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Traditional Chinese medicine and massage are safe treatment option in pregnancy. Chinese medicine including diet therapy, acupuncture, acupressure and herbal medicine have applications to each stage of pregnancy.
Acupuncture for common pregnancy concerns
Many of the discomforts that women may experience in pregnancy are unable to be treated sufficiently with Western medicine. Acupuncture can safely be used to treat a number of ailments including heartburn, constipation, haemorrhoids, varicose veins, nasal congestion, backaches, sciatica, pelvic pain, swelling of the hands and feet, carpal tunnel syndrome, difficulty sleeping, increased anxiety and tiredness.
Manber, R., Schnyer, R., Lyell, D., Chambers, A., Caughey, A. & Druzin, M. (2010). Acupuncture for depression during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial.Obstetrics and Gynecology, 115, 511–520.
Wedenberg, K., Moen, B. & Norling, A. (2000). A prospective randomized study comparing acupuncture with physiotherapy for low-back and pelvic pain in pregnancy. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 79 (5), 331-335.
Pre-birth acupuncture treatment
Pre birth acupuncture refers to a series of treatments in the final weeks of pregnancy, it is an ideal method to help women prepare themselves physically and emotionally to have the most efficient labour possible by boosting energy, calming the mind and preparing the cervix and pelvis for labour. Research into pre birth acupuncture has demonstrated that labour in a group of women giving birth for the first time was reduced by two hours compared to women who did not receive acupuncture.There have also been reports of a reduced rate of medical intervention with women undertaking prebirth acupuncture.
This treatment is very gentle and relaxing, we recommend clients to have prebirth acupuncture at week 32, week 34, week 36 and then weekly thereafter.
Malpresentation including breech
Chinese medicine can be used to encourage the turning of a breech position baby. This traditional technique has been used for centuries in China. Ideally treatment would be between 34 and 36 weeks gestation. This treatment uses moxibustion rather then acupuncture.
1. Neri, I., Airola, G., Contu, G., Allais, G., Facchinetti, F., & Benedetto, C. (2004). Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomised controlled study. Journal of Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 15, (4), 247-252.
2. Cardini, F. & Weixin, H. (1998). Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280, 942-946.
In the event of a delayed labour, acupuncture can be used if necessary to promote the natural labour process by aiding cervical dilation and influencing a womans hormones. This treatment will not bring on a labour as a chemical induction does, but it will encourage the bodies own production of chemicals including oxytocin and prostragladins that initiate labour.
If there is no medical reason to promote labour this treatment will not be performed and a prebirth treatment will be recommended as an alternative.
At Ford wellness group we encourage our clients to use acupressure during labor to provide pain relief and assist in the efficiency of labour. This non invasive technique is taught to women and their care-givers and an illustrated booklet outlining the pressure points is provided. No previous knowledge of massage or acupressure is required.
1. Rabl, M., Ahner, R., Bitschnau, M., Zeisler, H. & Husslein, P. (2001). Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr, 113, (23-24), 942-946.
2. Levett, K.M, Smith, C.A, Bensoussan, A., & Dahlan, H.G. (2016). Complementary therapies for labour and birth study: a randomised controlled trial of antenatal integrative medicine for pain management in labour. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010691. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010691
3. Tempfer, C., Zeisler, H., Mayerhofe, K.R., Barrada, M. & Husslein, P. (1998). Influence of acupuncture on duration of labour. Gynecologic & Obstetric Investigation, 46, 22-5
At Ford wellness group we offer a special kind of pregnancy massage, our purpose built massage table has a belly sized space to enable the mum to be to lie comfortably on her tummy and allow for a full back and leg massage in absolute comfort with complete peace of mind.