Pregnancy is an exciting and joyous part of a woman’s life but the huge emotional and physical changes her body is undergoing can lead to several uncomfortable symptoms. There is little relief that Western medicine can offer for these pregnancy symptoms and a lot of pregnant women are not too keen in ingesting drugs that may have harmful effects on their baby. One very good modality they can try is traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. This Eastern type of treatment has a very long history of treating pregnancy and postpartum problems. The TCM procedure often chosen for this is acupuncture. Acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for discomforts and pain during pregnancy. Furthermore, it can be an ideal compliment to obstetrical care, doula and midwifery.

TCM is an alternative and holistic type of treatment that addresses the underlying cause of a disease or dysfunction. It has been practiced for more than 4,000 years and is indeed one of the oldest and most commonly used forms of medicine in the world. TCM believes that good health comes from the unfettered flow of vital energy or Qi and proper balance in the body. There can be a number of factors that can disturb this balance among which are stress, extreme emotions, lack of exercise, poor diet, environmental changes and also physiological changes due to pregnancy. Acupuncture is a procedure that involves the insertion of thin needles into acupunctures points on the body. This procedure relieves maladies, and brings back balance in the body.

Recent medical studies have demonstrated that acupuncture’s stress and pain relieving effects can be attributed through its ability to release endorphins which are the body’s own natural painkillers.

Some of the pregnancy-related conditions that acupuncture can safely treat include:

-Overdue pregnancies

-Cervical ripening to prepare for delivery

-Breech presentations

-Premature labor

-Sciatica and back pain

-Anxiety and insomnia

-Threatened miscarriage

-Vomiting and nausea

Under the hands and expertise of a qualified and experienced TCM practitioner or acupuncturist, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture offer pregnant women a safe and gentle way to support the body during pregnancy. It does not only help treat the many typical symptoms of pregnancy and prevent complications and illness, it can also boost your sense of well being and overall health during this happy occasion.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness Center in Central Florida.