Heat is an essential component of the therapeutic recommendations of Chinese Medicine. In order for our bodies to function optimally, we need warmth and proper circulation. Without it, cold sets in and circulation becomes sluggish. Whenever I meet a patient with signs of internal cold, I recommend a variety of ways they can build heat (also called yang energy) to feel better. Read more
Posts Tagged: Low Back Pain
Have you ever wondered what the research says about acupuncture for issues during pregnancy like back pain, anxiety, morning sickness or moxibustion for turning a breech baby? And what about safety- is there any research on this?
With so much information at your fingertips, it can be really overwhelming to tell what is based on good research or expert opinion, and what is misinformation or the casual opinion of a social media influencer. I’ve created a free guide to help you cut through all the noise and give solid, research backed information about each topic. I hope this will save you time and aggravation, and help you feel clear and purposeful in the decisions you make for yourself during pregnancy. Read more
Cupping is a technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that’s exploded in popularity in recent years. Many people remember seeing Michael Phelps with purple circles on his back and shoulders during the 2016 Summer Olympics, and since then scores of athletes (from professional to weekend warriors) have been “spotted” with the cupping marks. Read more
In my practice, I see a lot of women who are experiencing either sciatica or lower back pain in pregnancy. It’s a very common condition, and it’s actually one of my favorite things to treat using acupuncture because it works so well! Acupuncture can help you to take the focus off of being in pain, and instead enjoy the last few months of pregnancy while gathering your strength for the birth.
Sciatica refers to pain which is usually in the glute and to some extent radiating down the back of the leg. Read more
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). I also focus on getting the baby into the optimal position, if not already there.
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 utilize 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? Choose your hospital based on its maternity procedure statistics. In New York State, they are found on the Department of Health’s website here.