There are a host of issues that are aided with Chinese Medicine during pregnancy. Early issues such as morning sickness or threatened miscarriage to issues that arise later such as back pain, gestational diabetes, breech presentation and more - all of which can be helped. Labor induction is another area where Chinese Medicine is quite useful. In the US at least, the majority of these treatments will be done outside of the delivery room so they have to be tempered a little to avoid going into active labor while in the office, but nonetheless they are extremely useful. In our clinic we do quite a bit and besides fostering labor in women who may be late or have a history of difficult labor, I've noticed clinically that women overall seem to have overall easier deliveries as well.
A study published in a Hebrew medical journal, harefuah, recently looked at the affects of including both bodywork and acupuncture vs. conventional induction methods. The study recruited 80 patients aged 22-40 who needed labor induction. The researchers used 30 women as a control and gave them conventional treatment and then another 50 were put into a Chinese Medicine treatment group.
They found both generally effectiveness as far as inducing labor, but perhaps more importantly shorter times to delivery in the treatment group vs. the control group. Certainly this verifies what I've seen clinically. This study also illustrates a good example of collaboration between western medical procedures and Chinese Medicine. They concluded that "this is an important result considering the high availability and low cost of Chinese treatment, and especially because it is a non-harmful method of inducement".
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