The benefits of incorporating acupuncture into a holistic treatment plan for boosting fertility are well-known. Many Western physicians refer patients who are undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization) to acupuncturists to help improve the chances for successful fertilization. What is less well-known in the West, though, is the strong role that acupuncture can play in promoting and supporting a healthy pregnancy. In fact, acupuncture can dramatically reduce the risks for early miscarriage.
What Causes Miscarriage?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, between 10 and 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. The vast majority of these are early miscarriages, occurring during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Although miscarriages can have many causes, among the most common are hormonal imbalances, maternal health issues, and lifestyle factors.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the process of inserting thin, small, disposable needles under the skin. According to Eastern thought, qi is the life force or essential energy present in all living things. It is believed that the flow of qi gets blocked by illnesses, stress, and the challenges of daily life. Acupuncture helps to unblock that flow, allowing your body to heal and strengthen itself.
Western medicine views acupuncture somewhat differently. Western studies show that acupuncture has a dramatic effect on the central nervous system, stimulating changes in the brain chemistry that promote healing. In addition, the needles cause microtraumas that induce the body’s natural healing responses. While the complex interactions are not yet fully understood, acupuncture has shown enough success in clinical research trials that its use in treating a myriad of conditions is approved by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).
How Can Acupuncture Help Prevent Early Miscarriage?
Licensed acupuncturists believe in a holistic system of treatment that focuses on the individual as a person rather than solely on treating specific conditions. Treatment begins by laying the best possible foundation for a healthy pregnancy. Both partners are assessed for existing challenges and taught to live a healthier lifestyle. Nutrition counseling, weight optimization, and a sensible exercise plan are all part of the basic protocol for achieving a healthy pregnancy. In addition, your acupuncturist will work with you and your doctor to develop an individualized plan that might include nutritional supplements and a prenatal omega-complete multivitamin.
If you suffer from any existing health concerns, they are addressed at the beginning of treatment and monitored throughout your pregnancy. Your acupuncturist will work with your physician to develop a course of action. In many cases, miscarriage risks are dramatically lowered simply by putting the mother on the road to optimum wellness.
In addition, targeted acupuncture helps to support the developing fetus. According to the July 2007 Acupuncture.com newsletter, your body’s levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are strong markers of your body’s ability to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture helps to stabilize these hormone levels, making it more likely for your pregnancy to succeed. It also promotes blood flow and circulation, both to the uterus and throughout the body, helping to ensure that your developing baby gets the essential nutrients that it requires.
Acupuncture is also well-known as a stress reliever. Chronic or deep-seated worry and anxiety wreak havoc on your body and can make it more difficult to sustain a healthy pregnancy. The deep relaxation that acupuncture promotes resets your body and mind to a state of wellness and allows your body to focus on nurturing your pregnancy.
Chinese herbs are frequently used in tandem with acupuncture to further support your pregnancy and reduce the risks for miscarriage. The precise herbs vary according to your individual needs and current state of health. Of course, it is vital to let your acupuncturist know about any medications or supplements you are already taking, as well as any underlying medical conditions you have. For most healthy women, however, these herbs are considered safe for use during pregnancy.
Located in Pacific Palisades, with satellite clinics in Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, and Beverly Hills, Thumos Health Center offers patients exceptional personalized care. If you are ready to take the first steps toward a more integrative approach to your health care, we invite you to phone 310-927-2792 to schedule an appointment at any of our Los Angeles locations. Our highly knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.