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Carpal tunnel of the hands and general swelling of legs & ankles

Posted by Tabitha Fennell on 18 February 2016
Carpal tunnel of the hands and general swelling of legs & ankles

This usually occurs later in the 3rd trimester but if it does affect you earlier, see an Acupuncturist straight away.

How does acupuncture work?

So in Chinese Medicine this can be due to your kidneys being deficient or tired due to the fact that the kidneys play a huge role in the making a baby, hence their usual duties of cleaning and filtering the fluids and blood is reduced. When this happens the fluids commmonly get stuck in the lower legs and ankles, or all over the body including the hands and fingers. There is nothing drastic happening to your kidneys as in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) we see your kidneys as the organ which is your fire (yang), the major energy maker of your body. When this energy gets low the fluid retention is a side effect and a way for your body to tell you to rest, conserve and build energy. The fluid puts pressure on the nerve endings and causes pain, like pins and needles, causing certain movements of the hands to be difficult. So acupuncture is great at supporting the Kidney yang and has a natural effect on relieving inflammation while moving and clearing fluids. This will ease the pain and help relieve the fluid retention.

A lot of pregnant women just put up with this thinking that it's all part of pregnancy, but help is here for you.


1. Have at least 1 litre of water a day, this will help flush those kidneys out and get the fluids moving, don't think that not drinking water will help the fluid retention decrease, as in fact, not drinking water will make it worse.

2. Legs up the wall or above the head and chest daily, especially at the end of the day.

3. Slowing down in your everyday life and resting at home when you can is a key component to helping your kidney energy build.

4. Hopefully giving up or minimizing work when this issue arises.

5. Acupuncture, of course.

6. Massage as well will help the lymphatic system move and disperse excess fluid. See someone who is trained and understands pregnancy massage.

When this swelling happens it's a good idea to consult your doctor who can check your blood pressure as this can sometimes can be a sign of preeclampsia.

Best, Tabitha 


Author: Tabitha Fennell
About: Acupuncturist and Director of Studio Qi
Tags: acupuncture Preventative health reduce swelling pregnancy swelling reduce pain pain relief relief bloating aches carpal tunnel fluid retention body

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