Acupuncture during pregnancy is completely safe and can benefit mother and baby greatly. In combination with chiropractic care, acupuncture can also help to ease many discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as morning sickness, heartburn and bodily aches and pains.
Regular acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments in the weeks leading up to birth can result in shorter labor times with fewer complications. During these sessions, our expecting mother's prepare their mind and body for labor. Our practitioners typically recommend one to two weekly acupuncture appointments in addition to regular adjustments starting at week 36 for labor preparation. Specific acupoints targeted during acupuncture appointments are used to encourage your body to go into labor naturally. These same points are also helpful once labor has begun to keep things moving smoothly.
Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Turning Breech Babies
At our practice, we experience a high success rate turning breech babies using moxibustion in combination with chiropractic and acupuncture. It is a circumstance we deal with regularly in our office and we are grateful that women and their healthcare providers are becoming more aware that moxa can help, and recognize the importance of using any intervention possible to try and turn the breech baby and increase chances of a vaginal birth.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, moxibustion involves burning an herb called Mugwort, or Artemisia Vulgaris. The herb can be placed directly on the skin or compressed into a cylinder shape and held a few inches from the skin until warmth is felt. The goal is to invigorate blood and warm the body. In an analysis of nine studies on the effectiveness of the technique, eight of the nine studies demonstrated that it was effective in correcting breech presentation whereas in one study poor compliance of the clients led to interruption of the study and no effect could be demonstrated (Sourced from http://bit.ly/inekevandenberg). Initial acupuncture sessions for expecting mom’s with breech babies aim to facilitate movement and create space in the hips and pelvis, as well as address any other issues such as anxiety, insomnia, back pain or digestive issues that also occur as a result of pregnancy. Moxibustion is often used following both acupuncture and chiropractic. We teach our patients in great detail how to perform this technique and send them home with written instructions and moxa sticks. It is generally our recommendation for the patient to return back to the office within a week for a follow up session and reassessment of baby’s positioning.
Instructions for Moxabustion (Mox) Pole use are included below:
Using the flame from a candle, lighter or gas stove, hold the pole close to the flame until the top begins to glow red. It is difficult to light a moxa pole with matches, as one needs a steady flame. In general, moxa poles are both hard to light and hard to extinguish.
When applying moxibustion heat to a specified area of the body, keep the tip of the pole at least one-half inch away from the surface of the skin. If the pole is held too close to the body or for too long a period of time, a blister could form. Blisters should be treated immediately.
While burning the moxa pole, the ash should be removed from the tip periodically to maintain a sufficient level of heat to penetrate the body. To remove the ash, twist the pole around the edge of an ashtray.
Heat from moxibustion should be applied to the body until the skin becomes more pink in color; this often takes 5-10 minutes. Look at the area receiving the heat every minute or two for changes in color.
To extinguish the moxa pole, smother the pole salt, tinfoil, or a jar. If you will be using the pole again, do not place it in water. Be sure the moxa pole has been completely extinguished before leaving it unattended.
If you are looking for an Acupuncture Practitioner local to Boise, we highly recommend Shanell Rodriquez and her associates at the Boise Acupuncture Co-Op (BAC). The BAC provides safe and effective community-style acupuncture with a donation based payment system. Their practice is open seven days a week and offers online scheduling at http://www.boiseacucoop.com.