Having a baby is not only a physical process but also an immensely emotional and spiritual journey.
We notice that women will often seek acupuncture for relief from stress/anxiety and also from physical pregnancy-related aches/pains/complaints as they are reluctant to take medication yet are driven to ‘keep up’ with the many demands on them in their busy lives.
Pregnancy acupuncture treatment also provides you the valuable opportunity to chill-out, time to get in tune with your body & your baby.
I am here to support your choices. This is your pregnancy and I am on your team during this extraordinary time regardless of whether your intention is to have an elective C-Section, vaginal, a lotus birth, or a VBAC. My service is additional to and works in conjunction with the care you are receiving from your Obstetrician / Shared Care GP / Midwife / prescribed medication. I receive referrals from Ob’s, Midwives & Shared Care GP’s.
Please feel free to give Ngaio a call should you have any queries!
Please bring your hospital card with you to your Acupuncture appointments.
This enables us to keep up to date with your recent western medical checks.
Toward End Of Term
Some pregnant women like to receive treatment at this end of their pregnancy to address issues such as:
- Addressing any back or pelvic pain/instability (references below) – this may influence how comfortably your baby can move into an optimal birth position. Acupuncture can help relax tension, muscles and tendons in these areas.
- Calming anxiety (references below) and stress – 30 minutes of lying in a darkened room, propped and surrounded by fluffy pillows, listening to beautiful & quiet background music, acupuncture needles strategically located to induce deep relaxation… this is a potent cocktail for freeing up oxytocin flow!
- We want you to feel rested, energised and refreshed in readiness for your big day and the marathon ahead. You need to have energy in reserve. Acupuncture may assist sleep quality thus increasing your endurance (references below).
- This is an opportunity to address any aches or pains that stop you feeling fit and focused in readiness for this marathon you are about to embark upon. For example; we might address your carpal tunnel syndrome pain, headaches, indigestion etc (see references below).
Acupressure to reduce labor pain
There are indications that acupressure may reduce the duration of labor especially during the first stage. We are very happy to teach you/your partner upon request, acupressure techniques to assist leading up to and during your birth.
Planning a VBAC
A gift for you, here is an evidence-based, unbiased discussion of the risks and benefits of both VBAC and repeat cesarean that is written in a straightforward, helpful way: Power to Push – VBAC Info Booklet.
Please always try to remember to bring your hospital card with you to acupuncture sessions.
Post Due Date
In 2018 research results were posted regarding Acupuncture in Postdate Pregnancy Management. It was concluded that the “study suggested that acupuncture applied at term of pregnancy seems to be effective in reducing the rate of labor induction which is performed for prolonged pregnancy at 41 + 5 weeks. Moreover, acupuncture also seems to be able to reduce oxytocin use.. “
Examples Of Some Pregnancy Related Conditions Which Respond To Acupuncture
Ngaio employs treatment protocols utilising evidence based treatments with respect and congruency with the traditional wisdom that she was trained in.
In this research focused world, anecdotal evidence (based on an individual’s personal experience) is viewed by science minded individuals as inferior to scientific evidence (proof based on findings from systematic observation & measurement). Below is a preliminary list of pregnancy related conditions which are considered to have been scientifically proven to respond well to acupuncture treatment.
The short list of conditions listed below are briefs drawn from the body of current research evidence using human subjects and based on National Health and Medical Research Council Level 1 evidence (systematic reviews) which are located below the short list. Here there are also a small number of good quality Level 2 studies (these are randomised controlled trials). All these studies regarding pregnancy and some pregnancy related health conditions are less than 5 years old.
- Acute pain: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving various types of acute pain, including studies where acupuncture was delivered in hospital Emergency Departments.
- Anxiety: Acupuncture and acupressure have been shown to relieve anxiety in several contexts, including pre-surgical anxiety, student examination anxiety, anxiety during embryo transfer in IVF and anxiety during pregnancy.
- Back or pelvic pain during pregnancy: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving low back pain and pelvic pain during pregnancy.
- Chronic pain: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving various types of chronic pain.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome pain: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving carpal tunnel syndrome pain.
- Functional Dyspepsia (commonly called Indigestion): Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of functional dyspepsia.
- Insomnia: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in improving sleep quality and quality of life in primary insomnia, also in various types of secondary insomnia including menopausal, post-stroke, depression-related and cancer-related insomnia.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for irritable bowel syndrome. It is believed that this may be mediated by reduction of the pro-inflammatory neuropeptides substance P (SP) and vaso-active intestinal peptide (VIP).
- Low back pain: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving both chronic and low back pain and has been given a strong recommendation for both in the clinical practice guidelines of the American College of Physicians.
- Headache (tension-type and chronic): Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving and preventing tension-type and chronic headache.
- Migraine prophylaxis: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in both preventing and relieving migraine.
- Neck pain: Acupuncture has been shown itself to be effective in relieving neck pain.
- Sciatica: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving sciatic pain and it compares favourably (in a network meta-analysis) with many other therapies.
- Shoulder pain: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving shoulder pain. With the profusion of new high quality research being conducted and released around the world we will add to this list.
* (Please also see Acupuncture Treatments )
Cohen, M. M., Smit, De Villiers, Adrianopoulos, Nick, Ben-Meir, Ben, Taylor, David McD, Parker, Shefton J, Xue, Charlie C, Cameron, Peter A (2017). Acupuncture for analgesia in the emergency department: a multicentre, randomised, equivalence and non-inferiority trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 206(11), 494-499. doi:10.5694/mja16.00771
Grissa, M. H., Baccouche, H., Boubaker, H., Beltaief, K., Bzeouich, N., Fredj, N., . . . Nouira, S. (2016). Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED. Am J Emerg Med, 34(11), 2112-2116. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2016.07.028
Schug, S. A., Palmer, G. M., Scott, D. A., Halliwell, R., & Trinca, J. (2016). Acute pain management: scientific evidence, fourth edition, 2015. Med J Aust, 204(8), 315-317.
Au, D. W., Tsang, H. W., Ling, P. P., Leung, C. H., Ip, P. K., & Cheung, W. M. (2015). Effects of acupressure on anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acupunct Med, 33(5), 353-359. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2014-010720
Amorim, D., Amado, J., Brito, I., Fiuza, S. M., Amorim, N., Costeira, C., & Machado, J. (2018). Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: A systematic review of the clinical research. Complement Ther Clin Pract, 31, 31-37. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.01.008
Bazzan, A. J., Zabrecky, G., Monti, D. A., & Newberg, A. B. (2014). Current evidence regarding the management of mood and anxiety disorders using complementary and alternative medicine. Expert Rev Neurother, 14(4), 411-423. doi:10.1586/14737175.2014.892420
Fleckenstein, J., Kruger, P., & Ittner, K. P. (2018). Effects of single-point acupuncture (HT7) in the prevention of test anxiety: Results of a RCT. PLoS One, 13(8), e0202659. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0202659
Goyata, S. L., Avelino, C. C., Santos, S. V., Souza Junior, D. I., Gurgel, M. D., & Terra, F. S. (2016). Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety: integrative review. Rev Bras Enferm, 69(3), 602-609. doi:10.1590/0034-7167.2016690325i
Kwon, C. Y., & Lee, B. (2018). Acupuncture or Acupressure on Yintang (EX-HN 3) for Anxiety: A Preliminary Review. Med Acupunct, 30(2), 73-79. doi:10.1089/acu.2017.1268
Smith, C. A., de Lacey, S., Chapman, M., Ratcliffe, J., Norman, R. J., Johnson, N. P., & Fahey, P. (2018). The effects of acupuncture on the secondary outcomes of anxiety, and quality of life for women undergoing IVF: a randomised controlled trial. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. doi:10.1111/aogs.13528
Smith, C. A., Shewamene, Z., Galbally, M., Schmied, V., & Dahlen, H. (2018). The effect of complementary medicines and therapies on maternal anxiety and depression in pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord, 245, 428-439. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2018.11.054
Back or Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
Close, C., Sinclair, M., Liddle, S. D., Madden, E., McCullough, J. E., & Hughes, C. (2014). A systematic review investigating the effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for the management of low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) in pregnancy. J Adv Nurs, 70(8), 1702-1716. doi:10.1111/jan.12360
Martins, E. S., Tavares, T., Lessa, P. R. A., Aquino, P. S., Castro, R., & Pinheiro, A. K. B. (2018). Acupuncture treatment: multidimensional assessment of low back pain in pregnant women. Rev Esc Enferm USP, 52, e03323. doi:10.1590/s1980-220×2017040303323
Soliday, E., & Betts, D. (2018). Treating Pain in Pregnancy with Acupuncture: Observational Study Results from a Free Clinic in New Zealand. J Acupunct Meridian Stud, 11(1), 25-30. doi:10.1016/j.jams.2017.11.005
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain
Hadianfard, M., Bazrafshan, E., Momeninejad, H., & Jahani, N. (2015). Efficacies of Acupuncture and Anti-inflammatory Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. J Acupunct Meridian Stud, 8(5), 229-235. doi:10.1016/j.jams.2014.11.005
Chiu, H. Y., Hsieh, Y. J., & Tsai, P. S. (2017). Systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture to reduce cancer-related pain. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl), 26(2). doi:10.1111/ecc.12457
MacPherson, H., Vertosick, E. A., Foster, N. E., Lewith, G., Linde, K., Sherman, K. J., . . . Vickers, A. J. (2016). The persistence of the effects of acupuncture after a course of treatment: A meta-analysis of patients with chronic pain. Pain. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000747
MacPherson, H., Vertosick, E., Lewith, G., Linde, K., Sherman, K. J., Witt, C. M., & Vickers, A. J. (2014). Influence of control group on effect size in trials of acupuncture for chronic pain: a secondary analysis of an individual patient data meta-analysis. PLoS One, 9(4), e93739. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093739
MacPherson, H., Vickers, A., Bland, M., Torgerson, D., Corbett, M., Spackman, E., . . . Watt, I. (2017). Programme Grants for Applied Research Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library
Scottish Incollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). Management of Chronic Pain (SIGN publication no. 136). Scottish Incollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN); 2013.
Vickers, A. J., Vertosick, E. A., Lewith, G., MacPherson, H., Foster, N. E., Sherman, K. J., . Linde, K. (2017). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. J Pain. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005
Functional Dyspepsia (commonly called Indigestion)
Kim KN, Chung SY, Cho SH. Efficacy of acupuncture treatment for functional dyspepsia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2015 Dec;23(6):759-66.
Lan L, Zeng F, Liu GJ, Ying L, Wu X, Liu M, et al. Acupuncture for functional dyspepsia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014(10):Cd008487.
Chiu, H. Y., Hsieh, Y. J., & Tsai, P. S. (2016). Acupuncture to Reduce Sleep Disturbances in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol, 127(3), 507-515. doi:10.1097/aog.0000000000001268
Choi, T. Y., Kim, J. I., Lim, H. J., & Lee, M. S. (2016). Acupuncture for Managing Cancer-Related Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials. Integr Cancer Ther. doi:10.1177/1534735416664172
Dong, B., Chen, Z., Yin, X., Li, D., Ma, J., Yin, P., … Xu, S. (2017). The Efficacy of Acupuncture for Treating Depression-Related Insomnia Compared with a Control Group: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. BioMed Research International, 2017, 9614810.
Lan, Y., Wu, X., Tan, H. J., Wu, N., Xing, J. J., Wu, F. S., . . . Liang, F. R. (2015). Auricular acupuncture with seed or pellet attachments for primary insomnia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med, 15, 103. doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0606-7
Lee, S. H., & Lim, S. M. (2016). Acupuncture for insomnia after stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med, 16, 228. doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1220-z
Shergis, J. L., Ni, X., Jackson, M. L., Zhang, A. L., Guo, X., Li, Y., . . . Xue, C. C. (2016). A systematic review of acupuncture for sleep quality in people with insomnia. Complement Ther Med, 26, 11-20. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2016.02.007
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Lu, Z. Z., Yin, X.J., Teng, W.J., Chen, Y.H., Sun. J., Zhao, J.M., Wang, A.Q.Bao C.H. & Shi, Y. (2015). Comparative effect of EA and moxibustion on the expression of SP and VIP in patients with IBS. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 35(4), 402-410.
MacPherson, H., Tilbrook, H., Agbedjro, D., Buckley, H., Hewitt, C., & Frost, C. (2016). Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: 2-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2015-010854
Low Back Pain
Chou R, Deyo R, Friedly J, Skelly A, Hashimoto R, Weimer M, et al. AHRQ Comparative Effectiveness Reviews. Noninvasive Treatments for Low Back Pain. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2016.
Qaseem, A., Wilt, T. J., McLean, R. M., & Forciea, M. A. (2017). Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med, 166(7), 514-530. doi:10.7326/m16-2367
Wellington J. Noninvasive and alternative management of chronic low back pain (efficacy and outcomes). Neuromodulation. 2014 Oct;17 Suppl 2:24-30.
Lam M, Galvin R, Curry P. Effectiveness of acupuncture for nonspecific chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Nov 15;38(24):2124-38.
Taylor, P., Pezzullo, L., Grant, S. J., & Bensoussan, A. (2014). Cost-effectiveness of Acupuncture for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain. Pain Pract, 14(7), 599-606. doi:10.1111/papr.12116
Liu L, Skinner M, McDonough S, Mabire L, Baxter GD. Acupuncture for low back pain: an overview of systematic reviews. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:328196.
Headache (Tension-Type and Chronic)
Coeytaux RR, Befus D. Role of Acupuncture in the Treatment or Prevention of Migraine, Tension-Type Headache, or Chronic Headache Disorders. Headache. 2016 Jul;56(7):1238-40.
Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Shin BC, et al. Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;4:Cd007587
Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Vertosick EA, et al. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016(6):Cd001218
Yang Y, Que Q, Ye X, Zheng G. Verum versus sham manual acupuncture for migraine: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Acupunct Med. 2016 Apr;34(2):76-83.
MacPherson, H., Tilbrook, H., Richmond, S., Woodman, J., Ballard, K., Atkin, K., . . . Watt, I. (2015). Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med, 163(9), 653-662. doi:10.7326/m15-0667
Trinh K, Graham N, Irnich D, Cameron ID, Forget M. Acupuncture for neck disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016(5):Cd004870.
Ji, M., Wang, X., Chen, M., Shen, Y., Zhang, X., & Yang, J. (2015). The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2015, 192808. doi:10.1155/2015/192808
Lewis, R. A., Williams, N. H., Sutton, A. J., Burton, K., Din, N. U., Matar, H. E., . . . Wilkinson, C. (2015). Comparative clinical effectiveness of management strategies for sciatica: systematic review and network meta-analyses. Spine J, 15(6), 1461-1477. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2013.08.049
Qin, Z., Liu, X., Wu, J., Zhai, Y., & Liu, Z. (2015). Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Treating Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2015, 425108. doi:10.1155/2015/425108
Lee, S. H., & Lim, S. M. (2016). Acupuncture for Poststroke Shoulder Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2016, 3549878. doi:10.1155/2016/3549878
Wang, K. F., Zhang, L. J., Lu, F., Lu, Y. H., & Yang, C. H. (2016). Can Ashi points stimulation have specific effects on shoulder pain? A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Chin J Integr Med, 22(6), 467-472. doi:10.1007/s11655-015-2107-4
Neri I et al. Acupuncture in Postdate Pregnancy Management. Jnl Acup Merid Studies, Vol 11, 5, October 2018, Pages 332-336