587-581-5081 Marikarhall@icloud.com
The Power of Distance Healing:

The Power of Distance Healing:

Prayers, intentions and healing energy have been sent out into the universe since humans began to form cosmologies of the world. Traditional practices performed by Shamans, Qi gong masters, Priests and Rabbis have always included connecting with the divine within all of us and asking for help to heal the sick, boost the crops, protect the people, etc. With the Scientific Revolution, there was a move away from this form of healing and a focus on the physical manipulation of the body and the planet. But in the last few decades a growing number of people have been recognizing the validity and importance of prayer, intention and energy healing in our lives. During this time of physical distancing there has never been a better time to begin practicing these powerful techniques.

 

What is Distance Healing?

Distance healing is a form of energy healing or prayer that is sent from one person to another person, place or people; like a mother sending loving thoughts to her children, a friend lighting a candle for the safe passage of a baby or a group of people gathering to send energy to a war zone, disaster area or dying individual and their family. The power of the healing is in the heart felt intention and focus of the person sending the energy and the connection that we all share through spirit, the divine, god, the collective unconscious,… With practice we can learn to sit with our prayers and intentions tap into the collective and focus that energy.

 

How Does it work?

Whether you are using Reiki, Shamanic Healing, quantum healing, Prayer or any other form of energy medicine they all tap into the same collective energy field that we all share. The universe is made up of energy, Daoists call in Qi, Yogis call it Prana, Hebrews call it Ruah and Quantum Physicists, well they call it energy. Much research has gone into If and how distance healing works, while most studies show that it does work none have been able to explain how it works from a Western scientific view point. A well designed 2008 study looking at 36 couples, 22 with one of the couple having a cancer diagnosis and 14 healthy couples, found that directed intentional healing thoughts made a significant difference in the activation of the Autonomic Nervous System, which is necessary to keep our bodies in balance and all of our unconscious bodily functions operating, and the more they sent the intentions the more strongly the Autonomic Nervous System responded.

One of the theories trying to explain distance healing proposed by Dr. Swanson in Synchronized Universe suggests that the molecular level of DNA to the biophoton field of the body, to the biohologram and to the torsion field, which is integral to the aura, connect each of us to the cosmos. According to Swanson’s SUM model, torsion field research findings and theory may provide a scientific basis to understanding how higher, non-material dimensions of consciousness can continue beyond the physical plane. The gist of this research and other research implies that healing energy doesn’t actually travel from one person to another but the intention, prayer, healing energy of the sender shifts the energy field of the receiver simultaneously in nonlocal space. This connects to the idea that we are all connected and are aspects of spirit. So when one aspect shifts another shifts at the same time.

From both a Daoist and Shamanic Perspective we are all an aspect of the Dao or Creator and our spirit comes directly from this aspect. When we are thrown out of balance whether from direct trauma to the physical body, an emotional response to life circumstances or an energetic trauma to the psyche the spirit will often flee the body leaving us feeling disconnected, anxious, fearful, and numb in body or mind. Energy healing works by connecting to the collective or the spirit realms and identifying the imbalance, clearing the body, mind and emotions of the imbalance and welcoming the spirit back into the body. As this is all done energetically there is no need to be in the physical presence of the receiver and in fact I find distance healing allows for the space to let go of the judgements and preconceived notions of the mind and flesh and create a greater opening to the healing forces of the universe.

 

Start sending Healing Energy

If you know someone who is struggling right now whether from pain, grief, anxiety or any other physical or emotional imbalance, here are some simple steps to get you started in sending them some healing energy. You can also use this technique on yourself.

  1. Begin by finding a quiet space
  2. Take some deep breaths in, focusing on your heart beat
  3. Picture the person, place, or people you wish to send energy to
  4. Ask spirit if it is ok for you to send energy to them and what kind of energy they need
  5. Take a minute and really listen. It may come as a feeling, word, image, knowing
  6. Begin to cultivate the energy they need in your own heart and imagine it filling their heart and flowing out through their body
  7. Spend as much time as you can focus on this. Could be 2 mins or 10 all is good.
  8. Keep sending and build up those distance healing muscles.

Please let me know how this goes for you in the comments below and share it with anyone you know who may benefit from this practice.

If you are interested in receiving your own healing please check out my offerings

Many Blessings,

Marika

Covid-19: Opportunity in the Challenge

Covid-19: Opportunity in the Challenge

Wow, what a time we are living in!! I have to remind myself daily that this is the world we have dreamed and it is truly amazing to see how people are coming together, how the pollution of the world is down, how we are being asked to move more slowly in such a fast paced world. I really and truly see it as a gift we are being offered and not one to take lightly. Below you will find some information on covid-19 that perhaps you have not come across and some resources to help you through this and all the other challenges life has in store for us.
 
All life is connected, in fact our bodies are literally made up of bacteria and viruses. They help us break down our food and bolster our immune systems and challenge us to evolve physically, mentally and spiritually. Viruses are especially fascinating as they require a host cell to replicate and so parts of our DNA are actually virus DNA. 
 
We can not escape this truth nor can we escape interacting with these microorganisms. It is a part of being human. But many of us view these tiny beings we share the planet with as something to be eradicated. I think however it is more about harmony than war. Our bodies are innately clever and built to decide which organisms are friend and which are foe. Our greatest defence against organisms that threaten our lives is in our immune systems and part of the immune system is built up of good microorganisms. 
 
In traditional Chinese medicine pathogens are broken down into wind, cold, hot or toxins often with accompanying dampness. In order to expel the pathogens we need strong wei Qi and Zheng Qi (immunity) which are built out of kidney and and stomach fluids. If we are stressed, depleted, or weak than we won’t have enough Qi to defend our bodies and the sicker we will become. 
 
So how can you boost your immune system firstly through diet, eating warm wet foods- porridge, soup, broth, stew, avoiding cold, damp building foods like candy, ice cream, dairy, processed foods. We can also take supplements, herbs and at home practices that have been shown to improve our immune systems. 
Vitamin A,C&D
Zinc
Astragalus
Chaga and reishi mushrooms
Moxabustion
Acupressure
Qi gong 
 
Finally we need to release the fear, anxiety and stress as it is one of the primary things that weakens our immune system. Here are a few suggestions
deep breaths, 
time in nature. 
warm baths, 
exercise, 
talking with loved ones, 
rescue remedy,
Acupuncture, 
Meditation ( sign up for my newsletter to download my tree of life meditation) 
All of this goes far beyond just the virus, the incredible amounts of change that are being asked of us are unsettling to our instinctive centre. Residing just below our root chakra, our instinctive centre remembers all of our early childhood, ancestoral and past life traumas. Whenever anything is unsettling to it, whether it be childhood trauma, an ancestor who died of the spanish influenza or our own death many life times ago from another epidemic, our body remembers and the fear rises up, even if we rationally know the fear is not justified by the circumstances our bodies don’t know that and we are sent into a fight, flight or freeze response. The best ways to manage this are with breath, bringing awareness into your body and your environment to remember you aren’t in immediate threat, smudging yourself with tobacco, palo santo or sage and getting shamanic healing to clear the fear and realign the body, mind and spirit. 
 
Remember all challenges are opportunities, For the first time in years you can hear the birds singing in Wuhan, there is no smog in the skies of major cities like LA, people are coming together online to support those less fortunate in need. We are truly at a time of writing a new dream for humanity. I personally am incredibly excited about this opportunity! In Shamanism, there is a practice of dreaming our worlds into being, most shamanic cultures believe that everything we believe comes true and so each moment we have a chance to dream a new and better world into being. Through practices like mindfulness this is what we are doing, we are becoming aware of our surroundings, our actions and our reactions and learning to change them, creating a new reality for ourselves. What better time to try and do this then when we are asked to change our lives and are given the time and space to rest, reflect and dream. 
I hope you take this time to dive deep, walk in nature, move slowly, enjoy time with your loved ones and really imagine what a better world would be like.
 
To help you I have recorded a tree of life mediation which is part of my morning routine and is excellent at releasing fear, worry, anxiety and stress, grounding oneself and realigning body, mind and spirit with all that is. You can get your free copy when you sign up for my email newsletter.
 
I am also offering sliding scale distance shamanic healings. A powerful way to reset our systems, clear our fears and begin to dream again. $30-60/session
I will be available for a limited number of acupuncture and shamanic acupuncture sessions for those in need. 
I am also available by email if you have any questions or concerns.
 
Many Blessings
Marika Reid Hall RAc HDP BA
 
Acupuncture in Pregnancy: Effectiveness Gaps in conventional Pregnancy Care

Acupuncture in Pregnancy: Effectiveness Gaps in conventional Pregnancy Care

Introduction:

Pregnancy is a special and unique time in any woman’s life that can be full of ups and downs both personally and physically and is often marked with advice, opinions, stories and studies that can leave a woman confused and overwhelmed. The physical adaptations that the body undergoes in pregnancy is truly remarkable and can lead to discomfort in some women, though most are short lived and go untreated, some can be more serious and can lead to medical interventions that are risky to both mother and baby. My professional experience as a Doula witnessing women go through these discomforts, big and small, with little to no safe and effective treatment in standard maternity care inspired me to look at the effectiveness gaps in maternity care and the role acupuncture can play in filling these gaps.  Effectiveness gaps (EG) as first written about by Fisher P et al. 2004 are identified as an area of clinical practice where available treatments are not fully effective. Pregnancy is a time when women’s bodies and the fetuses they are growing are considered very delicate and extra caution is advised by both modern and traditional practitioners. Furthermore, due to the ethics of studying pregnant women the availability of good studies is often lacking. In this paper I hope to offer some safe and effective solutions using acupuncture for women suffering from common discomforts of pregnancy. 

Methods:

Upon thinking about this research, I began by considering my professional experience in working with pregnant women. From my experience I have seen the following issues come up during pregnancy and thought they may be deemed to be EG by midwives in my area; nausea and vomiting, heartburn, low back, sciatica, rib and pelvic pain, insomnia, anxiety/ depression, bleeding, haemorrhoids, varicose veins, edema, induction, hypertension, breech, posterior position, constipation, anemia, headaches, UTIs, pain relief in labour, itching, gestational diabetes, fatigue and exhaustion. In order to gather further information on EG, I sent invitations to participate in semi-formal interviews to the 32 midwives operating in Victoria, BC and the surrounding area. Of these I received responses from two midwives, of which one lead to a successful and enlightening interview, who for anonymity I will refer to as Sarah. It would have been ideal to interview more midwives, however the one I did speak with had over 20 years experience working in two major centres in Canada, both pre-registration and under registration of the provincial governments of Alberta and BC. The discomforts and diseases that Sarah felt were the biggest EG were: Anxiety and depression, Hypertension, sciatica pain and safe effective induction techniques for VBAC women. With these in mind, I searched the available literature and found studies and historical documents on treating the above issues with acupuncture. 

Anxiety and Depression:

Anxiety and depression are two of the leading mental health issues in the world today and women are twice as likely to encounter them throughout their lives, as the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse 2012 report indicates. As Ormsby et al 2016 cite the morbid consequences of depression in pregnant women include an increased risk of obstetric complications, post-natal depression, alterations in growth, development, autonomic nervous function and mental health in children. The current treatments for anxiety and depression are psychotherapy, antidepressants, and anxiolytics, which have not been studied well in pregnancy and may lead to unwanted side effects. 

In my interview. the primary EG that Sarah saw amongst her clients, especially in Victoria is anxiety and depression. She spoke of the stresses to lead a perfect life and the lack of information  and therefore choices these women had as major causes of their anxiety and depression and in her professional experience correlated this to increased hospital births and medical interventions such as epidurals and cesareans. 

From a Chinese Medicine perspective there are several explanations as to why women suffer from twice as much depression. According to Schnyer 2001 cited in Sniezek & Siddiqui 2013, the relationship between the liver, depression and the menstrual cycle is key, as well as other diagnosis that affect the shen/mind such as kidney and/or lung qi deficiency, liver and spleen blood deficiency, liver blood stagnation, cold invasion causing qi and blood stagnation and Jing and Yuan qi deficiencies. Historically, women during pregnancy were viewed as needing extra care and protection, especially from fright, fear and agitation (Betts 2017). Peaceful sleeping places, calming neutral foods and looking at beautiful things was often recommended to women during pregnancy. In this modern day we can still offer many of these recommendations along with acupuncture to soothe the liver, calm the mind, and nourish the qi and blood. 

To date there have been three studies done on acupuncture to treat anxiety and/or depression in pregnancy. As cited in Ormsby et al 2016, In the first RCT conducted by Manber et al 2004 compared 12 treatments over 8 weeks of individualized acupuncture with sham acupuncture and a massage control in 61 pregnant women with major depression. They reported a 69% improvement in the acupuncture group over 32% in the massage group (p=0.031) and 47% in the sham acupuncture group. The acupuncture group also demonstrated a significantly higher average rate of reduction in depression scores in the first month of treatment when compared with the control (p=0.047). In the second RCT lead by Manber et al in 2010, they utilized a larger population of 150 women and found that the acupuncture group demonstrated significantly decreased severity in symptoms when compared with the combined results of the massage control and the sham acupuncture groups (p<0.05) The third study in 2007, lead by Bosco Guerreiro da Silva compared 51 women quasi-randomized into a pre-programmed acupuncture group and a non-treatment group. They reported a reduction of symptom severity of up to 50% in 15 out of the 25 acupuncture subjects vs 5 of the 19 control subjects (p=0.013). They also found that the acupuncture group experienced a significant reduction in 3 out of 5 life disturbance categories (p<0.05).  These studies with their limitations provide good groundwork revealing that acupuncture can provide safe and effective treatment from women suffering from anxiety and depression during pregnancy. More studies are needed and currently Ormsby et al. 2016 are recruiting for a major RCT that will take into account the limitations that affect these three studies; small sample size, quasi-randomization, lack of equivalent care control, unclear randomization generation and concealment, unclear assessor blinding and incomplete baseline and outcome data. 

Hypertension and Preeclampsia 

The American congress of Ostetricians and Gynaecologists 2015 define Preeclampsia as a disorder specific to pregnancy, where gestational hypertension is seen together with proteinuria or other risk factors such as thrombocytopenia, impaired liver function, renal impairment, pulmonary oedema or new-onset cerebral or pulmonary disturbances. According to the Maternal Hypertension in Canada ( Public Health Agency of Canada, 2010/11) report the rate of gestational hypertension without proteinuria was 46.2%, the rate of preeclampsia was 11.5% and the rate of eclampsia was 0.8%. Zeng et al 2016 cite Steegers et al. 2010 as stating that Preeclampsia remains a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity and complicates 2-8% of all pregnancies. Preeclampsia can lead to various complications including eclampsia, renal failure, placental abruption and preterm birth. Normal treatment with antihypertensives throughout pregnancy can have many side effects including fetal growth restriction, fetal renal impairment and reduced placental perfusion, as cited by Zeng et al. 2016.  

In my interview Sarah mentioned the need for ways to lower maternal blood pressure before it leads to preeclampsia and other issues. In Chinese Medicine, Hypertension can refer to TCM patterns of headache. dizziness, tinnitus and palpitations (Shi & Zeng 2011). These are often connected to the liver, which is easily affected by stress and stagnation that can increase in pregnancy.

In my research I found one study on the effects of acupuncture on preeclampsia in Chinese Women (Zeng et al 2015). In it the authors reference two observational studies looking at acupuncture for treating pregnancy-induced hypertension in which both studies found acupuncture to be safe and effective but lacked control groups to draw any comparisons. In the 2015 study by Zeng et al they compared an acupuncture group (n=11) and a control group (n=11) both receiving standard care at baseline, following treatment, 24 hrs before delivery and 1 day postpartum. They found that though mean differences in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were not found immediately following treatment, the mean differences 24 hrs before delivery and 1 day postpartum were significantly lower in the acupuncture group and that the individual change in BP from baseline was significantly lower in the acupuncture group for both SBP (p=0.007) and DBP (p=0.013). They also found no statistical difference in perinatal outcomes between either group. They do outline two limitations, one that there was no sham acupuncture given to the control group, thereby there is no way to rule out placebo. The second was the very small sample size. Overall, the study does seem to show that acupuncture can safely lower blood pressure in women with preeclampsia alongside standard care. 

Low back and Pelvic Pain

Low Back and Pelvic Pain (LBPP) is a common complaint of pregnant women, with loosening ligaments, changes in lumbar curvature and balance due to a growing belly and increased weight, a decreased ability to exercise in the last trimester and often days filled with sitting at a desk, the low back and pelvis structures can stretch, pull, pinch and compress. According to the 2013 Cochrane Review on Interventions for treating and preventing pelvic and back pain in Pregnancy they report several studies (Greenwood 2001; Mousavi 2007; Skaggs 2007) finding that approximately two-thirds of women experience low back pain and one-fifth of women experience pelvic pain and nearly 50% of women receive very little to no treatment at all. The Review also references studies (Van De Pol 2007; Kalus 2007; Mogren 2007; Skaggs 2007) that found for many women, pain interferes with their daily activities, their work, their sleep and leads to increases in depressive symptoms. Common interventions that have been used and that were looked at by the Review are exercise, manual therapy, acupuncture, pelvic belts and pillows and multi-modal approaches each having varying degrees of effectiveness. 

During my interview with Sarah, she particularly spoke of the need for effective treatment for Sciatica pain that some of her clients experienced. She stated that she has had good results treating hip pain with a homeopathic dose of Hypericum Perforatum. In Chinese Medicine, Pain is most often associated with Stagnation of Qi or Blood in a channel that can arise from invasion of a pathogenic factor (wind, cold, damp, heat), injury or an internal organ disharmony affecting a channel (Betts 2006). According to Betts 2006, LBPP is most commonly seen as tenderness and pain along the bladder and gall bladder channels with an internal organ disharmony of either kidney deficiency or Liver qi stagnation. 

In the Cochrane Review 2013 they cite three studies that looked into the use of Acupuncture in treating Pelvic Girdle Pain and Four studies that looked at treating LBPP with Acupuncture. The first, a study by Elden 2008, looked at 108 participants with Pelvic Girdle Pain, the results they found were mixed. The overall pain relief from usual care plus acupuncture vs usual care plus sham acupuncture was insignificant (p=0.483), however there was a significant improvement in daily living in the acupuncture group (p=0.001). Another study by Elden 2005, also looking at pelvic girdle pain amongst 330 participants who received either usual care, stabilizing exercises or acupuncture, found that the usual care group experienced much more severe evening pain then the acupuncture (p=<0.001) and stabilizing exercises (p=0.0245) groups and that the acupuncture group experienced more evening pain relief than the stabilizing exercises group (p=0.0130). The third study by Lund 2006, compared the use of Deep vs superficial acupuncture to treat pelvic girdle pain in 47 participants, though no significant differences were found between the two techniques, 68% of the women receiving superficial acupuncture found improvement in their evening pain and 72% of women receiving deep acupuncture found improvement in their evening pain. 

Of the studies that were included looking at women who suffered both low back and pelvic pain, all four found improvement in pain and function, though they were all deemed low quality by the review. Ekdahl 2010 looked at 32 women who began treatment at either 20 weeks or 26 weeks gestation, they found that the group that started at 26 weeks saw a greater improvement in pain relief. In the study by Kvorning 2004 that looked at 72 women either receiving acupuncture plus usual care or acupuncture alone, found that only 14% of women receiving usual care found improvement in their pain vs 60% of the women receiving acupuncture. In the third study, Wang 2009a looked at 152 women who receive either ear acupuncture, sham ear acupuncture or were on a wait list control. They found that all women reported an improvement in pain, with the acupuncture group reporting significant improvement in pain relief and function compared with the sham group (p=0.02) and the wait list group (p<0.001). Wedenberg 2000 compared 46 women receiving either acupuncture or physiotherapy, while all women experienced improvement in evening pain and disability the acupuncture group reported significantly less intense pain (p<0.01) and disability scores than the physiotherapy group. All of these studies were deemed safe with few mind adverse effects (bleeding and pain at site of insertion) they were all classified as low quality evidence, except Elden 2005 which was considered moderate quality. The review calls for more studies to further illustrate the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating LBPP. 

Discussion:

Overall, though limited by time, funding and a limited number of studies, the findings of this research show that acupuncture is a safe and effective tool for treating the EG of pregnancy that Sarah pointed out in our interview. In future research I would like to interview more midwives regionally, nationally and even internationally to see if different EG exist within different regions, countries and amongst practitioners themselves, as well asking doctors, obstetricians and gynaecologists what EG they found in their practice would be interesting to compare with the midwives results. It is evident from the research that more studies on acupuncture in pregnancy are needed, including studies into whether cervical ripening acupuncture would improve outcomes for VBAC mothers and if acupuncture can help with gestational diabetes as these were EG that Sarah identified that I could not find any research on. With particular consideration of the unique treatment that acupuncture uses and the many limitations of these studies (small size, quasi-randomization, lack of equivalent care control), more studies with a better system of comparison needs to be utilized by researchers, such as The Stricta (2010) (standards for reporting interventions in controlled trials of acupuncture) protocol developed in conjunction with the CONSORT group. There is also much wisdom that is offered in the historical and modern texts and experiences of practitioners that could shed more light on the use and effectiveness of acupuncture. 

Conclusions:

Acupuncture is a safe treatment in pregnancy and seems to offer effective alternative or complementary care for pregnant women with anxiety and/or depression, hypertension, preeclampsia, low back and/or pelvic pain. With Pregnancy being a time of care and caution and being surrounded by a system that is largely adverse to risk, acupuncturists have an important role to providing care to pregnant women when their regular care providers have little to no safe or effective treatments. Many women are told to watch and wait or that it is just part of pregnancy and are often not assisted by their practitioners unless it is deemed critical when interventions are sometimes dangerous, in this acupuncturists can offer women relief from persistent and troubling discomforts in their daily lives and allow for a healthy and happier pregnancy. 

References:

Betts, D. (2006) The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth. East Sussex, The Journal of Chinese Medicine Ltd. 

Betts, D. (2017). Maternity Acupuncture: Pregnancy, Labour and Postpartum. [Lecture] Pacific Rim College, April, 2017.

Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence. (2012) Gender Disparities in Mental Health. World Health Organization. Available from: http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/en/242.pdf 

Fisher, P., Van Haselen, R., Hardy, K., Berkovitz, S. & McCarney, R. (2004) Effectiveness Gaps: a new concept for evaluating health service and research needs applied to complementary and alternative medicine. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 10(4), 627-32. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15353018 

Ormsby, S.M., Smith, A.S., Dahlen, H.G., Hay, P.J. & Lind, J.M. (2016) Evaluation of an antenatal acupuncture intervention as an adjunct therapy for antenatal depression (AcuAnteDep): Study protocol for a pragmatic randomized control trial. Trials. 17(93). Available from: 10.1186/s13063-016-1204-9 

Pennick, L. & Liddle, S.D. (2013) Interventions for preventing and treating low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy (review). The Cochrane Library. 8. Available from: http://uir.ulster.ac.uk/26553/1/LBPP_in_pregnancy_Cochrane_review_2013.pdf

Public Health Agency of Canada. (2010/11). Maternal Hypetension in Canada. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/canada/health-canada/migration/healthy-canadians/publications/healthy-living-vie-saine/maternal-hypertension-maternelle/alt/maternal-hypertension-maternelle-eng.pdf 

Shi, A. & Zeng, D. (2011) Essentials of Chinese Medicine Internal Medicine. Second Edition. California, Bridge Publishing Group.

Sniezek, D.P. & Siddiqui I.J. (2013) Acupuncture for treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systemic Review. Medical Acupuncture. 25(3), 164-172. Available from: 10.1089/acu.2012.0900

Stricta (2010) Checklist for Stricta 2010. Available from: http://www.stricta.info/checklist.html 

Task Force on Hypertension in Pregnancy. (2013) Hypertension in Pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Available from: https://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Task-Force-and-Work-Group-Reports/Hypertension-in-Pregnancy 

Zeng, Y., Liu, B., Luo T., Chen, Y., Chen, G. & Chen D. (2015) Effects of Acupuncture on preeclampsia in Chinese Women: A Pilot Prospective Cohort Study. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2016(34), 144-148. Available from: 10.1136/acupmed-2015-010893 

Acupuncture for Birth: Pre-birth vs induction

Acupuncture for Birth: Pre-birth vs induction

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is said that there are three factors that are needed to start labour; a) activity (yang) Replace growth (yin) b) qi must move freely and move blood c) the uterus must open. I would add a fouth, the baby’s spirit must be ready.

After all Babies come in their own time. But there are so many factors that can make us feel like they aren’t coming at the right time, our nervousness about labour, our desire to meet our babies, our sore achy bodies, medical practitioners talking about big babies and the risks of going overdue, family and friends saying “are you still pregnant, when is that baby coming, wow you look huge”

So how do we help these three factors come together and promote a healthy natural start to labour? Prebirth Acupuncture (aka cervical ripening Acupuncture). Prebirth Acupuncture begins at 36-37 weeks gestation and continues each week until labour begins. In each treatment we discuss how the birthing person is feeling, addressing their concerns, hopes, fears, dreams and desires and based on this a unique combination of points is developed with the help of some special points that move qi and blood, ripen the cervix, relax the tendons and strengthen the body. This time spent each week allows mom to prepare herself, her body and her baby. I am a big advocate of talking to your body and baby and this is a great time to do it. Fears are released, anxiety dissolves, worries disappear, resilience and strength are built and trust in our power and knowledge is developed. All of these things help make stronger mamas and babies and promote more effective labour and birth. It strongly helps mitigate the need to medical interventions and if an induction is required it can make it that much more effective.

Sometimes Inductions happen and hopefully it is for an important reason. Acupuncture is one tool amongst many that can be used for induction or help medical inductions be more effective and prevent further interventions. However, if baby isn’t ready or the three factors that start labour aren’t completed then acupuncture or any other natural induction method will not work. In those cases, only medical interventions will get that baby out, so that mom and baby are both healthy and safe.

Studies show that those women who receive pre birth acupuncture had a shortened labour(1), improved cervical ripening(2,3), a 35% reduction in medical inductions (43%. For first baby), 31% reduction in epidurals and 32% reduction in emergency c-sections(4). While the 2013 Cochrane review of acupuncture for labour induction only found some evidence of cervical maturation in those who received acupuncture(5).

Book Now at Mothering Touch or call 587-581-5081

References:

1 Kubista E Kucera H. 1974. Geburtshilfe Perinatol; 178 224-9

2 Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P.  2001. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr; 113 (23-24): 942-6

3 ​Tempfer C, Zeisler H, Mayerhofe Kr, Barrada M Husslein P. 1998. Influence of acupuncture on duration of labour Gynecol Obstet Invest; 46:22-5

4 Betts D, Lennox S. 2006. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture May; 17(3):17-20

5 Smith Ca. Crowther CA. Grant SJ. 2013. Acupuncture for induction of labour. Cochrane Database System Review.

 

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