When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes so many changes. You’re likely to experience changes in skin tone, diet, preferences, and other physiological, emotional and mental transformations. With all of the things happening to your body, one thing that you’re surely very concerned about is protecting the baby that you’re carrying. Because of this, you avoid many things that are harmful or possibly dangerous to your growing child. So, if you’re given the option to undergo acupuncture whilst pregnant, you most probably will decline it. But before you do, here are some things that you should know about acupuncture and how it could help pregnant women.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is part of an ancient Chinese therapeutic practice that hopes to establish a balance between energy, also known as “qi” or “chi”, and blood flow, which is also called “xue”. Very long and thin needles are inserted into certain energy pathways or meridians. The insertion of acupuncture needles is said to encourage the flow of bioelectricity, which is a form of energy or electromagnetic field that the cells of living organisms produce. Good energy flow results in better health and faster body renewal. When bioelectricity cannot flow properly or when it is blocked, this negatively affects bodily functions.
Acupuncture and Pregnancy
Is it alright for you to go through acupuncture treatments while pregnant? Naturally, a mother’s instinct will stop her from doing things that could be bad for her child. So, you have every right to check if acupuncture could be harmful to you or your child’s health and development. You can ask your OB-GYN or pediatrician about the possibility of you undergoing acupuncture treatments. Most experts say that the procedure is safe, and it even alleviates many common pregnancy problems. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in easing morning sickness, stress and bodily pains. Some experts also state that acupuncture can be used to encourage babies in breech position to move or turn to a better position for easier delivery. This is known as “moxibustion”, wherein ground mugwort is burned near pressure points. This is said to stimulate movement and coaxes babies to turn. In addition to this, acupuncture can induce labor and even reduce the length of labor.
Before Acupuncture Therapy
Prior to submitting yourself to acupuncture therapy, it is best to consult with your physician first. Check with your obstetrician if it’s alright for you to undergo acupuncture therapy. Even though studies have proven that acupuncture does not cause or aggravate conditions, such as premature birth, hypertension during pregnancy, or miscarriage, it is still best to get the approval of your physician first.
Find a Qualified Acupuncturist
Some people go to back alley acupuncture clinics because they want to save a few bucks. Do not do this. Today, so many people can just get fake training certifications or other documents that supposedly prove that they are “qualified” acupuncturists. What you should do is ask your physician for a referral or recommendation. You can also go to the NCCAOM directory. The acronym stands for National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, which is a licensing board that certifies individuals who have undergone rigorous educational and training programs regarding acupuncture. The NCCAOM’s directory lists down all board-certified acupuncturists. You can check out which ones have clinics near your area. Go to someone who has had many years of experience, and this person should also specialize in providing acupuncture treatments to pregnant women.
Claire Kurt is a freelance blogger who specializes in health and beauty topics. She writes for Acupuncture New York , and she also contributes articles about modern, as well as alternative treatments.