Many women who are newly pregnant ask me whether acupuncture is safe during pregnancy- specifically during the first trimester. They really want to try or continue acupuncture for a variety of reasons, but are quite mindful of avoiding anything that could put the pregnancy at risk. I can say it is safe without hesitation, not only from my nearly 10 years in practice but from all the years of experience of my teachers and mentors. However I completely understand that women, their doctors and midwives want more than just anecdotal evidence. So without further ado- here are the studies which I feel should put your mind at ease. Read more
Posts Categorized: Acupuncture
Over the years I’ve gotten many calls from frantic women (and sometimes their husbands) who are 40 or 41 weeks pregnant, some who are even scheduled for medical induction in a matter of hours. They all want to know- can Acupuncture help you go into labor in order to avoid induction? The answer is yes… and no. Read on, I’ll explain.
The ideal situation is when a woman comes for regular acupuncture (1-2 times a week) beginning at week 36. I call this “Labor Preparation Acupuncture”. I have a few goals with these sessions:
- To help with any pregnancy related discomforts such as low back or hip pain, insomnia or swelling.
- To use acupuncture points which get the woman mentally and emotionally relaxed and in a place where she feels ready and optimistic about giving birth.
- To stimulate acupoints which aid in relaxing and opening the pelvic region as well as influence cervical ripening (dilation and effacement).
In my experience, women who follow this schedule tend to go into labor more or less on time (and avoid needing a medical induction) and have shorter labors with fewer complications. Acupuncture treatments gently and gradually send your body a message to get ready for labor. Your body is doing this all on its own, but acupuncture helps it happen more seamlessly and helps you to feel more relaxed and ready when the time comes. And YES being mentally relaxed has a HUGE and very real effect on the progress of labor (see this book for more information).
But what about those women who were mere hours away from being induced- can acupuncture help them? I’ve certainly had many cases where I’ve been able to use acupuncture at the last minute to help women go into labor- it’s powerful stuff! However I’ve seen much greater success, by far, with 3-4 weeks of regular sessions leading up to the due date. Rome wasn’t built in a day my friends, and acupuncture is not the same thing as Pitocin. Thankfully!
I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage all women to get a birth doula as well as a postpartum doula. Read more about doulas and what they do here and here. And, the best way to avoid unnecessary interventions in labor (such as c-sections and episiotomies) or to achieve a VBAC is to choose your hospital based on its maternity procedure statistics. In New York State, they are found on the Department of Health’s website here.
Auricular Acupuncture (acupuncture performed on the ear) has an incredibly fascinating history, much of it coming not from China but from right here in New York! But first- you’re probably asking “Wait so ear acupuncture is a thing?” Yes. If you’re a patient of mine you’ve likely had a lot of it. So first, I’ll tell you a little about why I use ear acupuncture, and why you might want it. Read more
I am pleased to announce that NY Chi Acupuncture is now a participating, in-network provider with Blue Cross Blue Shield. More and more insurance policies are covering acupuncture as its recognition as a safe and effective treatment modality expands. The office is conveniently located in midtown east between Bryant Park and Grand Central Station.
If you would like us to check on whether your BCBS policy covers acupuncture, please contact us by phone at 917-546-4637 or fill out the contact form at the right side of the Appointments page here with your name, insurance ID number, date of birth and the provider services phone number listed on your insurance card. Most of the time we are able to verify benefits within 24-48 hours.
Some types of Blue Cross Blue Shield plans we accept are: HMO, PPO, EPO and Direct POS.
For all other types of insurance such as Aetna, United Healthcare and Cigna we are out of network but do electronically submit claims on your behalf.
Each insurance plan is different- some cover acupuncture at 100% with no restrictions, some limit the conditions for which acupuncture is covered or only allow a set number of visits per year, and others do not cover acupuncture at all. If your plan currently doesn’t cover acupuncture, let your HR department know!
What is PCOS?
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It’s an endocrine (hormonal) disorder characterized by infrequent or absent periods, multiple cysts on the ovaries, obesity and high levels of androgens (such as testosterone and DHEA-S), which leads to excess facial and body hair, hair thinning or male pattern baldness and acne. Many PCOS patients have insulin resistance, which means that your body isn’t able to properly absorb and process sugars and other carbohydrates. Other complications include type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, depression and difficulty becoming pregnant. Read more