Acupuncture is more than 2,500 years old and is among the oldest healing practices in the world. As part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture restores and maintains health through the stimulation of specific points on the body, called acupuncture points. By inserting sterile, hair thin, disposable needles the acupuncture points are stimulated. This restores the natural balance and smooth flow of Qi (“Chi” energy) through the body. This also sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health. Our bodies are constantly seeking homeostasis and acupuncture assists this process. How can acupuncture help your pregnancy and beyond?
Acupuncture is a great addition to your overall wellness during pregnancy because it eases a wide span of pregnancy related symptoms such as heartburn, swelling in the legs, constipation, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, and more.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the mother’s body to ready itself for labor. Needling will encourage the body to naturally release prostaglandins to soften and ripen the cervix for labor, and oxytocin to trigger contractions. Because the body produces its own hormones, and the process in natural, the mother and child will experience a gradual, less-traumatic onset of labor. Most women who have reached full gestation will need only one to three treatments before labor occurs.
During labor, acupuncture can be used for pain relief, as a calming technique (which again will lessen pain) and to keep labor contractions going during a stalled labor. Some acupuncture practices support the procedure not only as a way to keep women relaxed, but also to shorten labor.