If you are suffering with headaches or migraines while you're pregnant then acupuncture is for you, as generally you want to avoid putting strong medications into your body, if possible. A lot of the time your headaches/migraines can be caused by surges in hormones, acupuncture is brilliant at regulating and balancing your internal organs, especially your liver. Your liver does a lot of filtering and breaking down of your hormones and when this gets overwhelmed headaches can appear. So we soothe and spread the Liver Qi, helping its normal function to regulate and strengthen.
Stress is often a big factor of headaches and for some, being pregnant can be a stressful and anxious time. We all have our worries and if you suffer from stress and anxiety before you get pregnant then being pregnant can cause more emotions to arise. Getting support to ease and balance this is what acupuncture can do.
Usually your neck and shoulders will play a big part in your headaches. Muscles over time can get very tight and thus restrict the oxygen and blood flow to these areas and your brain. Of course your brain will be fine but your headaches may be a sign that dehydration is occuring, causing your muscles to become very tight and impede blood flow.
If you are dehydrated you can become constipated and this will cause headaches as well. Adding bananas or a good green smoothie to your day will aid your bowel to move. A teaspoon of Phyllium powder to water is also a healthy fibre supplement you can take to move things along.
Sipping water - start early in your day and aim to consume one litre by 2pm. Sipping helps with less running to the toilet and aids in hydrating your body. This will help with less toilet stops at night time too.
If constipated, see above for safe tips to improve bowel movements.
Simple neck and shoulder stretches when you awake, as simple as chin to chest and gently tipping your head backwards followed by gentle head to shoulder stretches on both sides. Slowly is the key, with nice deep breathing. A few reps of these will loosen the shoulders and neck and get blood and oxygen into those stiff muscles before you get into your day.
Alleviating and dealing with stress can be as simple as getting some valuable time to yourself, gentle exercise and having a creative outlet can do wonders. If this stress and anxiety is deeply troubling you then a great counselor can help you sort out where it's coming from.
How does acupuncture work?
While acupuncture does work superficially increasing blood and oxygen to the muscles, it also works internally with your organs creating free flow with your liver. This means that it is improving and regulating the hormone system. It will improve bowel movements and relax your tight neck and shoulders, taking away toxins and lactic acid to improve better muscle function. If stress is present then the acupuncture can bring the body back to balance by dissolving these feelings and relaxing tight muscles as it stimulates endorphins and lowers cortisol levels. You will notice an improvement in your nights sleep and general energy levels as you become calmer and headache free. During the treatment you will feel the stress fade away with an inner clarity and a deep relaxed state that floods over you ensuring that you can carry on. As you can see headaches from a Chinese Medicine approach can arise from many reasons, but whatever the reason acupuncture can help.
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