Chinese Medicine understands that sustaining womb wellness gives understanding to a more entire system wellness.
Womb wellness is working to support regular menstrual cycles, ovulation, good menstrual bleeds, sustain a balance in our hormonal ebb and flow and enable our connection to the flux in cycle from month to month.
Good womb health is fundamental to giving new life and laying foundation to a good transition into menopause.
A couple’s fertility depends on many factors, such as constitution, age, lifestyle, diet and stress levels. If there is no diagnosed reason for infertility (male or female) acupuncture aims to strengthen both partners’ constitution and create a harmonious environment for conception. Your acupuncturist will also have a close look at your diet and lifestyle and may make individual suggestions on ways to improve them.
If there is a known reason for infertility, acupuncture can also be used, sometimes in conjunction with medical interventions. Please give your nearest practitioner a call to discuss your treatment options.
Acupuncture can be used as a support for all stages of IUI, IVF and ICSI treatment. Among other things, it could help minimize side effects of drugs, such as nausea.
The Acupuncture for Childbirth Team can offer a pre and post embryo transfer treatment at a set fee. A meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that acupuncture given at the time of embryo transfer might have a positive influence on treatment outcomes.
Acupuncture treatment during pregnancy, and particularly during times when symptoms are experienced, aims to smooth the flow of energy, to promote general well being and can be effective for pregnancy-related symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Towards the end of pregnancy and past the due date, acupuncture is often used to encourage the natural process of labour.
Towards the later stages of pregnancy, more regular, weekly treatments can be given to harmonise the mother's energy and to focus on the process of labour.
In China, where acupuncture originated, moxibustion (the smouldering of the herb artemisia vulgaris latiflora) has traditionally been used to encourage the baby to turn into a head-down position for labour.
Women often come to see us near or past their due date to receive acupuncture treatment to balance their energy and encourage the natural onset of labour, prior to a chemical induction.
For any queries on how we may support you during your pregnancy, please contact us for individual advice.
Traditional acupuncturists believe that labour should be a natural process in which the progression is directed by the flow of energy in the mother’s body. Ideally labour should move smoothly from one stage to another. This does not mean that the labour is painless, but that the contractions are efficient, so that the mother does not become exhausted and can remain calm and in control. We believe that the woman in labour should enter a state in which she can focus totally on what is happening in her body, supported by birth attendants and free from distractions.
Acupuncture in labour also works towards this ideal. In the early stages of labour, the insertion of needles and massage of acupuncture points can be used to smooth the flow of energy to support the efficiency of contractions. Acupuncture can also be used during the transition between the first and second stages of labour.
Once the baby has been born, acupuncture can be used to assist the physiological third stage.
Treatment in labour often requires that a few needles are inserted into points, and then left in place. Common sites include the ear, the lower back and the hands and feet. Deep massage of energy pathways or acupuncture points may also be used to help smooth the flow of energy and support the mother during contractions. An additional role of the acupuncturist is to encourage the mother to stay in a focused and calm state throughout the labour. Acupuncture treatment in labour can be used in conjunction with conventional methods of pain relief and will often complement their effectiveness. The British Acupuncture Council has compiled a fact sheet on acupuncture in childbirth for your information.
Practitioners who attend labours have a little icon near their name on the practitioner list. They have been attending hospital and home births since the group was established in 2000.
Chinese medicine emphasises that the post-natal period (approximately the first 40 days after birth) is a time when it is essential that the mother conserves her energy and regains her lost reserves. Without proper care during this time, the risk of poor milk supply, prolonged depression and exhaustion may be increased. The ancient Chinese counselled that during this post-natal period the mother should stay at home and be attended by family, so that she could concentrate on the baby and herself! Although this level of support is not likely to be available nowadays, acupuncture and herbal treatment can help in this important period to balance body and mind and improve wellbeing.
Post-natal treatment commonly involves the smouldering of the herb moxa (artemisia vulgaris latiflora) in addition to needles. Moxa is believed to be very nourishing to the mother, particularly in her abdominal area. The use of moxa can be taught to friends or family, so that the treatment can be continued at home. The ancient Chinese referred to this practice as ‘mother warming’.
We are the Acupuncture for Childbirth Team. We are a community of practitioners who are passionate about supporting women in womb health, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and post partum care.
Some of us hold specific interest in particular areas of care for women. Please read more about how we work to find out who would be a best fit for you. If you feel you would like some guidance, get in touch. We would love to hear from you.