What is Acupuncture?Nutritional Supplementation and Pregnancy
Acupuncture is a therapy, originally developed in China over several thousand years, in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body.
The choice of where to put the needles is determined by the style of acupuncture that is practised. In Britain, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Medical Acupuncture and Five Element Acupuncture are commonly practised. At this clinic we use TCM Acupuncture. This is the form of traditional medicine commonplace in modern day China and has developed over 5000 years. TCM represents about 8% of all the medicine used in the world today. To find out more about the theory of TCM click here
.Acupuncture and pregnancy
Acupuncture treatment is ideally suited to pregnancy. Where there is obvious concern about the effects of drugs on an unborn baby, acupuncture treatment can be used safely to resolve a range of difficult and depleting conditions associated with pregnancy such as morning sickness, insomnia, back pain, pelvic girdle pain and headaches. Other painful conditions associated with the physical strain of pregnancy and the inevitable changes caused by it can be gently treated without having to resort to physical manipulation or drugs such as anti inflammatories.
We also provide routine pre-birth treatments at Pregnancy and Baby Acupuncture. These treatments may help you have an easier birth. Through softening the cervix, clinical studies suggest that pre-birth acupuncture can shorten your labour time and reduce the incidence of complications. Similarly, acupuncture induction may help to avoid the necessity of medical induction.
We treat a wide range of conditions both in pregnancy and after the birth. These include morning sickness, backache, insomnia, haemorrhoids, anaemia, pelvic girdle pain, breech presentation, exhaustion, insufficient lactation, mastitis and postnatal depression. To find out more about acupuncture treatment of these conditions click here Acupuncture and Babies
Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for babies. The style of acupuncture that is used is different from adult acupuncture. Treatments are brief and discomfort is minimised. Acupuncture is an option for a range of common complaints including colic, fever, bronchitis and glue ear (otitis media).
Treating a problem early in a baby or child potentially prevents more stubborn difficulties later in life.
Because of the practicalities of treating babies, we do not perform acupuncture in the group setting but in our other clinics. Please talk to George or Katherine about treatment.Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is generally very safe. Serious side effects of acupuncture are very rare, another reason why acupuncture treatment is so appropriate for pregnant women and babies.
Additionally, only single use, sterile disposable needles are used in the clinic. The needles are also extremely fine (0.2mm wide!) and so most people experience minimal discomfort.
Pregnancy, Posture and Exercise
As a general rule, none of us should need to take nutritional supplements. We should be getting all the nutrients that we need for healthy and vibrant day to day living from the food that we eat. It is widely recognised that this is not the case for most of the population of Britain. Whether we eat too much processed food, not enough fresh local fruit and veg or too much factory farmed meat, our diets are largely nutritionally deficient.
Pregnancy throws up unique and particular nutritional demands. For the pregnant women, blood volume increases, she needs more iron, B vitamins and protein. The developing baby needs more of everything! In addition, modern research shows that developing babies respond well to good doses of folic acid, vitamin D and omega 3 essential fats.
For these reasons, we are in favour of pregnant women taking a good iron and B vitamin supplement a good fish oil supplement (with the vitamin A taken out) and a good ante-natal supplement with the right dose of folic acid and minerals. This is consistent with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE – www.nice.org.uk) guidelines
Supplements can be expensive, especially the good ones. To help with this, we offer the range of supplements relevant to pregnancy at significant and permanently discounted prices. The brands that we use are very high quality. These are the only supplements that we sell.
Please ask if you are interested in these supplements.
Pregnancy and Herbal Medicine
The way that pregnant women sit, and their posture, can affect the position of the foetus in the uterus. This in its turn can determine how easy labour and childbirth can be. Simple advice around Optimal Foetal Positioning can maximise the chance of your baby being in the best possible position when you go into labour. To find this Optimal Foetal Positioning advice click here
Depending on your particular needs, we can give you specific other exercise and postural advice when you visit us in the clinic.
There are in Bristol a number of good ante-natal yoga classes. Click here for contacts of these teachers
Herbal medicine is widely used in pregnancy throughout the world. In China, this is the case, and herbs are safely taken by a large number of pregnant women. A huge number of herbs are considered safe for use in pregnancy in China and problems, when they do occur, arise through misdiagnosis or contamination of the herb supply.
In certain cases, such as extreme morning sickness (hyperemesis), in conjunction with close supervision by your primary carers, you may wish to use herbal medicine. George is experienced with using herbs in pregnancy. He is a member of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) and bound by their code of practice and indemnity insurance. All of George’s herbs are sourced from a high quality, Taiwanese supplier who conforms to Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) and laboratory testing to avoid contamination (www.herbprime.com). The same supplier is RCHM approved.
All of the herbs that are used in pregnancy comply with Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stipulations.
© George Cooper/Katherine Allen 2008