Pregnant womanMorning sickness is a type of nausea that occurs in pregnant women. It usually starts in the first trimester and sometimes it can last up to the third trimester. Common symptoms of morning sickness are nausea, vomiting, and a heightened sense of smell.

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to overcome morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy. Whether you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting all day, or experiencing bouts of nausea and vomiting every so often, acupuncture can provide long-lasting relief. Acupuncture works by bringing your body back into balance and encouraging relaxation. Also, acupuncture blocks the vomiting center in your brain, which is what causes morning sickness.

The first trimester is an exciting time when you and your body are preparing for the arrival of your new baby. For many women, morning sickness can be a debilitating experience. Acupuncture can help!

In this article, I will share with you how acupuncture and acupressure works to relieve morning sickness, helps you avoid taking medications, and how acupuncture can help you feel better during pregnancy. All of this while being a very safe all natural treatment during pregnancy.

Acupuncture: an ancient therapy to help modern mothers

Acupuncture, when applied to specific points on the body, can help relieve morning sickness symptoms by balancing out the body’s energy. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to help balance energy flow and promote wellness.

Acupuncture works by correcting imbalances in the body. Qi, the body’s energy, flows through the body providing sustenance and the ability to function properly. Nausea comes from a disruption in the flow of Qi. Normally, Qi in the digestive system flows down. When you are experiencing nausea the qi has been blocked and is going up. Acupuncture helps to correct the flow of Qi allowing the naturally regulate and relieving of the symptoms of morning sickness.

When you come in for acupuncture we will discuss your medical history and medication.  I will tailor the acupuncture treatment to address your specific health concerns such as fatigue, poor sleep, brain fog, and pain.

The acupuncture treatment lasts about 30 minutes. Patients find this a very relaxing time and provides some time for you to rest. I will often follow the acupuncture with acupressure on specific acupuncture points and nerves that further relieve the discomfort.

PC 6 Acupuncture point
Pericardium 6 is often used with acupuncture for morning sickness and nausea

The acupuncture points for morning sickness are usually on the arms and legs. The most commonly used point is Pericardium 6 on the palmar side of the forearm.  This point has been widely studied for nausea and can be massaged with acupressure to relieve morning sickness.  

How acupuncture helps morning sickness

Acupuncture helps restore the body’s natural balance and relaxes the nervous system. This promotes the release of hormones that block signals to the vomiting center in the brain.

Acupuncture can help reduce morning sickness and relieve vomiting by targeting the upper gastrointestinal tract. Increased stomach acid can contribute to symptoms like nausea, bloating, and heartburn. Hormonal changes can also relax the esophageal muscles, allowing acid in the stomach to move up towards the esophagus. Acupuncture can also help relieve nausea by reducing stress and encouraging relaxation. It works by triggering the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the body’s responses to stress. 

One study conducted in 2002 involved six hundred pregnant women which showed that traditional acupuncture and acupuncture at PC 6 alone both helped reduce morning sickness, dry retching, and vomiting significantly more than no acupuncture. Traditional acupuncture relieved morning sickness even by the end of the first week. By the end of the study, women in the traditional acupuncture group also showed improvements in vitality, mental health, ability to be social, and overall quality of life.

Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce severe vomiting called hyperemesis gravidum which can occur in 1-2% of women. 

Acupuncture Helps Reduce Pregancy-Related Health Concerns Throughout the Pregnancy

pregnant woman holding her backAcupuncture is a safe, natural therapy that can help women deal with the various uncomfortable symptoms associated with pregnancy. During pregnancy, many women experience various discomforts, including back pain and pelvic pain. It works to create a healthy foundation for pregnancy by balancing blood and Qi in the body. This will support both baby and mother!

Acupuncture is a wholistic therapy that works to treat the whole person. In addition to relieving morning sickness, acupuncture has many other benefits. Including the relief of back pain, musculoskeletal pain, and pelvic pain. And unlike other forms of treatment, acupuncture is completely safe for both mother and baby.

Acupuncture can also be used for conditions such as migraines when those medications should be avoided during pregnancy. 

Is Acupuncture Safe During Pregnancy?


Yes, acupuncture is very safe during pregnancy when performed by a trained licensed professional.

Research shows that acupuncture is safe and effective for pregnant women. One recent study, conducted in Korea with more than 20000 women, found that acupuncture did not cause any adverse effects or an increased risk of preterm delivery or stillbirth

Moreover, a review of 25 acupuncture studies published in 2014 concluded that acupuncture is safe and effective for women during pregnancy

During their later trimesters many women will want to avoid lying on their backs as this puts extra pressure on their back and internal organs. During this time, we can treat your sitting up or lying on your side.  

In addition to treating symptoms of pregnancy, acupuncture can improve blood flow to the umbilical artery. A Doppler study showed that certain acupuncture points increased blood flow to the fetus. It also improved the tone and microcirculation of the blood vessel. With improved circulation, the baby receives more nutrients and immunological support.


What Can I Eat if I Have Morning Sickness?


In addition to acupuncture, changing your diet to avoid certain triggers can reduce your symptoms.

Eat small, frequent meals will help you avoid nausea and vomiting. If you feel hungry in the morning, try to eat a small snack first. Crackers, noodles, toast, and rice are some foods that are good for preventing morning sickness.

Additionally, the addition of ginger to the diet or drinking ginger tea has also been found to reduce morning sickness symptoms.

When it comes to food, avoid spicy foods. Spicy foods can aggravate your nausea by causing too much heat in the stomach, making it even worse. Also, keep a water bottle handy.



Treating morning sickness with acupuncture can help return you to a normal daily life.

 

Using acupuncture to reduce morning sickness and relieve vomiting can be a great way to get back to feeling normal after a bout of nausea and vomiting. It is a natural way to deal with morning sickness without side effects of medications.

Some women will find relief after just one session. Other women will come in weekly or twice a week for acupuncture to relieve these symptoms.

The treatment focuses on strengthening the energetic functions of the digestive system. The patient is also advised on dietary changes focusing on easily digestible foods.

If you have questions about acupuncture for morning sickness please call 212-319-5757 or make your appointment online.