For over 3,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has promoted specialized treatment for women during pregnancy and postpartum. Today this care is becoming increasingly popular in hospitals, fertility clinics, and with pre- and postnatal care providers. Pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal recovery are viewed in TCM as a window of opportunity to enhance the woman’s well being. Conversely, if adequate care is not taken the resulting problems may continue long after the birth. Value is therefore placed on preventative care to strengthen the mother and baby as well as dealing with problems as they occur during pregnancy.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT AN ACUPUNCTURE APPOINTMENT?
Acupuncture is safe for both mom and baby. A typical appointment lasts an hour up to an hour and a half. The appointment includes a review of the your health concerns and goals around your reproductive health and pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care.
Next, hair fine sterile single use needles are inserted at specific points on your body. You will then rest for as long as you like, usually between 20 and 60 minutes. Typically, acupuncture works best with multiple sessions. We will talk about the best plan to meet your needs.
TREATING WOMEN WITH ACUPUNCTURE
- Prebirth treatment to prepare the body for an efficient labor**
- Reproductive Health**
- Nausea and vomiting**
- Breech and posterior positioned babies**
- Postpartum recovery**
- Threatened miscarriage
- Heartburn, Constipation, Varicose veins
- Urinary tract infections
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Fatigue, exhaustion and anemia
- Anxiety, depression and insomnia
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Itching in pregnancy
- Pregnancy induced hypertension
- Small for dates babies
- Induction and labor augmentation
- Pain relief during labor
**More information below
Prebirth Treatment: (including labor induction) involves a series of four treatments weekly starting at the 36th/37th week to prepare for labor. Points are used according to a woman’s constitution and pregnancy history. Treatment ripens the cervix, helps position the baby in the best presentation for labor, and promotes optimal energy and stamina for women entering labor.
Research has shown:
- An overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their first baby this was a 43% reduction).
- A 31% reduction in the epidural rate.
- A 32% reduction in emergency caesarean delivery.
- A 9 % increase in normal vaginal births.
- No increase in early labor compared to the control.
Reproductive Health: Regular treatment with acupuncture can help to regulate your menstrual cycle, and alleviate gynecological symptoms such as those associated with poly cystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, and amenorrhea. Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus. In women, acupuncture and improves ovum quality and in men it improves sperm quality.
Nausea and Vomiting: A randomized controlled study concluded that acupuncture is both effective and safe for treating nausea in pregnancy. Most pregnant women feel relief with their first treatment, and regular treatment can help prevent reoccurrence.
Breech and Malposition of the Fetus: Acupuncture and moxa (a type of heat therapy) increases cephalic (head down) presentation at delivery. Ideally treatment is at 34 –35 weeks, but can still be useful when used later in the pregnancy. Acupuncture can also help babies that are not in the optimal position prior to birth, such as those in a posterior position.
Postpartum Recovery: Acupuncture and a warming technique called “Mother Roasting” helps the new mom’s body regain its integrity after the profound opening of birth, and nurtures and supports her emotional and physical well being. These treatments can be done any time from about one week to one year postpartum. Acupuncture can reduce postpartum pain, help bring in milk, and treat mastitis as well as other common problems facing new moms.
Children are treated with special needles and other non-invasive techniques for problems such as constipation, ear infection, colds and flus, asthma, allergies and delayed development. Babies can be treated from the time they are newborns on.
Shonishin pediatric acupuncture (sho=little, ni=children, shin=needle) is a specialized form of treatment for infants and children that became renowned in the 1700s in the Osaka region of Japan. To this day, Japanese parents regularly bring children for shonishin treatment, and the shonishin approach is increasing in popularity around the world.
Children's bio-energetic systems are not fully formed and, being at the most "yang" phase of their existence, their energy (Qi) moves extremely rapidly. Consequently, children's systems can be easily over stimulated, and health problems can progress rapidly.
Shonishin focuses on gentle, specialized, mostly non-inserted treatment techniques that children find comfortable and even pleasurable. Dramatic results can be obtained even with very light treatment.
Shonishin techniques involve rhythmic stroking, rubbing, tapping, and pressing the skin to give different kinds of gentle stimulation. These techniques harmonize and fortify the child's vital energy, and strengthen the child's constitution.
Shonishin is used to treat a wide variety of problems, including:
- Earaches, and infections
- Failure to thrive syndrome
- Weak constitution
- Colic, excessive night crying, temper tantrums
- Indigestion, GERD, constipation, and diarrhea
- Night terrors
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Allergies, asthma, and colds
- Eczema and hives
- Cerebral palsy
The specifics of the treatment (frequency, dosage, strength) depend on the age, and condition of the child, among other factors. Treatments for children are actually very brief: a typical treatment generally lasts only one to five minutes. Generally speaking, the older the child, the longer the treatment.
The key to successful Shonishin treatment is "less is better." The beauty of Shonishin is its simplicity, gentleness, and effectiveness.
Shonishin: Acupuncture for Children
By: Brenda Loew, M.Ac., L.Ac. Published December, 2007
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The $15-35 sliding scale means that you decide how much you can afford in that range. There is no income verification. How much you pay does not affect the treatment that you get. We do not take insurance, but can provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your insurance. There is an additional $10 paperwork fee for new patients.
First appointments for helping position a baby in the optimal position need to schedule a double appointment. The fee for the double appointment is $30-70. There is an additional $10 paperwork fee for new patients. This is because extra time is needed to take care of both mom and baby during the first visit. Subsequent visits will cost the standard $15-35 sliding scale.