Chinese medicine is the oldest continuous recorded medical system. It is not about labelling the disease but rather categorising the pattern of symptoms and signs, which are manifested by the patient under certain circumstances. The diagnosis is made by gaining the information from the pulse quality, abdomen findings, tongue appearance, skin tone etc.
Nowadays Chinese Medicine in the West is often viewed as a complimentary approach to the prevailing orthodox medical system. For example, IVF procedures are well supported by acupuncture treatments and herbal medicine in many fertility clinics. The main principle of Chinese medicine, when it comes to treating infertility, is to place the emphasis on balancing the various organ systems so the body is in tip-top condition for conception and child bearing.
The use of hormones during assisted conception may lead to unwanted side effects and result in decreased energy levels, mood changes, headache, digestive and sleeping issues. Acupuncture can help to support the body and relieve some discomfort during this time. It is worth to mention that there are numerous cases of successful pregnancies followed by a course of acupuncture treatments alone.
Acupuncture is becoming an increasingly popular treatment modality in private acupuncture
practices and hospitals for pregnancy-related conditions. It offers drug-free relief for a multitude of
problems that can arise during pregnancy and childbirth. For example, treating morning sickness,
sciatica and symphysis pubis pain with acupuncture can significantly improve a pregnant woman’s
quality of life.
- Morning sickness
- High/low blood pressure
- Tender breasts
- Migraine and other headaches
- Back ache
- Pelvic pain (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)
- Varicose veins
Pre-birth acupuncture can enhance the prospects of an efficient labour and can make a great difference to the levels of pain experienced during labour. Midwifes have reported that acupuncture can be effective in treating pre-pregnancy induced hypertension and posterior presentation, can also help in labour induction to allow women to achieve natural birth.
Acupuncture can be used to help to induce labour in overdue pregnancies. It should only be used for induction when the mother has passed her due date, and then only with the consent of the obstetric team in charge of the birth. This ensures that all medical factors are taken into account and that the appropriate facilities are in place if the treatment is successful in encouraging the natural process to start. Acupuncture treatment can occasionally have a very rapid effect, but generally speaking it may take at least a few days to work.
Following the birth of a child a woman’s body usually has to deal with various issues: pregnancy induced water retention, stress from life style changes, hormonal fluctuations, possible breastfeeding complications, fatigue and postnatal depression. It is worth to mention that women are also physiologically affected by not being able to get back to pre-pregnancy body shape fast enough.
Acupuncture can be extremely beneficial in dealing with symptoms of postpartum depression. Many of the emotional symptoms can be improved by bringing the natural hormones into balance. With acupuncture treatments this could be done faster. It has also been suggested that acupuncture treatments can prevent the onset of postpartum depression.