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Labor prep and Labor Stimulation Acupuncture- What’s the Difference?

Expectant mothers may have heard that acupuncture can be used to prepare for labor or even to stimulate contractions to come on. If you are approaching the end of your third trimester and want to know more about what acupuncture can offer, here are some key points.

At Earth + Sky, we offer 2 distinct types of acupuncture sessions for those nearing the end of their pregnancy: labor prep and labor stimulation. While they might seem pretty interchangeable, they are actually quite different in their intention.

Anna Melhop Strong, our licensed acupuncturists explains the difference. “Labor prep acupuncture is acupuncture that is useful in preparing mom and baby to go into labor, while labor stimulation acupuncture is a technique that is aimed at increasing the intensity and frequency of uterine contractions.”

According to Anna, labor prep acupuncture focuses on 4 main things:

A. Positioning baby optimally for labor. If baby is in a breech or posterior presentation, acupuncture is aimed at re-positioning. If baby is positioned high and the mother is at term, acupuncture points can be used to gently encourage baby to drop.

B. Cervical ripening. There are acupuncture points that are used to facilitate cervical ripening as part of labor prep.

C. Dealing with aches and pains. As pregnancy progresses, back pain or pelvic pain can worsen as well as uncomfortable swelling of the hands and feet. Labor prep acupuncture can help with this. If you are uncomfortable, you are not going to be resting well, and resting as well as possible is an important part of getting ready for labor.

D. Calm the mind. The prospect of giving birth can preoccupy a woman’s mind, especially as the due date approaches or has arrived already. Sometimes this “Qi Stagnation” as it is termed in Chinese medicine, can block a woman who is otherwise ready from going into labor naturally. Treatment will help create a state of calm.

Ideally, a woman begins labor prep around 36 weeks, and has weekly sessions until delivery. Not every pregnancy calls for stimulation acupuncture, but every pregnancy can benefit from labor prep acupuncture. And if needed previous prep sessions can actually make a stimulation session more productive. Labor stimulation acupuncture is recommended only when it is deemed appropriate by a midwife or OB-GYN. In other words, just because you are a few days away from your ‘due date’ might not mean you need a stimulation session!

The exception? Medical Induction. Anna advises, “If someone is facing the prospect of a medical induction, they should consider coming in for an evaluation to decide which type of treatment would be best for them.” In addition, labor stimulation acupuncture may be used prior to a medical induction to prepare, or during labor to encourage contractions.

Lastly, its good to know that massage and acupuncture pair well together. “Having a massage first can help a person relax prior to the acupuncture session and receive the needles more easily.” says Anna. She also adds that doing them on the same day is not only permissible, but advised. So book yourself some self care time before the baby arrives. All good things come in due time, including the little one you are waiting on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t support the readying process in the meantime!

To schedule a labor prep acupuncture session click here, for labor stimulation please call our office to schedule.

Meet Anna:

Anna Mehlhop Strong is a Licensed Acupuncturist and dedicated practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She holds a Master’s Degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and is licensed and registered to practice in New York State. Anna began her study of this ancient tradition after witnessing firsthand the healing effects of Chinese medicine. Her education included thorough training in the prescription of herbal medicinals, the diagnosis and treatment of health imbalances based on the theory of Chinese medicine, and a firm foundation in Western anatomy and physiology. She also completed a year-long internship at an acupuncture practice specializing in fertility, obstetrics, and pediatrics. Before moving to New York City, Anna was in private practice in the Chicago area from 2011-2015 successfully treating numerous patients for health issues ranging from musculoskeletal complaints, fertility difficulties, allergy and immune health, and stress and anxiety. She is happy to practice a medicine that offers maximum healing with minimum side-effects and enjoys being able to facilitate a patient’s journey to health.

September 21, 2017 Comments Off on Labor prep and Labor Stimulation Acupuncture- What’s the Difference?

Sharing what’s Unique about Earth + Sky

We were recently featured in an article, Earth + Sky Healing Arts Offers Unique Holistic Wellness Treatments. If you’re interested in Long Island Real Estate, check out what they have to offer for Hempstead, NY Real Estate.

Earth + Sky Healing Arts of Long Island City has been providing a variety of head-to-toe holistic treatments since 2001. Although the practice specializes in services for female clientele, Earth + Sky offers everything from cranial sacral therapy for infants to deep tissue massage for athletes. When owner Katinka Locascio opened the business, she wanted it to be a place where everyone could benefit from holistic healing.

Services include several forms of massage including Swedish and prenatal massage, acupuncture, and v-steaming, a unique treatment which uses steam and herbs to increase circulation in the pelvic area. Many of the treatments are specifically for expectant and new moms; there’s prenatal and postpartum massage, and acupuncture specific for labor preparation. To make things easier, new moms are welcome to bring their newborns with them to the massage during the first three months.

Earth + Sky is also one of the few holistic spas in the Long Island area to offer breast massage, which is ideal for those that have had breast surgery or suffer from edema or back pain. This massage focuses on the back, shoulders, and chest areas, and may include massage of the breasts themselves depending upon the client’s preferences (and may be done through a drape.) Another unique service is Mayan abdominal massage which increases the blood and energy flow to the digestive system and reproductive organs.

General traditional acupuncture is available for everybody, and uses the insertion of hair-thin, sterile needles just into the skin’s surface to unblock energy in the body and encourage healing. The ancient Chinese medicine has been used to treat everything from acne to insomnia as well as aches and pains in the body.

Locascio herself is a licensed massage therapist and also certified as a labor doula. Her other practitioners hail from all over the country with backgrounds in massage, childbirth, and Chinese medicine. All believe in the human body’s capacity to heal itself, particularly with a helping hand from a professional. Earth + Sky serves as a reprise from a hectic daily cycle, and a relaxing place to melt away stress, as many of its clientele can attest to.

“Many of our clients have shared they they sleep better, have less pain, recover more quickly from stressful periods, and are more free in their movement when they add in massage and acupuncture to their wellness regimen,” Locascio said. “Relaxation is a learned skill, the more time we spend practicing it, the better at it we become.”

September 5, 2017 Comments Off on Sharing what’s Unique about Earth + Sky