Friday, January 29, 2016

Shiatsu & Acupuncture for the Pregnant Woman

There is a Chinese saying: “Sage within, Kingliness without” This describes the quality which radiates from a pregnant woman, for she is a bridge between Mind, Body, Heaven, Earth and Child. A flow between Mind and Body permits Spirit to openly express and be received. It is innocence without blemish.

When a woman achieves this mystical connection and is open to Heavenly Forces which channel through her body and bring forth new life, a greater power prevails inside her womb. For it is within this seal, the confinement of her womb, that the Creative Principle manifests form. The womb readies itself to develop human life, to house Form and Spirit, and creates, anew, within each moment.
When all elements converge in a smooth, rhythm, it creates greater mental and physical health. Pregnancy is one of the most wondrous, complex and self-affirming experiences which a woman can have. The renewal of life is wondrous, be it human, animal or plant. Even mineral life is wonderful, but as homeo sapiens we marvel at how a baby becomes our mirror.

A woman’s preparation for pregnancy is a great journey. Often times, adequate preparation is often limited or not provided for. Ideally both father and mother lovingly prepare their minds and bodies with health, peace and clarity before conception One year cleansing lifestyle is considered a good preparatory time prior to conception. Ideally both parents are eating a nutritional diet, exercising, and are free of artificial substances, including caffeine, medications, and definitely no nicotine or alcohol are consumed. Having a focus of clarity and receptivity towards welcoming a new life into your world is ideal. When parents have a spiritual practice together, meditate, do Yoga or other calming activities, a bond of Spirit exists.

This is the ideal preparation, but not the norm for most conceptions. However, we can strive towards the goal which draws Harmony, Peace, Balance and Wellness into one’s life, and the life of the coming child. At whatever point a woman is in her pregnancy, she can create healthier conditions for herself and baby.

The art and therapy of Shiatsu and Acupuncture has much to offer towards achieving these ends of greater health for mother and child. Nurturing touch harmonizes and stimulates the organ systems of mother, and consequently baby as they are united. Positive input to the mother enhances fetal life and creates an environment which promotes delivery.
Along with the nervous system, the skin develops from the ectoderm, the outermost of three embryonic skin layers. Taste, smell, hearing, vision and touch as well as teeth and hair all derive from the ectoderm. All external stimuli converge upon the skin. Thusly, the skin may be regarded as an external nervous system.

Developmental beginnings and every experience of the individual’s life are recorded in the cellular memory of our skin and deeper tissues. The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin continually provides information about its environment both external and internal environments. As the skin develops its sensitivity depends upon the type of stimulation it receives. In prenatal life the skin is the first organ to completely develop. Embryologically, the earliest function to develop is the most fundamental to the body.
In utereo experiences can emotionally affect the fetus later in life. For example, if a pregnant woman is trapped in an elevator and the elevator drops suddenly, the baby may develop a fear of heights. But if the abdomen of the mother is gently massaged, the sensations registered by the fetus create a sense of well being.

Shiatsu and Acupuncture together are excellent therapeutic tools for the pregnant woman. Shiatsu can be given alone, or in combination with an Acupuncture treatment. In the early trimester when a woman can still lie on her stomach, her positioning is prone and supine. As the fetus develops and she can no longer lie upon her stomach, lying on her side and back are the positions chosen.

Gentle Shiatsu is given first, prior to offering Acupuncture as a means for kneading and opening any tightened musculature or compressed vertebrae and other joints. When treatments are received on an on-going basis, once a week or bi-weekly, throughout the pregnancy the health of the mother, and the outcome of an easier vaginal delivery can be assured.

Acupuncture can be given on the back, legs, arms, feet, neck and head, but NOT THE ABDOMEN. When a woman is too enlarged for lying in a prone position, she lies on her side to receive Acupuncture on her back. Then she lies supine, on her back with a bolster under her legs. Points are used distally on arms, legs, feet, neck and head.

  •  Relaxes the musculature and tonus 
  •  Increases blood and lymphatic circulation 
  •  Helps prevent edema 
  •  Stimulates Organ Systems of both mother and child 
  •  Helps decrease or eliminate morning sickness 
  •  Ensures improved circulation to the limbs to help deter varicose veins 
  •  Decreases back pain Resolves stagnant Qi (energy) which guards against pinched nerves 
  •  Decreases foot cramps 
  •  Decreases insomnia 
  •  Promotes a calm disposition 
  •  Calms the Shen (Spirit) – emotional-mental centers of mother & fetus are drawn toward homeostasis 
  •  Makes for easier vaginal delivery

For more information on Shiatsu and Acupuncture, visit my website at: