By Jackie Bensinger, L.Ac.:
New patients often will call wanting to know if acupuncture is safe to receive while they are pregnant. Absolutely. When acupuncture is administered by a licensed practitioner, it is more than safe. Acupuncture actually assists in creating a healthy, more comfortable pregnancy. From the first trimester symptoms to preparing for labor and delivery, acupuncture relaxes the body, mind and spirit, decreases inflammation, and boosts the immune system. These benefits give your baby a more peaceful and nourished start.
Pregnant patients frequently want relief from numerous conditions, including morning sickness, low back pain, fatigue, heartburn, anxiety, insomnia, edema, stress, constipation, placenta previa and breech position. During pregnancy, acupuncture generally is very effective at treating these common conditions and even more complex imbalances such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and previous miscarriages at any stage. Especially during the trying-to-conceive period, pregnancy and lactation, it is essential to focus on proper nutrition, appropriate exercise and employing the most natural medical solutions.
In cases of couples who have tried unsuccessfully to conceive with unprotected intercourse for more than one year, there is an imbalance in the female or male that causes infertility. Infertility can be a complicated issue to diagnose and address for both western and eastern medicine. In most cases infertility, including consecutive miscarriages, can be treated effectively with either Chinese medicine, western medicine or a combination of both. Whether the couple comes to acupuncture after they have seen a reproductive endocrinologist or prior to it, specific tests are necessary. For men, a semen analysis is crucial to determine particular qualities of the sperm, which can affect fertilization. For the female, the day three hormone levels test and often more tests and/or procedures are required to conclude the cause of inability to conceive or to maintain the pregnancy. Chinese herbal medicine frequently is prescribed in conjunction with acupuncture for a three-month protocol. In addition, acupuncture is administered just prior to and after IVF for the best results.
Nearly one third of female patients I have treated for infertility have conceived after treating them to get healthy first. From the beginning, we take an in-depth look at diet, lifestyle, and medical history of both the female and the male. A few of the conditions treated for “Healthy First” are previous miscarriages, anxiety, digestive and bowel issues, inability to relax, stress, allergies and migraine headaches. The women got pregnant when the condition was resolved even without employing a fertility acupuncture or herbal protocol. It is important to note that the emotional component of any physical issue can block a healthy state of being. This is particularly the case in infertility cases with women who have had previous miscarriages and the natural grieving process has not been addressed.
Inducing labor with acupuncture is a procedure used when the woman is due or overdue and in conjunction with the appropriate timing of the natural beginning stages of labor contractions. Acupressure on certain points, which is an opportunity for the father to assist in completing this magnificent process, also can be effective. Acupuncture is a highly effective tool for assisting with conception, managing numerous pregnancy symptoms and assisting with labor. For more information, call Jackie Bensinger, L.Ac. at (858)505-9444 or at www.vibrationalhealingarts.net.