Women who may have suffered from insomnia prior to becoming pregnant can sometimes experience that the problem becomes worse during pregnancy and other women may experience sleeping disturbances for the first time. Stress can be a common causative factor leading to sleeping problems and research has shown that acupuncture for insomnia to be an effective treatment. Many women also do not like to take pharmaceutical medications during their pregnancy.
Acupuncture during pregnancy
Acupuncture for insomnia is a safe an effective alternative to medications.
There are a number of different causes of insomnia according to traditional Chinese medicine theories and a thorough diagnosis needs to be undertaken during the first consultation.
Do you have difficulty falling asleep or do you wake up?
In particular, important differentiating symptoms need to be identified which include if the insomnia involves difficulty in falling asleep or if it involves waking up during the night and then being unable to fall back asleep.
What causes the insomnia during pregnancy?
Diagnostic criteria such as observation of the tongue need to be taken into account because a pale tongue may mean the patient is deficient and weak and a red tongue with no coating may mean that there is too much internal heat.
Other keynote symptoms can include if the insomnia involves the patient having
- Night sweats
In simplified terms, just imagine that as the baby is growing, the baby is accumulating more and more heat which is storing in the mum’s body. As we know, heat rises, which then upsets the mind and makes it restless. Another example is that the growing baby is taking all the nutrients and the blood from the mum, leaving her empty and weak. When there is not enough blood to nourish the heart and mind of the mum, she will have palpitations and insomnia.
Which acupuncture points may be used?
Serena Joe, a well-known acupuncturist from Wellington specializes in women’s health care, says “Traditionally, all acupuncture points were allocated names to describe their function or location. For insomnia, for example, we use acupuncture points with names like anmien which means “peaceful sleep”.
Acupuncture treatment for insomnia during pregnancy can involve many different points.
Serena sees women at all stages of pregnancy including pre IVF preparation.
Many midwives refer regularly to members of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc. through all stages of the pregnancy.