The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth
By Debra Betts
(Distributed by Eastland Press ISBN 0-9510546-9-4-978-0-9510546-9-7)
Reviewed by Heiko Lade
It was a couple of years ago that I received an email from Debra Betts asking me if I was interested in helping her with proof reading of her forth coming book on acupuncture and pregnancy. Time restrictions prevented me from helping out at the time and but now having one of the first printed copies in my hands I bring much honour in reviewing her book.
In New Zealand and I expect much of the western world, acupuncture has become famous for treating musculo-skeletal disorders and gynaecology problems.
“Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth” is a book that is long over due for the acupuncture profession and is destined to become a standard text in acupuncture colleges around the world especially with the interest of practitioners in TCM gynaecology.
Many acupuncturists in the modern clinic still rely on limited TCM knowledge when it comes to treating pregnancy such a neiguan for morning sickness and moxa on zhiyin to turn breech babies. More and more pregnant mothers to be are coming to the clinics of acupuncturists with a host of problems where acupuncture can provide invaluable help.
Most practitioners feel confident in treating for example urinary infections or anxiety when presenting in clinic but often become cautious if the patient is also pregnant and suffers from these conditions.
This book has 18 chapters devoted solely in the treatment of different disorders commonly seen with pregnancy including examples such as anaemia and constipation. Each of these chapters has an introduction covering western medical information before going into the Chinese medicine viewpoint.
The associated patterns are then differentiated covering the treatment principle and followed by a discussion of points.
The many years of experience is also exemplified in Debra’s extra notes on patient advice and case histories. It is the case histories that are discussed that make this book a gem. Having been a teacher in TCM for a number of years, one of the criticisms of students is that there are relatively few books discussing real case histories and plenty of books reiterating the same old TCM theories. Debra Betts also draws on cases from her students and midwifes which enlighten the reader and bring practicality to the theory she has written about.
Throughout the book there are coloured boxes in the margins bringing to attention cautions, special notes and summaries making the book very user friendly so it can be used as a quick reference text in the clinic.
Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth goes well beyond acupuncture, in particular there is an extensive chapter on diet and an excellent appendix on antenatal tests.
The whole process of birthing is reviewed and explained from a western and Chinese medical viewpoint and Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth outlines everything you need to know from diagnosis to treatment and allows you to familiarize yourself with all the appropriate western medical terms and knowledge to become a successful TCM obstetrician.