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Benefits of Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting very thin filaments at various strategic points (meridians) on the body. These meridians are considered the passageway through which energy and blood flow through the body. This system is comprised of 12 principal meridians with each one connecting to an organ system, i.e. different meridians (areas) on the body correlate to different organs. Meridians can become blocked or communication through the meridians can become stagnant. This can be due to stress, illness, or poor lifestyle habits. This asynchronicity throughout the body can cause pain, inflammation, and feeling out of balance. Acupuncture has been widely accepted for treatment of chronic pain and inflammation as it restores the flow of energy and balance throughout the body. It can also be beneficial throughout pregnancy and leading up to labor.

a pregnant person lying on a bed with hands on her stomach

Throughout pregnancy, a mother can experience nausea, headaches, heartburn, swelling, back pain, depression, and other complaints. When acupuncture needles are inserted, the body releases its own brain chemicals (endorphins), which block pain signals and may relieve a number of these symptoms. A targeted form of acupuncture specific to depression has shown a decrease in the severity of these symptoms. In healthy pregnancies, acupuncture is recommended once per week in the first trimester.

Moxibustion therapy is another modality used during pregnancy to alleviate certain symptoms. This type of therapy uses mugwort herbs that are burned near certain acupuncture points along the body. Both the heat from burning, as well as the herb, provide physical benefits. Some studies show that moxibustion, either alone or in conjunction with acupuncture, may increase fetal activity and could turn a baby from a breech position to a head-down position.

Acupuncture is also beneficial for labor preparation, as it helps to ripen the cervix and release Oxytocin. Women are able to experience more efficient labor, less pain, and an overall more positive birthing process. It also promotes relaxation and better sleep.

At Woodland Hills Acupuncture, we support numerous pregnant women to relieve symptoms, promote a healthy pregnancy and help to prepare the body for labor and delivery. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 818-222-1001 or email us at We look forward to being apart of your pregnancy journey.

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