As many women know, menstrual cramps can be quite painful and disruptive to daily life. The constant aching and pain that may last up 7 days can really take a toll on a woman’s quality of life. Of course, there are plenty of medications on the market that can ease the pain but do not treat the root of the problem. From a traditional Chinese medical standpoint, menstrual cramps are the result of energy (qi) and blood not able to flow freely. (We call this qi and blood stagnation) There are many different ways to help promote movement during this time of the menstrual cycle that really help with painful periods. [Read more…]
Mainstream medical treatment is beginning to shift towards a more holistic approach. Major hospitals around the country are starting to offer “alternative health” services to their patients in addition to conventional care, including acupuncture, naturopathy, homeopathy, massage and nutritional therapies, to name a few. For many people, it may be confusing to determine which services to use and how one modality affects another. (For example, many of our patients ask if they can get massage the same day as acupuncture.) [Read more…]
As women prepare to become mothers, those last few weeks can often feel like the most stressful. It’s common for women to have gotten to the point where they truly believe that they will have a baby on their due date. Women know rationally that it’s very unlikely, but they’ve said that date so many times to themselves, to others, heard it from doctors, and written it in their diaries. Over the course of the pregnancy, it seems to gain a lot of significance.
So when women do pass by their due date, they can start to feel very anxious. They themselves feel “ready” for the baby, often times are uncomfortable and have difficulty sleeping, and are receiving daily phone calls from friends and family who want to know when the baby is coming.
This pressure can make it difficult for a mother to relax, which is actually the best thing she could be doing for herself after 40 weeks. The more rested she is before she goes into birth, the better she will be able to cope with the process.
Both Endometriosis and Fibroids are influenced by hormones. Endometriosis is the result of abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside of
the endometrium (the inner wall of the uterus). Uterine Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the walls of the uterus. Although these tumors are benign,
they, as well as endometriosis can cause many problematic symptoms for women throughout the menstrual cycle. The most common symptoms include: painful
cramping, excessive menstrual bleeding and clotting, painful intercourse and infertility. These symptoms can dramatically impact a women’s quality of life.
There are a number of theoretical causes of endometriosis and fibroids. [Read more…]
Here is exciting new research that proves acupunctures efficacy in reducing labor pain. This study “included 13 trials with data reporting on 1,986 women. Less intense pain was found from acupuncture compared with no intervention. One trial increased satisfaction with pain relief compared with placebo control. Reduced use of pharmacological analgesia was found in one trial of acupuncture compared with placebo. Also, Fewer instrumental deliveries from acupuncture were found compared with standard care.” See complete results below.
Acupuncture or Acupressure for pain management in labor – Smith CA, Collins CT, Crowther CA, Levett KM
Acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve pain during labour, but more research is needed.
The pain of labour can be intense, and may be worsened because of a woman’s tension, anxiety and fear affecting their labour and birth experience . Many women would like to labour without using drugs or invasive methods of pain management, and turn to alternatives to manage the pain. The review of 13 trials, with data reporting on 1986 women, found that acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve labour pain. Single or limited numbers of trials reported less intense pain, increased satisfaction with pain relief and reduced use of analgesic drugs with acupuncture compared with placebo or usual care. Acupressure also reduced pain intensity. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into different parts of the body to correct the imbalance of energy in the body. The intervention was administered at term as individualised treatment (six trials) or at standardised acupuncture points in the majority of trials but with wide variation in the mode of stimulation, duration of needling, number of points used, depth of needling and duration of the trial.
This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011 Issue 7, Copyright © 2011 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).
This record should be cited as: Smith CA, Collins CT, Crowther CA, Levett KM. Acupuncture or acupressure for pain management in labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD009232. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009232
Editorial Group: Pregnancy and Childbirth Group
This version first published online: July 6. 2011
Last assessed as up-to-date: February 2. 2011
Many women would like to avoid pharmacological or invasive methods of pain management in labour and this may contribute towards the popularity of complementary methods of pain management. This review examined evidence supporting the use of acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour.
To examine the effects of acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour.
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register and The Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field’s Trials Register (October 2010), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 4), MEDLINE (1966 to October 2010), and CINAHL (1980 to October 2010).
Published and unpublished randomised controlled trials comparing acupuncture and acupressure with placebo, no treatment or other non-pharmacological forms of pain management in labour. We included all women whether primiparous or multiparous, and in spontaneous or induced labour.
Data collection and analysis
We performed meta-analysis using risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous outcomes and mean differences (MD) for continuous outcomes. The outcome measures included pain intensity, satisfaction with pain relief, use of pharmacological pain relief, relaxation, caesarean section rate, augmentation with oxytocin, length of labour and anxiety.
We included 13 trials with data reporting on 1986 women. Nine trials reported on acupuncture and four trials reported on acupressure. Less intense pain was found from acupuncture compared with no intervention (standardised mean difference (SMD) -1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.33 to -0.67, one trial, 163 women). One trial increased satisfaction with pain relief compared with placebo control (RR 2.38, 95% CI 1.78 to 3.19, 150 women). Reduced use of pharmacological analgesia was found in one trial of acupuncture compared with placebo (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.88, 136 women), and compared with standard care, however, there was significant heterogeneity (RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.83, three trials, 704 women). Fewer instrumental deliveries from acupuncture were found compared with standard care (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.46, 0.98, three trials, 704 women); however, there was significant heterogeneity. Pain intensity was reduced in the acupressure group compared with a placebo control (SMD -0.55, 95% CI -0.92 to -0.19, one trial, 120 women), and a combined control (SMD -0.42, 95% CI -0.65 to -0.18, two trials, 322 women). No trial was assessed as being at a low risk of bias for all of the quality domains.
Acupuncture and acupressure may have a role with reducing pain, increasing satisfaction with pain management and reduced use of pharmacological management. However, there is a need for further research.
Beans are an excellent source of vegetarian protein. The proteins from beans (legumes) can help regulate water and sugar metabolism and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet. Some people are afraid of eating beans due to flatulence or digestive upset, however these symptoms are usually due to improper preparation and cooking techniques. Make sure to soak your beans overnight in cold water before cooking. [Read more…]
Yoga has been well documented to assist with many health challenges. From heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis, the benefits of a
regular yoga practice have been linked to improved health and well being. According to Susan Winter Ward, author of the
book Yoga for the Young at Heart (Nataraj Publishing, 2002), insists there is nobody for whom yoga is completely off limits. “If you’re
breathing, you can do yoga,” Ward says. “All it takes is some creativity to adapt poses to any level of ability.”
Simple postures (called asanas) can increase flexibility, blood flow, reduces muscular tension, improves
digestion, nerves and respiratory system efficiency, eliminate asthma, diabetes, migraine, lower back pain, high blood pressure and arthritis. Movement
decreases stiffness, rigidity and strengthens our muscles, ligaments and joints. Yoga reduces the need for prescription drugs. People over the age
of 70 take an average of 8 prescription medications daily. Yoga is shown to reduce the needs for prescription drugs. [Read more…]
The practice of traditional Chinese medicine (CM) is very complex. People often ask “how does acupuncture work?” or “what types of conditions can acupuncture treat?” The answers to such questions are much more involved than a simple list of ailments. Simply put, and CM is an ancient, energetic, holistic medicine that takes into account all aspects of a person’s lifestyle and symptoms in order to make a diagnosis and treatment strategy. Let’s break this down more clearly. [Read more…]
When I received this thank you card in the mail I just had to add it to the blog! This woman gave birth in the hospital after having a C-Section 2 years ago, She came to me with a very common thought – “Well I’d LIKE to give birth without an epidural but since I’ve never done this before, I’m not really sure if I can and I’ll play it by ear”. I told her that I shared that exact thought leading up to my birth and that what I’ve seen through attending labors, is that if you do not have a strong conviction to have an unmedicated labor, you most likely will call for the epidural. To be clear, I have no judgements either way regarding womens choices. I simply want to help them to create a vision of their ideal birth and then do my best to support that vision. The nurses and doctors were all amazed at her grace during birth. She told me during labor that the acupuncture was reducing her contraction pain so much that she thought she was “stalling out” (when in reality she was almost 7 cm dilated)! She was truly a joy to work with and proof that women can have smooth, unmedicated births. Here is what she wrote to me:
“All I can possibly say is thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me along the most amazing journey of my life. I feel blessed to have had your support and am thrilled with the outcome of my birth. I am so grateful for your extensive knowledge and all the work you did leading up to and during the labor. I think of my daughter’s birthday each day and truly feel a sense of empowerment having had the birth that I wanted. I think you are an incredible woman who has so much to give!
-K.G. from Birmingham, MI
I love yoga. Every time I leave a yoga class, I feel lighter, more flexible and I become a happier person. (It’s not that I’m a unhappy person but yoga definitely enhances my mood!) I have been practicing for about 7 years and I have watched myself grow physically, emotionally and spiritually through my practice. The more I practice, the more I believe that yoga is an important practice for everyone. (And yes, I mean everyone). I often recommend patients try yoga as a gentle alternative to exercise but it is much more than that. Many people find much more satisfaction and spiritual fulfillment in a yoga class as compared to regular exercise. [Read more…]