If you’re a mum or soon to be, morning sickness is not something you’ve just heard about. Not only can it affect your everyday life but there is no cure that works for everyone. If you want to be as natural as possible whilst pregnant, Dr Amanda Waaldyk, Practitioner at Angea Fertility Clinic has some expert advice on alternatives to relieve you.
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Today more than 80 per cent of pregnant women will experience morning sickness to varying degrees, many of which experiencing nausea and vomiting. Traditionally women have been prescribed drugs to reduce their symptoms of nausea. However many of these come with a risk, posing harm to the baby. For many there might be a natural alternative that can alleviate their nausea, that doesn’t involve any drugs or ongoing medications. Let me introduce you to the art of acupressure.
Many of us are familiar with the ancient Chinese art form of acupuncture, which involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin on acu-points. However the concept of acupressure may be a little unfamiliar, despite their similarities. Acupressure is an effective alternative to acupuncture, which stimulates the same acu-points through applied pressure.
Acupressure is leading the charge in providing a natural alternative to curing nausea and is proving to be a useful, natural alternative to morning sickness treatment.
How does acupressure work?
The art of acupuncture, or the self-treatment of acupressure corrects the energetic imbalances and eliminates symptoms. In traditional Chinese medicine problems like headaches, lower back pain, insomnia, nausea and so on are deemed as symptoms associated with these energetic imbalances.
Acupressure initiates the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture and acupressure’s effects on the nervous, endocrine, reproductive, immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems.
After stimulating specific acu-points, the nervous system is activated and signals the brain to release certain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine or endorphins. These then block the other chemicals that cause the nausea and vomiting, reducing and eliminating the symptoms.
With reference to nausea, the Nei Guan points or the pericardium 6 (P6), located on the wrists have been scientifically shown to relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting induced by many causes, including morning sickness (and many more!).
In order to find your Nei Guan point, place three fingers horizontally from the base of your wrist. The Nei Guan point lies just below the third finger between the two main tendons (essentially in the middle).
How can acupressure help with morning sickness?
Now that we understand how acupressure works, it’s not hard to see how it has such a positive impact on relieving symptoms nausea and vomiting. During pregnancy most women are hesitant to use traditional medication, as these pose risk to the baby. And for some, morning sickness can be experienced over a long period of time and a natural, non-toxic solution is usually preferred.
The ‘Sea-Band Trial in Motion Sickness’ study conducted by the Hospital of San Carlo Borromeao (Italy) found that motion sickness was reduced in 70% of women who used this form of acupressure treatment.
A trained physician, or acupuncturist can perform acupressure, or acupuncture. Alternatively the individual can perform acupressure in the comfort of their own home – ensure you receive specific guidance on how to do so from the physician or acupuncturist. There are also products on the market that use acupressure technology or applied pressure to the specific Nei Guan points, allowing you to get about your day.