people experience a tiny pinch with the needle insertion, while others will feel no sensation at all. Although you may see that there are needles involved and think that it must be painful, that’s not really the case, many find it’s a gentle and relaxing experience.
What are the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy?
There are many benefits to acupuncture during pregnancy, including relieving morning sickness and stress. Many people seek out acupuncture during pregnancy to help alleviate aches and pains as well as other symptoms, like fatigue and heartburn.
What pregnancy symptoms can acupuncture treat? Some of the pregnancy-related symptoms that acupuncture helps to treat are:
Is it safe to get acupuncture while pregnant?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, acupuncture is generally thought to be safe for pregnant people. “All licensed acupuncturists are trained to avoid certain points that are not safe to use during pregnancy,” says Ruiz, so it’s essential to find someone who is properly trained and has experience working with people who are pregnant. If you’re someone who is interested in more holistic prenatal care, acupuncture may be a great option for you due to its rather noninvasive, whole-body wellness approach.
A holistic approach to pregnancy and childbirth includes a team of providers including Chiropractic, Massage Therapy and Acupuncture.
Aimee Ruiz, L.Ac., FABORM is an acupuncturist and herbalist in Oakland, CA at East Bay Acupuncture and specializes in fertility, prenatal, birth, and postpartum care.
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