Pregnancy on its own is already a period of extreme discomfort within one’s life. The pregnant body undergoes many extreme, almost sudden changes; it’s now tasked with the responsibility of not only carrying, but protecting and nourishing another human being. Now keeping that in mind, getting stuck with what seems like thousands of needles probably seems like that last thing you’d want to do -- but science may make you want to think otherwise. There is an abundance of scientific research behind the art of pregnancy acupuncture, and a lot of it favors the healing art. More and more pregnant mothers are also turning to pregnancy acupuncture, in hopes of relieving many of the side effects caused by pregnancy.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art that originated some millenniums ago. In traditional Chinese medicine, the body is viewed as two opposing forces, better known as Yin and Yang. When there is an imbalance within your Yin and Yang, it blocks what is referred to as Qi (pronounced CHEE). Qi is the flow of vital energy along one’s internal pathways or channels, known as meridians. During acupuncture, a practitioner will insert ultra-thin, sterile needles through the patient’s skin at specific points along these meridians. This practice is said to help restore correct the imbalances within one’s Qi, and help to restore one’s health.
One may be a bit wary when considering the practice of acupuncture for pain relief and health restoration, especially during pregnancy. With that being said, there is quite a bit of science that backs up pregnancy acupuncture. Researchers have come to find that the acupuncture points directly correspond to various deep-seated nerves. When the needles are twirled or electrically stimulated (known as electropuncture), these nerves are stimulated. This causes your brain to produce and release various brain chemicals, including endorphins, which block pain signals, in turn helping to relieve a number of pregnancy symptoms and conditions. These include sciatica, carpal tunnel, heartburn, swelling, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and many others.
Acupuncture treatment is also sometimes sought out in hopes of increasing one’s fertility. This is sometimes referred to as fertility acupuncture. In regards to increasing fertility through fertility acupuncture, the scientific evidence becomes a bit sparse. There currently isn’t any conclusive evidence supporting the claim that fertility acupuncture is a viable means of fertility treatment.
Now, as with just about any form of medicine, pregnancy acupuncture and fertility acupuncture come with their fair share of risks. These risks are low, if your practitioner is competent and certified. That being said, the improper practice of acupuncture can cause various side effects and complications. These include but aren’t limited to include soreness, bleeding, bruising, and in rare and more extreme cases, a pneumothorax, or even a miscarriage. All in all, it’s always suggested that you consult with your physician before visiting an Acupuncturist.
In conclusion, acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art that’s on the rise and becoming a popular treatment for the various side effects that pregnancy can cause. Although it seems to be more of a spiritual and artistic practice at first glance, there is science that helps to back it up. The healing art does come with its fair share of risks, but with the right practitioner, the art seems to have a fair share of benefits to reap.