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…]
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.
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
Many people have asked me where I completed my birth doula and postpartum doula training. I was trained at the Center for The Childbearing Year and have only positive things to say about it. The center has amazing, knowledgable, and grounded practitioners. They have supported many women during labor and continue to support me in my business as a doula. Please read about their upcoming trainings below.
Are you interested in a career working with moms and babies? All through time, and in all cultures, women have been supporting and mothering other women at the time of birth. In response to the over-medicalization of childbirth, the role of the doula has evolved to safeguard the laboring mother’s emotional experience at a vulnerable time in her life. Doula certification is an effort to professionalize the traditional role of the female support person in childbirth. Doulas help moms and their partners navigate the institutional aspects of giving birth. They encourage, soothe, and educate. You do not need to be a mother yourself, nor have a medical background to become a doula—just a passion for birth and the desire to be in a support role for other moms. [Read more…]
Join us on Wednesday June 8th
16001 W. Nine Mile Road at Greenfield
Please join us for a free and informative birthing fair! Designed for new parents and expecting couples. Many great people will be present to meet and speak with.
A great opportunity to meet with our resident pregnancy specialist, Monica Mae Leibson (acupuncturist, birth doula, post partum doula).
As healthcare practitioners, we are often asked what books we recommend for various health concerns. One of my favorite books is called “Ask & It is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I first read this book in 2005 and it really has changed my life. The 1st half of the book reviews the basic concept of it which is called the “Law of Attraction”. In simple terms, it says that everything you think or feel has an energetic vibration to it. So every time you have a thought or feeling, you are releasing that energetic vibration into the universe. Then, your circumstances shift to match that vibration. You know that happy-go-lucky person in your life that always seems to have the best things happen to him? Or how about that person who never seems to catch a break? Both of those people are (probably unknowingly) using the Law of Attraction.
The 2nd half of the book is my favorite part because it provides tools to increase your energetic vibration. This means that if you have a certain situation which is really bothering you, you can use a quick tool in the book to shift your mindset regarding that situation. It’s a really great way to keep yourself in the “zone” regardless of what’s happening around you. Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean ignoring something that’s negative in your life. But actually it means that you can be a stand for love and peace, in the midst of fear and anger. What a powerful place to be! The tools are really useful because they help you to make a slow and gradual shift. Often times when people want to move forward in their healing, they want to do it at warp speed! When infact, sometimes the best way to go is slow and steady. That way you are honestly and authentically moving forward in your beliefs about that situation, rather than just covering them up.
Their website also has a lot of videos, cd’s, and other great books you can feel free to check out.
Please let me in on any benefits you’ve gotten from reading the book – I’d love to hear them!
Excerpt from Marina Lombard’s Blog:
Emma had been planning for weeks to attend a local fertility support group meeting. But every time the regularly scheduled Wednesday night meeting came up on her calendar, she found a reason not to go. Finally she realized that there was more than just last-minute scheduling conflicts that were holding her back. Going to the meeting, she realized, felt like an admission of failure. She felt like she was “coming out of the closet,” acknowledging her infertility for everyone to see.
Not everyone has difficulty becoming involved in infertility support group meetings. For some, this setting may immediately feel like a port in the storm, a safe place to meet like-minded others. But if you find that this is not the case for you, that your first steps are hesitant or even guarded, know that you’re not alone. It can takes a lot of courage to admit that you are struggling with anything, especially fertility issues. One way to ease your entry is to reach out to a close friend or your partner, and ask them to accompany you to your first infertility group. Another idea is to seek out an evening when a group topic is of interest to you, so that this seeking of information can be your focus.
However it is that you get there, just remember that the results are well worth it. As Emma soon discovered, “I felt as if I was finally with women who really understood what I was going through.”
To find out more about Marina Lombardo, please visit http://iammorethanmyinfertility.wordpress.com/
She is the author of “I am more than my Infertility” along with Linda Parker.
Please also join us for our Holistic Fertility Support group at Acupuncture Healthcare Associates.
Our upcoming meetings are Sunday June 12th and Sunday July 10th from 10:30 to 12:00 in West Bloomfield, MI.
Please check out our flyer for our Holistic Fertility Support Group