Haemorrhoids are often accompanied with constipation and may be complicated with the pressure of the foetus pressing on the bowel.
There may also be bleeding caused by the haemorroids as well as itching.
More than fifty percent of women can have haemorrhoids and it is more common in the second and third trimesters.
Unfortunately, during labour they can also come about because of the excess straining and haemorrhoids are in fact regarded a common post-birth problem.
From a western medical perspective there is little to offer apart from suggesting Kegal exercises and ice packs.
Acupuncture however may provide a safe and effective alternative.
From a traditional Chinese medicine viewpoint, what can cause haemorrhoids?
One of the common causes for haemorrhoids is due to the spleen. Chinese medicine theory states that the spleen is responsible for holding the organs up in place. If an organ becomes prolapsed specific acupuncture points are selected that have the historical use of being used to ‘raise the yang‘.
Where are some of the acupuncture points located to treat haemorrhoids?
Laura Callaghan works from the Newtown Acupuncture Centre, opposite the Wellington Hospital and sees many women’s related health problems. We ask her about the treatment of haemorrhoids with acupuncture. “Many women are surprised that sometimes I select acupuncture points that are nowhere near the haemorroid and I often use points on top of the head or in the calf“.
Can the acupuncture also help the constipation associated with the haemorrhoids?
Laura Callaghan goes on to say “Chinese medicine believes that it is important to treat the root cause of the problem as a priority, so if constipation is the likely cause of the haemorrhoids I will always provide treatment for this as well.”
A well known Chinese herbal home remedy to treat constipation is to grind one table spoon of black sesame seeds into a paste using a mortar and pestle and then add a spoon of honey and have as often as desired. The oily content of the seeds helps to lubricate the bowels and is in particular useful for constipation with very dry stools.