Most women experience some level of nausea during early pregnancy. It is almost never only in the morning so the term morning sickness is fairly inaccurate. Usually the nausea is worse when the stomach becomes empty, is paired with a hyper-sensitive sense of smell, food aversions and sometimes a bad taste in the mouth. Doctors believe all of these symptoms occur because of the rise in progesterone and other pregnancy hormones in the body. Once these stabilize around the start of the second trimester, nausea is usually greatly reduced. Those first two months can be fairly miserable and intensified by the worry that you aren’t consuming enough nutrients to feed the developing embryo and fetus. Sometimes your doctor must use prescription medicines when nausea leads to vomiting and dehydration. Oftentimes the medicine does not completely alleviate the nausea and acupuncture can still offer additional relief.
How can Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture help with Nausea?
While we are still discovering how exactly acupuncture affects different conditions, in the case of nausea during pregnancy it is most likely due to the fact that acupuncture can help balance hormones and also raise endorphin levels which make us feel better in general. Your acupuncturist will first listen to your description of symptoms. Every woman has a different experience of nausea- whether it is worse when they eat, dependant on what foods they eat, whether they have a bad taste in their mouth and how severe the nausea is. Your acupuncturist will then be able to give you an estimation of success with acupuncture, how long that might take and create a treatment plan. Most women feel like they can tolerate food and smells much better after acupuncture treatments.
How many treatments will I need?
Every woman responds differently to acupuncture treatment. Sometimes a woman may only need two treatments to feel better and some women need to come regularly for a month before they maintain a good effect. A general rule of thumb when trying acupuncture for nausea is to come for treatments twice a week for two weeks. This is ample time to evaluate whether acupuncture is going to be an effective remedy for you. Women who have not had acupuncture before may need two treatments to feel positive effects because the nature of a new experience is that it may be difficult to fully relax during the session.
What are the treatments like and do they hurt?
Women new to acupuncture may have reservations about voluntarily using needles to cure an already miserable situation. This is completely understandable and it should be known that acupuncture is hardly ever an uncomfortable experience for anyone. Especially when a patient is feeling sick and puny, the acupuncturist will take even more care and be very gentle when giving treatments. Women are always pleasantly surprised to find that they can barely feel the needles at all and feel refreshed and relaxed after the treatment.