When a woman finds out that she is pregnant, it can be the happiest time in her life. After all, she’ll be bringing new life into the world. Motherly instincts kick into full force and she wants to do everything possible to protect and nourish the growing baby inside of her. Her body is changing to help support the pregnancy, though; nausea and pain that can make it difficult to really relish in the new joy.
Acupuncture and massage can really help with the uncomfortable parts of pregnancy. They allow a mother to safely receive care while knowing that her baby won’t be harmed by chemically induced side effects.
Acupuncture has provided woman with supportive care during pregnancy for thousands of years. Now we have scientific and technological advancements, and the research to back it up. Acupuncture can actually help early pregnancy nausea by easing the queasy feeling in the stomach and decreasing the urge to vomit. This allows the new mom to go about her day normally without feeling scared that there might not be a washroom around in case she feels sick. Still, the most common concern women experience throughout all three trimesters is pain including headaches, back pain, hip pain, pelvic pain, and sciatica. This can take its toil on a woman! Acupuncture naturally encourages the body to release pain killing endorphins, allowing her to feel better while keeping the baby safe from side effects that pain medications can cause.
Massage has always been known to help with pain management and it is especially true when pregnant women are suffering with pain. Many get tight sore muscles because of the changes that are occurring to their bodies. Massage can release muscle tension by softening and lengthen the muscles. Like acupuncture, massage also has the ability to help the body release endorphins, improving painful symptoms naturally and effectively.
Massage and acupuncture are great as pre-birth treatments. They prepare a woman’s body for labour; they also decrease labour duration and increase hormones that naturally help the body to have an efficient and less painful delivery.
Acupuncture and Massage – After Baby Arrives
As soon as the new baby makes his or her appearance, life gets busy and Mama often forgets about herself. Acupuncture and massage can aid with in some women who have just given birth include lactation problems, mastitis, and post natal depression. With lactation issues, the two can help the body to naturally increase milk production so proper nourishment is provided for the baby. Mastitis is another common breast feeding issue and can occur within the first two months. If untreated, it can become very inflamed and painful. Acupuncture and massage can ease this pain by decreasing inflammation, unblocking milk ducts and promoting smooth milk flow from the breasts.
Acupuncture and massage can also help women with symptoms of postnatal depression. Stress and anxiety are primary symptoms in woman suffering with postnatal depression and acupuncture has been proven to help release feel-good hormones from the central nervous system, increasing the ability to cope. Using alternative medicine such as acupuncture and massage can help mothers become happy and healthy so that they can provide the best possible care to their kids.
Acupuncture and Massage for Children, Too
Acupuncture and massage may not be the first line of defense parents tend to think about when their child is sick, but both provide a natural, safe, and effective treatment option for children suffering with gas, colic, fever, or ear infections.
A colicky baby can be very trying for parents, and even though there is much debate on why babies develop colic including digestion upset, food allergens, and household anxiety, acupuncture and massage can help calm the painful abdominal symptoms.
Gas is another uncomfortable symptom for babies but both therapies can ease the spasms and pain experienced by babies with gas.
When a child experiences fever from an infection it can be scary for parents but both acupuncture and massage have been known to positively affect the immune response of children so that they can quickly feel better again.
Children are extremely receptive to acupuncture and massage, often needing fewer treatments with shorter duration than adults. When it comes to kids and needles, it can be scary, but there are other acupuncture techniques that don’t require the use of needles and can be just as effective in reliving the symptoms. It is important that ailments are treated early in life so that they can heal properly and to make sure that they don’t lead to bigger problems in the long run.
Maintaining a relationship with your midwife or OB/GYN is an important part of health care and can work really well in combination with acupuncture and massage.
Cecil Horwitz, RAc, DAc, CH is known for his expertise in preventing miscarriages, and treating a broad range of pregnancy-related issues. He is an acupuncturist who helps women achieve their health goals at all stages of life. Cecil is a clinical supervisor at MacEwan University’s student teaching clinic, and has completed postgraduate training in acupuncture obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive. He has also received certification in obstetrical acupuncture and acupressure. For more information, visit www.wholefamilyhealth.ca, www.pregnancyhealth.ca or call 780-756-7736.