Pregnancy is a miraculous journey filled with remarkable changes in a person’s life. However, it’s not unusual to experience some level of discomfort, especially during the first trimester. Among the many challenges expectant women and people face, pregnancy nausea is one of the most common. It can vary from barely noticeable, mild to severe, and in some instances, it may require hospitalisation. While there are conventional treatments available to alleviate these symptoms, more and more people are turning to therapies like acupuncture for pregnancy nausea. Are you interested to explore how acupuncture can provide relief from pregnancy-related nausea?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves the gentle insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body’s skin. These points, known as acupuncture points, are believed to be connected to energy channels or meridians within the body. Utilising Chinese medicine diagnosis techniques and thorough case history taking, acupuncturists choose points specifically for you. By stimulating these points, acupuncturists aim to restore balance to the body’s energy flow and promote a natural healing response.
How Can Acupuncture Help Alleviate Pregnancy Nausea?
Pregnancy nausea, often referred to as morning sickness, affects a significant portion of expectant individuals with some experiencing it severely. Acupuncture has gained recognition as an effective natural remedy for managing pregnancy nausea. While the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges acupuncture as an effective treatment for morning sickness, the positive experiences of many people also speak to its effectiveness.
Why Choose Fertile Ground for Acupuncture During Pregnancy?
If you’re experiencing pregnancy nausea and seeking a natural remedy to ease your discomfort, Fertile Ground is here to help. Our experienced practitioners are experts in providing acupuncture treatments during pregnancy to help people overcome a wide range of pregnancy-related symptoms, including morning sickness.
Our acupuncture team is dedicated to providing safe and effective treatments tailored to each individual’s needs. They use sterile, disposable needles and follow strict safety protocols to ensure both the patient and the baby’s safety during treatment.
In addition to acupuncture, our practitioners’ comprehensive approach to pregnancy care may also include safe Chinese herbal medicine, moxa, cupping, and diet or lifestyle suggestions to help individuals achieve optimal health during this crucial period. Over the years, our practitioners have helped literally thousands of people overcome pregnancy-related symptoms and achieve a healthy, happy pregnancy.
A Safe and Effective Natural Remedy for Nausea in Pregnancy
Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural remedy for alleviating pregnancy nausea. By stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms, acupuncture helps restore balance to the body’s energy flow, promoting relaxation and symptom relief. If you’re experiencing pregnancy-related nausea, consider seeking our Fertile Ground acupuncture services. Our treatments are safe and tailored to your individual needs, ultimately helping you achieve a healthy, happy pregnancy.
Your well-being and the health of your baby are our top priorities, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Embrace the healing power of acupuncture and enjoy a smoother pregnancy experience.
How to optimise your self-care, diet and exercise changes in each phase of the menstrual cycle.
People who menstruate undergo hormonal fluctuations every month. Through each phase of the menstrual cycle, our internal bodies change, and we can feel this through our energy levels, physical symptoms, sociability, appetite and mood. It only makes sense that we listen to these changes and live in harmony with them. Living in accordance with your cycle is an amazing way to support your hormonal health, optimise your lifestyle habits and promote presence in your body.
How does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) understand the menstrual cycle?
TCM understands the menstrual cycle as a complex ebb and flow of the Yin and Yang energies, as well as Blood and Qi (life force; energy). Yin and Yang are the fundamental basis of all life, and the balance of these determines one’s health. Yin is related to night time, cooling, moistening and stillness, while Yang is related to day time, warming, drying and movement. Similarly, Blood nourishes and supports bodily structures (more Yin is quality) while Qi supports bodily functions and mechanisms (more Yang in quality). When these four parts are in balance, our cycles should look like this:
- Cycle length of 26-32 days
- 3-5 day medium bleed
- 30-80 mls bright red rich blood (full pad = 5ml/ full tampon = 10ml/full cup 15-30ml/ full period undies = 15-20ml)
- No spotting, period starts straight away
- No bloating, PMS, sore breasts, pain etc.
- Clear signs of ovulation (days 12-20)
- Minimum 11 day luteal phase (ovulation – day before period)
The ebbs and flows of Yin, Yang, Blood and Qi in Chinese Medicine are very similar to the hormonal fluctuations understood by Western Medicine. In both medicines, changes that occur in the cycle that do not line up with the above list are seen as imbalances. Which means that if you, say, get horrible period pain every month, this is not normal and is actually a sign that something is out of balance.
Promoting natural balance through cyclical living
The Menstrual phase: ‘Blood phase’
This phase of the menstrual cycle occurs from day 1 of full bleeding. Our pituitary gland in our brain begins producing luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the growth of small sacs in the ovaries, known as follicles. Our uterine lining sloughs off and is lost through the menstrual bleed.
- Blood is Yin in nature, and therefore we need to support our Yin through promoting stillness and nourishment. Think: cozy, warm and restful.
- Self-care: Take it easy and enjoy activities such as reading, journalling, meditating and cooking.
- Exercise: If you feel up to exercising, opt for more gentle activity that won’t deplete you. Yin or Restorative Yoga, stretching and walking is ideal.
- Diet: Drink lots of tea and water during your period, avoiding ice-cold or refrigerated drinks. Eat plenty of cooked and warming foods like soups, stews and bone broths. Ensure your eat plenty of protein and healthy fats such as beans, meats and seafoods. You can also include TCM blood-stimulating foods like ginger, turmeric and apple cider vinegar.
- Keep yourself warm: wear socks, stay cozy and keep a hot water bottle on your tummy, which may help promote blood circulation.
The Follicular phase: ‘Yin phase’
This phase of the menstrual cycle occurs from the start of the period until ovulation. The follicles we produced in our menstrual phase grow until one comes the most dominant. Our uterine lining, or endometrium, also thickens up.
- After menstruation, we focus on Blood and Yin nourishment, and can enjoy the increase in energy that comes with this.
- Self-care: we begin to feel more extroverted and energetic at this time of the month. It’s time to get out there: go on dates, make new friends, have more sex, try new things! This is a great time to get new projects together, focus on self development and take advantage of creativity.
- Exercise: This is the time to get those gains in the gym! Lift heavy and focus on endurance, your body can handle it and recover better at this time.
- Diet: Eat generous amounts of protein, fat, folic acid and B12. Think beans, fish, eggs, meat, cooked leafy greens, berries, avocado, tahini and nuts/ and seeds. Avoid alcohol, coffee, smoking and sugary, processed foods.
The Ovulatory phase: ‘Yang phase’
Ovulation generally occurs around day 11-16 of the menstrual cycle, NOT only day 14 which is a common misconception. Ovulation is affected by many factors, such as cycle length and our physical and mental health. The dominant follicle mentioned in the previous phase releases an egg after a surge in LH occurs. Yin and fluid levels are at their peak, which brings about stretchy (egg-white consistency) fertile mucus.
- During this phase of the menstrual cycle, we transition from more Yin energy in to Yang, so we can live in a more Yang manner!
- Self-care: It’s time to bring your creative projects to light! The best time of the month for presentations, work events and hosting. Your libido will be high too. If you’re trying to fall pregnant, this is the time to get busy!
- Exercise: begin to get a little gentler while still riding on that energy high. It’s a perfect time for swimming, yoga, jogs, lighter weight lifting and HIIT.
- Diet: begin to eat lighter meals with lots of cruciferous veggies and fibre to flush out excess estrogen. Enjoy warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamom, cayenne and ginger to nourish the Yang. Limit cold and raw foods or drinks.
The Luteal Phase: ‘Qi Phase’
The egg released during ovulation now becomes the corpus luteum, a temporary hormone-secreting structure (secreting progesterone and estrogen). The corpus luteum will break down if pregnancy has not occurred around ovulation.
- This is a very Yang time of the month: basal body temperature increases with all the extra warming Yang energy, and if you do become pregnant, Yang is needed here to support and hold the fetus. As we draw closer to the period, we promote Qi flow, which is impeded with stress, frustration, resentment and bottling up of emotions.
- Self-care: focus on emotional release. Feeling irritable, upset and/or depressive are signs that you need to slow down. Prioritise rest and alone time; get in to breath work, journalling, meditation. Book that massage, acupuncture or facial session and take care of yourself.
- Exercise: decrease vigorous exercise and opt for low-impact pilates, yoga, barre, body weight exercise or stretching. Many people naturally begin to feel a lack of strength post-ovulation, so listen to your body.
- Diet: You may notice that your appetite is going a little haywire and this is because your metabolic rate is also increased, meaning you can up your caloric load (this doesn’t mean eat that entire block of Cadbury!!). Instead, opt for hearty meals, slow-cooked meats, stews, soups and broths with plenty of root veggies. Include green and/or pungent foods like basil, fennel, garlic, ginger, vinegar, rosemary dill etc, as well as magnesium and zinc-rich foods like nuts and seeds.
Our periods are our fifth vital sign. When we listen to our bodies and the symptoms that come up during our cycles, we begin to see the things we need to work on. If you suddenly had an excruciatingly painful, emotional period one month, think to yourself: what has my self-care been like this cycle? How have I been feeling emotionally? Have I been eating too much sugar, drinking too much alcohol? Have I been over exercising?
Having this presence in your life and with your body can be a game-changer for your hormonal health. However, natural changes do take time to come in to effect, so be patient with yourself. If you need extra support, acupuncture and Chinese Herbs work cyclically to support your bodies’ changes at each phase to promote hormonal balance and happy periods.
Book your acupuncture sessions with Kiah to get back in to balance naturally. Navigate to heading ‘Acupuncture > Acupuncture Initial’ and select Kiah McGowan.
What is Cosmetic Acupuncture?
Cosmetic Acupuncture is an ancient technique dating back thousands of years and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to enhance beauty and skin radiance naturally. It is the insertion of fine needles into the face to stimulate the skin and muscles, and address concerns such as dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, dark, puffy or sagging eyes, discolouration, acne, scarring and much more!
How does it work?
Cosmetic Acupuncture works mainly by causing a ‘micro-trauma’ in the skin, which stimulates collagen and elastin production and increases blood and lymph flow to the face. This is thought to lead to a range of wonderful benefits that acupuncture is known for, including:
- Improving the firmness and elasticity of the skin
- Increasing skin hydration
- Lifting sagging or drooping areas
- Reducing the appearance and depth of fine lines and wrinkles
- Softening scarring and pigmentation
- Brightening the eye area
What to expect from treatments
Many people experience acupuncture as a dull, pinching sensation upon needle insertion that dissipates quickly, however sensitivity varies from person to person. As our skin regenerates and replaces itself approximately every 28 days, 1-2 months of treatment is usually required to see changes in the skin and achieve desired results. Of course, depending on your chosen skin concern, age and constitution, extra sessions may be needed to reach your goals, and realistic expectations will be discussed in your session.
A combination of acupuncture, facial gua sha, facial cupping, jade rolling herbal medicines and lifestyle/dietary advice may be used throughout sessions!
Rather than injecting your skin with chemicals, Cosmetic Acupuncture is a wonderful way to achieve a more youthful and refreshed complexion naturally. As Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic practice, treatments will also be aimed at targeting other concerns occurring in one’s body, such as digestive issues, hormonal imbalances and emotional stress, which can all contribute to the health and appearance of our skin. To do this, complementary acupuncture needles will be placed on special ‘grounding’ points on the body. By addressing the skin, mind and the body in all sessions, one is able to achieve a good, holistic harmony, which is essential for having great skin.
Registered Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, Kiah McGowan, offers their signature Cosmetic Acu-facial treatments at Fertile Ground Health Group and The Melbourne Apothecary.
Book your initial 90 minute session with Kiah and luxuriate in your refreshed natural glow > Navigate to heading ‘Acupuncture’ > Select ‘Cosmetic Acu-Facial Initial’
Zuo Yue Zi is a long-documented practice in China supporting women/new mothers after birth. It literally translates to “Doing the Month” – this is more commonly known in Western culture as the Golden Month after birth.
What is Zuo Yue Zi?
In China, this special time is characterised by 40 days of total rest with a heavy focus on Chinese diet therapy, hygiene and behavioural precautions. This allows for the birthing mother to rest and replenish her strength, while laying the foundation of her health as mother and care giver.
Why Zuo Yue Zi is crucial in postpartum recovery?
Sufficient postpartum care can provide the healthy foundation for the mother and the newborn but also pave the way for healthy pregnancies in the future. Zuo Yue Zi is even said to help the transition into menopause later in life.
From a Chinese medicine perspective, Zuo Yue Zi is crucial for the recovery of the birthing mother. Childbirth requires tremendous amount of energy, resulting in an imbalance of yin, yang, qi and blood. Due to the expenditure of energy and yang the mother is vulnerable to invasion of cold and wind which can cause illness or possible chronic health issues.
Rules of Zuo Yue Zi
Zuo Yue Zi is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine to protect the new mother and prevent illness. During the 40 days it’s crucial for the mother to prioritise rest, do no housework, limit visitors, stay warm, minimise time spent outside and focus on a nourishing diet that replenishes and harmonises. Traditionally, new mothers are forbidden to wash their hair, go outside, watch TV or read and have zero visitors as it could deplete their energy and unnecessary drama could affect the new family.
How you can implement Zuo Yue Zi in your postpartum journey
Zuo Yue Zi is still practiced in China today and traditionally a care giver, aunty or mother would live with the new parents. They would cook, clean and assist in maintaining the household while the new parents spend time to rest and bond with their newborn. Translating these principles into postpartum life is difficult, which is why many women turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine while implementing Chinese diet therapy.
Diet Therapy during Zuo Yue Zi
Food is one of the most important aspects of “doing the month” with ingredients and herbs carefully selected for their warming and blood building properties while strengthening qi and yang. The meals consumed during this time are always abundant in nutrients, slow cooked, energetically warm, and easy to digest. This is to replenish blood, qi and yang lost during childbirth but also and gently correct any disharmonies. Raw and cold food and drink are to avoided during this time as they are hard to digest and deplete the energy of the already vulnerable mother.
Acupuncture, Herbs and Moxibustion
During this time Traditional Chinese Medicine can be extremely beneficial as it can help to balance emotions, improve energy, help with sleep patterns, promote lactation and perineal healing. It is recommended that acupuncture can be used 2 weeks after childbirth – ideally with a home visit session if possible. Once completing the month and feeling ready to leave the home, treatments in the clinic can commence.
If a home visit for acupuncture is not possible but you still want to follow the principles and access the benefits of a nourishing treatment – here are some ideas. Try to get someone to take you to your session so you don’t have to drive, make sure you are warmly and snuggly dressed, plan to come directly to the clinic and go home again (no ducking into the shops!) and take time to rest (with a warm bath or warm cup of your Chinese herbs or breastfeeding tea) afterwards.
In clinic, moxibustion (moxa) is used to stimulate the points and meridians to improve circulation, relieve pain, boost energy, dispel cold and warm the body. After childbirth the moxa is used on the abdomen to warm the channel, stop bleeding and help treat postpartum urinary retention. Moxibustion (moxa) is dried mugwort and is commonly referred as Mother Warming during postpartum period. The use of moxa helps energise the mother and facilitate recovery.
Are you in the postpartum period yourself, or do you know someone who would benefit from this style of care and treatment? Book with Acupuncturist, Meghan, by navigating to bookings > Acupuncture > Acupuncture INITIAL (60 mins)