Acupuncture has been used for more than 2000 years in China and Japan. In traditional Chinese medicine, QI, is the energy that flows through the body’s 14 meridians, which are pathways like rivers or branches in the body. Acupuncture restores balance between yin and yang by stimulating the circulation of QI & blood in the body. There are 361 acupuncture points located along the 14 meridians throughout the body.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, labour is expected to connect when 3 factors occur simultaneously 1) Yang activity replaces yin material growth 2) QI flows freely and moves blood and 3) the door of the uterus opens. When QI flows correctly and the blood circulates well, a harmonious labour follows.
Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for encouraging onset of labour. It engages with the central nervous system allowing the deep neural pathways to relax. Acupuncture effectively encourages the 'letting go' and total relaxation of your body to surrender and assist in your cervical ripening to allow the spontaneous onset of your labour.
A question some people ask "Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy? Two recent systematic reviews published by Park et al in 2015 and Clarkson et al in 2015 both found a low incidence of adverse effects from acupuncture during pregnancy. They stated that most adverse effects are minor and not related to pregnancy such as fainting, drops in blood pressure, drowsiness, discomfort, and localized bleeding or bruising. There were no miscarriages, no pre-term births and no other obstetric complications attributed to acupuncture in either review.