Pregnancy can be one of the most joyful times in a woman’s life and in fact some women feel it’s the best they have ever felt in their lives during this time. Unfortunately, for others it is not always the case. A multitude of symptoms and complications can arise during pregnancy and childbirth causing discomfort, and sometimes affecting the mother’s health, the baby’s health, or both. Pregnancy symptoms vary widely including nausea, vomiting, allergies, water retention, back pain, hip pain, and preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure). Due to the sensitive nature of pregnancy and the contraindication of most drugs there is very little that conventional medicine offers a suffering pregnant patient. Chinese medical therapies such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional therapy are effective treatments that offer expectant mothers a drug-free alternative in alleviating the variety of symptoms encountered during pregnancy.
I received weekly treatments during my pregnancy to help with heartburn issues, sciatic pain in my back and legs, and general discomfort. Also nausea… we treated a lot of nausea. Since I started treatment my conditions improved greatly. — Angela
How We Successfully Treat Pregnancy Related Symptoms
Chinese medicine has been used for centuries to help women throughout their pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum period to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby. This is a unique period of time when a woman goes through major physiological and emotional changes in a short period of time, therefore support is much needed.
Here are some of the pregnancy symptoms that we have relieved successfully at the Tao of Wellness:
- Nausea, vomiting, heartburn
- Breech presentation
- Back pain, sciatica, hip pain
- Post-term pregnancy
- Depression, anxiety, stress
- Constipation, hemorrhoids
- Gestational diabetes
- Allergies, sinusitis
- Colds, flus
- Placenta previa
- Threatened miscarriage
- Abnormal bleeding
- Varicose veins
Acupuncture is an ideal treatment for expectant mothers because it is safe, effective and non-invasive. Acupuncture has been shown to help alleviate a wide spectrum of pregnancy-related symptoms, especially digestive, pain, and stress disorders, in addition to breech presentation.
Even if you are not experiencing any pregnancy issues, acupuncture and Chinese herbal and nutritional therapies can help to maintain a healthy pregnancy benefiting both mother and baby. In Chinese medicine, prevention is always the goal and many problems can be solved more easily when they are small, if not avoided altogether. Any Chinese medical therapy can be utilized through all stages of pregnancy. Traditionally during the first trimester Chinese medical therapy is especially helpful for threatened miscarriage, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches and abnormal bleeding. During the second trimester some of the symptoms we treat may include acid reflux, back pain, and hip pain. In the third trimester, as the expectant mother’s body expands further to accommodate the growing baby, the symptoms usually targeted include fatigue, water retention, body aches, and nausea. Additionally, acupuncture during the third trimester helps to relax the uterus, calm the mind, soften the cervix, and help the baby get into the right position for a smooth labor and delivery.
Tao of Wellness is an integrative health clinic that collaborates with your obstetrician, gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist, or anyone else on your healing team. On your first visit to Tao of Wellness you’ll meet one of our doctors for an initial consultation. We’ll discuss your symptoms during your current pregnancy but we’ll also want to understand your medical history, including the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of your life prior to pregnancy. We will then devise a treatment plan specifically catering to your body’s needs. In Chinese medicine, we recognize that every woman is different. Therefore, every pregnancy and every treatment plan will be different too. After all your questions are answered your therapies will begin.
My pregnancy was a high-risk pregnancy and I seemed to have a lot of challenges, one of them being pre-term labor. That got pretty scary for me towards the end. With the herbal medicine, I was able to go full-term along with bed rest. Whatever issues came about, they always had some kind of solution for me. — Liliana
Our Customized Therapies for Overcoming Pregnancy Related Symptoms
Custom Treatment Program
The uniqueness of Chinese medicine is that there truly is no one-size-fits-all treatment for everyone. If you were to come in struggling with nausea, for example, we would take into account your medical history, health condition, and lifestyle prior to pregnancy to determine how to treat your unique nausea experience. Chinese medical treatments are always personalized. After your consultation, we will devise a custom treatment plan, which may involve acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional therapy. Pregnancy tuina bodywork, mind body exercise, and InfiniChi Energy Therapy may also be recommended.
There are therapeutic points all over the body that can aid in pregnancy support and alleviate pregnancy related symptoms. You may receive acupuncture on your ears, arms, legs, back, or chest. During acupuncture sessions, your brain secrets endorphins and serotonin which help to calm your mind and relax your body. Generally, the treatment plan during pregnancy is acupuncture once a week for the first trimester. However, with severe nausea and vomiting we may see patients 3 times a week until relief is attained, then once a week again during the third trimester to get your body prepared for birth. Learn more about acupuncture.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbs are extremely helpful in treating certain pregnancy symptoms and complications. For example, in treating nausea and digestive disorders during pregnancy, herbs like Chinese basil and cardamom are often used. The herb chrisanthemum blossom is used to help stabilize high blood pressure induced by pregnancy. Herbs in general need to be used with extra caution during pregnancy. When prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional, Chinese herbs are safe to use during pregnancy. A custom herbal formulation will be prescribed according to your specific condition and needs. Learn more about Chinese herbal medicine.
Consuming quality nutrition is pivotal during pregnancy because what you eat not only affects your health, but also sets the foundation for your baby’s health. At Tao of Wellness, our doctors can offer guidance on the type of foods to consume during this time to help your pregnancy stay on a good course.
Every patient receives nutritional guidance on her first visit but a nutritional consultation goes much further to understand your likes, dislikes, and eating habits so we can provide a comprehensive and customized menu, complete with patient-specific meals and snacks for an entire week. In fact, a consultation is highly recommended for specific conditions like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.
Supplementation can be crucial during pregnancy and your Tao of Wellness doctor will advise a specific supplementation plan for you. Folate, iron, prenatal vitamins, and fish oil are almost always recommended to support a healthy pregnancy. And certain people may require other help such as ginger drops for nausea, licorice for heartburn, bromelain for pain, and much more. Learn more about nutritional therapy.
The doctors at Tao of Wellness are especially trained to provide tuina, Chinese medical bodywork, to expectant mothers at any phase of pregnancy. Acupressure, cupping, and other techniques can become crucial for certain patients who wish to quickly overcome water retention, back and hip pain, fatigue, or headaches. Learn more about tuina.
Mind Body Exercise
Tai chi and qi gong encompass an entire world of moving exercises and still meditations. Our offices offer Prenatal Qigong which is designed for before, during, and after pregnancy. It can help in relaxing the body and mind to prepare for labor and delivery. As well, high blood pressure and body aches can be reduced when mind body practices are incorporated into the daily life. Tao of Wellness offers certified instructors among our doctors who will recommend the appropriate practice for you. Learn more about tai chi & qi gong.
InfiniChi Energy Therapy
The body is a network of much more than just flesh and bones. The lights, sounds, colors, and senses that make up our unique person from head to toe become more apparent during the magical time of pregnancy where one body becomes two. InfiniChi is Chinese medical energy work in the Tao of Wellness tradition. Your certified practitioner will work with you to address the physical or mental issues at hand while providing a primarily non-touch therapy that easily supplements your other treatment regimens. You’ll have an opportunity to discuss changes made after the treatment and will likely receive instructions on meditation or visualization to practice at home to ensure the treatment is optimally integrated into your pregnancy and your life. Learn more about InfiniChi.
Natural Healthcare for Pregnancy
Tao of Wellness was established in 1976 as a resource to address pregnancy care. We strive to support you in mind and body, and invite you to make an appointment for your health and wellbeing. It would be our pleasure to serve you.