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text 2023-07-04 08:08
Acupuncture as a Safe and Gentle Approach for Labor Preparation and Postpartum Recovery

 

 

Welcoming the miracle of motherhood is a remarkable journey that requires special care and attention. As expectant mothers prepare for the arrival of their little ones, it's essential to explore safe and natural methods to support the body during labour and facilitate postpartum recovery. Acupuncture, a time-honoured practice rooted in Chinese medicine, offers a gentle and holistic approach that can benefit both mothers-to-be and new mothers. This article will explore how acupuncture can help with labour preparation and postpartum recovery, providing insights into its efficacy and benefits.

 

How Does Acupuncture Help with Labor?

 

Preparing for labour can mix excitement and anxiety for expectant mothers. Acupuncture offers a supportive modality that promotes a smoother and more comfortable labour experience. By targeting specific acupuncture points, this ancient therapy can stimulate the body's natural processes and address common discomforts associated with childbirth.

 

During pregnancy, acupuncture sessions can focus on preparing the body for labour by promoting relaxation, optimising energy flow, and enhancing overall well-being. It can help with pain management, reducing anxiety, and improving hormonal balance, setting the stage for a positive birthing experience.

 

Acupuncture has been found to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain-relieving chemicals. This can provide significant relief during labour and potentially reduce the need for pharmacological pain management. Moreover, acupuncture has been shown to promote uterine contractions, helping to facilitate the progression of labour.

 

Acupuncture for Normal Delivery

 

Acupuncture has long been used as a complementary therapy to support normal delivery. By utilising specific acupuncture points, practitioners aim to encourage the optimal positioning of the baby, facilitate cervical ripening, and enhance uterine contractions. This can contribute to a smoother progression of labour and a reduced risk of medical interventions.

 

One commonly used acupuncture point for normal delivery is Spleen 6 (SP6), "Three Yin Intersection." Located on the inner ankle, SP6 is believed to promote proper uterine function, aid in cervical ripening, and help position the baby in the optimal head-down position. Another frequently used point is Large Intestine 4 (LI4), located on the web between the thumb and index finger. LI4 is believed to stimulate contractions and assist in promoting a natural delivery.

 

Moreover, acupuncture sessions leading up to the due date can help women feel more physically and mentally prepared. The relaxation effects of acupuncture may also alleviate stress and anxiety, promoting a more calm and controlled birthing environment.

 

Benefits of Acupuncture at the End of Pregnancy

 

As pregnancy nears its final stages, expectant mothers may face unique challenges and discomforts. Acupuncture can offer significant benefits during this crucial period, helping mothers-to-be navigate the physical and emotional demands of late pregnancy.

 

One of the primary benefits of acupuncture at the end of pregnancy is its ability to promote natural labour induction. Through targeted stimulation of specific acupuncture points, practitioners aim to encourage the onset of labour when the body and baby are ready. This approach can be particularly beneficial for women who wish to avoid medical interventions such as induced labour.

 

Research has shown that acupuncture may help increase cervical ripening, which is the softening and thinning of the cervix in preparation for labour. Acupuncture may also assist in promoting uterine contractions, helping to initiate the labour process naturally. This can lead to a smoother and more efficient labour experience.

 

Additionally, acupuncture can help alleviate common late-pregnancy discomforts such as back pain, swollen ankles, and sleep disturbances. By balancing the body's energy flow, acupuncture supports overall well-being and prepares the mother for the upcoming birth and postpartum period.

 

Acupuncture sessions in the final weeks of pregnancy can also help promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. Pregnancy can be a time of heightened emotions and anxiety, and acupuncture's calming effects can provide much-needed emotional support. By creating a sense of inner calm and balance, acupuncture contributes to a more positive mindset as the mother approaches the birth of her child.

 

Can Acupuncture Help with Postpartum Depression (PPD)?

 

The postpartum period brings emotions and hormonal fluctuations; some women may experience postpartum depression (PPD). Acupuncture has shown promise in providing relief and support for women navigating this challenging phase.

 

Research suggests that acupuncture can help regulate hormones, reduce stress, and promote emotional well-being, making it a potential complementary therapy for managing PPD symptoms. By addressing the underlying imbalances in the body, acupuncture aims to restore harmony and support mental health postpartum.

 

Acupuncture sessions can help women transition smoothly through the hormonal shifts after childbirth. By promoting the release of endorphins and regulating neurotransmitters, acupuncture may alleviate feelings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability associated with postpartum depression.

 

It is important to note that acupuncture should be utilised as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for PPD, including professional medical guidance and emotional support. It is essential to consult with healthcare providers experienced in treating postpartum mental health to create a personalised approach that addresses individual needs.

 

What Type of Therapy Is Best for Postpartum?

 

Postpartum recovery is a crucial phase where new mothers require support and care to regain their strength and adjust to the demands of motherhood. Acupuncture, with its gentle and non-invasive approach, can be an excellent therapy to aid in postpartum healing and well-being.

 

In addition to addressing specific concerns, such as pain management and hormonal balance, acupuncture promotes relaxation and stress reduction. This can be particularly beneficial for new mothers who may experience physical discomfort, fatigue, and emotional fluctuations postpartum.

 

However, it's important to note that postpartum care is multifaceted, and a holistic approach is recommended. Alongside acupuncture, other therapies such as nutritional support, gentle exercise, and emotional counselling can play vital roles in postpartum recovery. Consulting with a healthcare professional specialising in postpartum care can help tailor a comprehensive treatment plan that meets individual needs.

 

Best Acupuncture Points for Postpartum

 

Acupuncture utilises specific points on the body to target various conditions and promote healing. When it comes to postpartum recovery, several acupuncture points can be particularly beneficial:

 

Spleen 6 (SP6): Located on the inner ankle, SP6 is known for its ability to support reproductive health and balance hormones. It can help regulate menstrual cycles, alleviate postpartum bleeding, and promote well-being.

 

Pericardium 6 (PC6): Found on the inner forearm, PC6 is known as the "Neiguan" point. It is commonly used to address nausea and vomiting, making it beneficial for postpartum women who may experience morning sickness or digestive issues.

 

Kidney 3 (KD3): Situated on the inner ankle, KD3 is a powerful point for promoting energy and balancing the body. It can help address fatigue, support kidney function, and enhance overall vitality during the postpartum period.

 

Governing Vessel 20 (GV20): Located on the top of the head, GV20 is known as the "Baihui" point. It is a calming point that can help alleviate anxiety, stress, and mental fatigue, providing emotional support during the postpartum phase.

 

These are just a few acupuncture points that can benefit postpartum recovery. However, it's important to remember that each individual's needs may vary, and a qualified acupuncturist will assess the specific concerns and tailor the treatment plan accordingly.

 

During postpartum acupuncture sessions, the practitioner will consider the mother's overall health, energy levels, and specific postpartum symptoms. They will then select the appropriate acupuncture points to address discomfort, promote healing, and support the body's natural processes.

 

Acupuncture offers a safe and gentle approach to labour preparation and postpartum recovery, providing expectant and new mothers with natural support. From aiding in labour progression to promoting hormonal balance and addressing postpartum challenges, acupuncture can enhance overall well-being during this transformative time. However, seeking guidance from a qualified acupuncturist and working with healthcare professionals to ensure comprehensive care and support throughout motherhood is essential.

 

Remember, each woman's experience is unique, and it's essential to consult with healthcare providers and specialists for personalised advice and treatment options. With the proper support and care, acupuncture can be a valuable tool in helping mothers navigate the transformative journey of childbirth and postpartum recovery. Embrace the healing power of acupuncture and embrace the joys of motherhood with confidence and well-being.

© The Acupuncturists Ltd



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text 2023-03-24 06:02
Using Acupuncture to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory systemic illness affecting the entire human body, but more so the joints. It is classified as an autoimmune disorder, which means the immune system in the body mistakenly starts attacking the body instead of fighting off infections, damaging healthy tissues in the process.

One of the most commonly encountered symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain. People suffering from pain conditions, such as RA-connected joint pain, may find a solution using acupuncture. Acupuncture is not a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but it may provide much-needed relief from joint pain you can rely on.

How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture stimulates a series of points across the body called acupoints. This is done through the use of fine, thin and sterilised needles. They may or may not be located at the place where the symptoms are occurring.

Studies show that most of the acupoint clusters are located near nerves in the body. Whenever a needle is placed, patients will feel soreness and tingling or even electrical sensations as the nerves are getting activated. Needle placement activates the nerve, then sends signals to the spinal cord and the brain, the pain centres of your nervous system. These are activated, releasing the body’s natural pain relief response - endorphins.

What Can It Do?

Studies have shown some evidence pointing toward acupuncture helping patients with chronic pain, one that lasts more than three months and can relieve back pain disability. Acupuncture has also been found to help treat lower back pain and other conditions, such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Acupuncture Treatment and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acupuncture has not been shown to help prevent joint damage, with study data conflicting on whether acupuncture can help control inflammation. Even though there is no definite proof that acupuncture may reduce inflammation, this has been reported occasionally.

Acupuncture may help with RA-related pain, just like it does with other types of pain, by stimulating the production of endorphins. It is a good tool for dealing with pain, with minimal side effects, and can be undertaken alongside medication treatments. Acupuncture must never be used as the single source of treatment for RA but as an additional treatment instead, combined with other medications for RA.

What to Expect at an Acupuncture Appointment

Whether the practitioner is a licensed non-physician acupuncturist or a medical doctor, their credentials must be displayed in their office. When the practitioner places the needles, they may be stimulated electrically or manually, possibly alongside a warming lamp. Acupuncture needles are much thinner than injection hypodermics, so the insertion won’t feel any more painful than a mosquito bite. The patient may feel sore or tingly or feel like an electrical sensation is being released when the needles are being manipulated. The patient may feel a sense of relaxation and calm during treatment.

The patient should communicate any concerns before they undergo treatment and note any possible ways to contact the practitioner if any assistance is needed. Sometimes, the practitioner may leave the room when the needles are placed, allowing the patient time to relax.

Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but it is not a substitute for the actual disease-modifying medical treatments that may be necessary. You should always consult your physician before you start treatments, so you can reach a consensus on whether or not this treatment is a good fit for you.

©The Acupuncturists Ltd

 

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text 2022-12-28 05:08
Using Acupuncture for Stress Relief Treatment

 

 

Stress triggers your body to produce hormones that allow you to handle it. Still, prolonged production of these hormones can have detrimental effects on the body, leading to symptoms like headaches, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, palpitations, and even an increased risk of a heart attack. It may cause your liver to produce too much glucose, leading to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes. It may lead to digestive issues, heartburn, backaches, infertility, libido problems, and decreased immune system efficiency, you name it.

 

What Can You Do?

 

You should care about what stress does to your body. Certain changes in lifestyle and avoiding stressors may be of great help, but you will need to look at things from an entirely new perspective to achieve a measure of success:

 

Diet

 

Stress will often lead us to eat a terrible diet in greater quantities than we would normally, and they will often be foods that affect our mood. This leads us into a downward spiral of abusing food such as sweets and carbs, leading to weight gain, or maybe we’d starve ourselves due to how stressed we feel. This is a great place to start the changes. Try to shop outside your usual grocery store, don’t go to the aisles, but look for fresh food you can enjoy. Turn to vegetables and fruits, lean meats and a balanced diet to serve your needs.

 

Exercise

 

Exercise is an essential step toward dealing with stress. It will help your body flush your stress hormones, producing endorphins instead, replacing them and improving your mood. Many exercises allow you to find relaxation, such as tai chi, yoga and qigong. The exercises must be tailored to your individual needs and will differ at every stage of your life. They are great for anyone on many levels, so you can explore them at any stage, even when you grow older.

 

Meditation

 

Some people lack the patience for meditation, but it can benefit you if you try it out and bear with it. Although we focus on active exercises, some self-reflection and relaxation in a meditative state can help a great deal regarding stress. The brain changes as a result of your meditation practices; it helps you relax and wind down from the stresses of life, providing you with a solid foundation for dealing with stress in general. Many people take antidepressants for help, but you don’t need them in most cases. Meditation can help your brain’s ability to learn and memorise; it improves your attention and concentration, reduces anxiety and may even help with addiction. 

How Acupuncture Helps You Deal With Stress

 

Acupuncture is proven to reduce stress hormone levels in the body, but it also helps the brain release endorphins. It improves circulation in your body, cycling out stress hormones and oxygenating your tissues. As a result, your heart rate will decrease, your blood pressure will lower, and your muscles will relax after a session. In many cases, patients may even fall asleep on the table, waking up without realising where they are. Your body is truly healing only when you’re at rest. The reason acupuncture works so well is that it allows the body to enter a deeply restful state, reducing stress hormones and improving the body’s natural healing abilities, putting the patient in a state that helps recovery. You will find yourself completely relaxed and refreshed after a session.

 

©The Acupuncturists Ltd

 

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text 2022-11-03 08:16
Acupuncture Treatments for Headaches

 

 

Acupuncture works to restore positive energy flow throughout the human body, but it also claims to remove any negative energy causing pain and illness. From the point of view of modern medicine, acupuncture tends to stimulate various areas of the body and may trigger a healing response.

 

Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine, using fine needles inserted into pressure points around the body. The research and opinions on the practice are mixed in the medical community. Some studies believe the practice is a sham, while others believe there is some evidence of the positive influence of acupuncture on the human body. In most cases, the medical community agrees that acupuncture may be used to treat chronic and acute pain in combination with other treatments. It has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) since 1979. 

 

Acupuncture divides the body into pressure points and zones used during treatment. The needles are inserted into different points, depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing. They’re usually near nerves in your body, as the treatment stimulates these areas to release endorphins. That triggers a healing response from your body, with the immune and circulatory systems being used to relieve you of tension headaches and migraines.

 

Acupuncture Risks for Headaches

 

Acupuncture carries little risk when a licensed practitioner does it. You may sometimes experience fatigue, bruising and soreness after an acupuncture appointment, especially if that was your first time getting one. Acupuncture performed with dirty or substandard equipment may become a severe health risk, so the needles must be sterilised at all costs.

 

You need to make sure you have done your homework before you start booking your first appointment, so you can leave it feeling well. Watch the practitioner, and make sure the needles are sterile and new. Ask questions of your acupuncturist and explanations about what they’re doing. A good one will walk you through the steps in the procedure, explaining and making it a safer experience overall.

 

Acupuncture alone may not be sufficient to stop chronic headaches, but it does help a great deal. Migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches may be unpleasant experiences in your daily life, so during flare-ups, you may still need to use pain medication.

 

General Guidelines for Acupuncture

 

There is no special preparation to be had before you go to an acupuncture treatment, but if this is your first time, you may want to ask a few questions. Your practitioner will give you some advice on the number of treatments you can expect and how often you need to get them if you want to experience relief from your problem.

 

Clinical studies showed that cluster headaches could be relieved with a recommended treatment twice weekly for two weeks, followed by a single treatment once a week for eight weeks, and then maintenance treatments once every other week.

 

Some people will not feel the tiny needle pricks when they are poked with the acupuncture needles, while others tend to feel them and may feel uncomfortable. Talk to your practitioner when you visit and discuss any discomfort you may have.

 

When to See a Doctor

 

Acupuncture can’t replace traditional medicine but works well as a supplementary practice. Some headaches may need immediate medical help and should be treated with nothing but acupuncture. Speak to your doctor immediately if you’re feeling nauseous, dizzy, or experiencing loss of vision. 

 

Headaches resulting from a blow to the head that keeps getting worse, unusually severe headaches and so forth needs immediate emergency attention.

 

©The Acupuncturists Ltd

 

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text 2022-08-22 09:53
What to Do and Not Do After an Acupuncture Treatment

 

 

What should patients do after an acupuncture treatment? For starters, they should avoid caffeine, junk food, digital screens, alcohol, difficult exercise, and stressful situations whenever they can. Various other activities should be avoided after an acupuncture treatment, at least for a short time. In some cases, this is for safety reasons, but it may also be done so the procedure's potential benefits can be maximised as a result of this short-lived change in lifestyle. Let's point out the things that should be avoided, this time in greater detail:

 

Avoid Stressful Situations

 

Acupuncture is a relaxation treatment for most clients, so at the very least, they need to avoid going back to a stressful situation, necessitating some lifestyle changes, at least for a short while. Whenever possible, you should book your appointments at a time when you won't have to go back to work. It may also be beneficial if you don't watch TV or check stressful news sources but instead listen to relaxing music, read a book or work on your favourite hobby.

 

Avoid Cold Temperatures

 

After acupuncture, your body will need to be warmed up to get back to normal. You should consider avoiding cold temperatures and avoiding using ice for any topical pain relief.

 

Avoid Digital Screens

 

Regarding relaxation, TV and other digital devices tend to stop the body from relaxing, as you are constantly engaged. You should give yourself at least a couple of hours of rest when you're done with the acupuncture session to wind down and have a good night's sleep. On the night of the acupuncture session, you should read a physical book, listen to music if you need to or lie down and try to relax and sleep.

 

Don't Drive if Lightheaded

 

For safety's sake, you should think about how you feel after the session is complete. Some people feel lightheaded after the procedure, so you should avoid driving if that's the case until you feel better. Have someone pick you up instead.

 

What Should Clients Eat After Acupuncture?

 

Just like you should avoid certain activities, you may also want to be aware of the food and drinks you're consuming. To maximise the potential benefits of the treatment, you should eat healthy, non-processed foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins, such as the following:

 

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Ginger
  • Kidney Beans
  • Herbs such as Thyme, Basil, and Oregano
  • Peppers
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli
  • Green Tea
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Turmeric
  • Pecans
  • Artichoke

 

What Clients Should Not Eat After Acupuncture

 

Just like there are foods you should eat, there are also foods and drinks you must avoid after acupuncture, ensuring your rate of recovery and improvement works out for the best:

 

  • Junk food and fast food in general
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Refined sugars

 

Should Clients Rest After Acupuncture?

 

Though you don't need to sleep for days on end or get confined at home, you should still take it easy for a couple of days once the procedure is over so that you can reap the most benefits. What's more, you will find that rest will help restore your physical and emotional wellbeing.

 

What Clients SHOULD Do After Acupuncture

 

So, to summarise things:

 

  • Rest
  • Eat well and drink plenty of water.
  • Be aware of their benefits, side effects, and general experience, as this feedback may be useful to you as their practitioner.
  • Keep warm and use heat for pain relief where necessary.
  • Consider other interventions to maximise outcomes.
  • Take it easy and avoid strenuous exercise.

 

©The Acupuncturists Ltd

 

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