Morning sickness is a common symptom for pregnant women. In fact, nausea and vomiting
affect 50 to 80 percent of pregnant women. Moreover, these symptoms can strike at any
moment throughout the day and of course night. People are increasingly using acupuncture
to treat nausea and other pregnancy-related health challenges.
Acupuncture is a technique in which small metal needles are inserted into the skin at
specific points on the body. A practitioner seeks to balance the yin (cool, slow, passive) and
yang (warm, active) forces in the body while stimulating these areas in order to allow qi to
flow freely (life force). 1
Can Acupuncture Help Morning Sickness
In a 2002 study, researchers randomly assigned 600 pregnant women to traditional
acupuncture, pericardium 6 acupuncture point sham acupuncture, or no acupuncture.
Traditional acupuncture reduced nausea and dry heaving after 2 weeks. 2
Another trial was conducted at a maternity teaching hospital in Adelaide, Australia, where
593 pregnant women under 14 weeks were randomly assigned to one of four groups:
traditional acupuncture, pericardium 6 (p6) acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or no
acupuncture (control). The treatment was given once a week for four weeks. Nausea, dry
retching, vomiting, and health status were the major outcomes. Over the course of four
weeks, comparisons were made between groups. When compared to women in the no
acupuncture control group, women getting traditional acupuncture reported less nausea
throughout the study and less dry retching after the second week. 3
Depending on the style of acupuncture and the practitioner, Acupuncture may be either
completely painless or you the client may experience slight discomfort once the needles
are in place.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The treatment sessions may take between 20 to 30 minutes. Your
acupuncturist will most likely provide you with a treatment plan that includes the number of
sessions you’ll have each week as well as any other information you may require.
Before you go to your first visit, talk to your health professional about your health history,
any pregnancy difficulties, and any other concerns you have regarding acupuncture. Always
make sure you go to a certified and qualified practitioner who is trained as an acupuncturist
especially those working with patients during pregnancy.