Acupressure for Morning Sickness

Self-Care for Morning Sickness

Thankfully, Chinese medicine has quite a bit to say about treating nausea. (Did you know it’s so effective, most insurances reimburse for acupuncture treatment of morning sickness and nausea from chemotherapy?) Some of my favorite points to use with moms during pregnancy include:

Ren-22 (天突, Celestial Chimney)

This point is located at the very base of the throat, just above the sternum.

Pericardium-6 (內關, Inner Gate)

Use your one hand to locate this point on the opposite arm. You’ll find the point between two major tendons roughly 2 inches up from the wrist crease on the inside of the forearm. The exact distance equals the width of your index, middle and rings fingers when measured across the knuckles furthest from the body.

Kidney-6 (照海, Shining Sea)

You’ll find this point in a depression just under the high point of the ankle bone on the inside of the foot.

How to Do Acupressure

It’s best to see your acupuncturist first to ensure you’re stimulating the correct point. Once you’ve got it, you’ll want to stimulate both sides. Massage gently at the point for a few minutes, using your intention to imagine you and your baby coming into harmony and alignment. Imagine all stress being released with the out breath and support coming in on the in breath. You can even couple with an affirmations like, “I love knowing my baby and I are safe.” “Every day it becomes easier to trust the process of life.” “Everything in my life takes place in perfect timing.”

foods to clear heat: watermelonFoods to Reduce Morning Sickness

Beyond self-acupressure, foods are, of course, the most effective home remedy for morning sickness. I encourage you to read the article from Karen Hurd as to why pulses (aka beans) are your best friend right now. In Chinese medicine, we have largely two patterns that fit the symptom of morning sickness. One is Spleen-Stomach deficiency (see: “Deficiency” column in table); and the other of Liver heat or stagnancy overacting on the Stomach (see: “Excess” column in table). Your acupuncturist/herbalist should be able to tell you which category better suits your needs if it’s not readily apparent to you looking at the below presentations.

Spleen-Stomach Deficiency

Symptoms of deficiency include vomiting of watery fluids (may have undigested food, no particular smell or taste), poor appetite, and fatigue.

Liver Excess Overacting on Stomach

Symptoms of Liver excess include vomiting with bitter or sour taste, sour belching, strong thirst, a feeling of restriction through the side ribs, headaches (largely one-sided), dizziness and irritability.

Food Group

Deficiency

Excess

Fruits
Apricots
Dates
Peaches
Raisins
Apples
Bananas
Kiwis
Pears
Strawberries
Watermelon
Vegetables
Carrots
Fennel
Potato, soup
Sweet potato
Bamboo sprouts
Celery
Dandelion
Eggplant
Spinach
Tomato
Water chestnut
Protein (Nuts & Pulses)

2-4T beans/episode; or 1/2 c at each meal

Almonds
Black beans
Black-eyed peas
Garbanzo beans
Kidney beans
Lentils
Navy beans
Pinto beans
White beans
Almonds
Black beans
Black-eyed peas
Garbanzo beans
Kidney beans
Lentils
Mung beans
Navy beans
Pinto beans
White beans
Grains
Corn
Millet, e.g. soup
Rice, e.g. congee
Corn
Millet, e.g. soup
Pearl barley
Rice, e.g. congee
Wheat, e.g. crackers
Fluids
Apple cider vinegar (1T in boiling water + honey)
Broth, veg or chicken
Chamomile tea
Ginger tea (<3 c/day)
Won ton soup

Apple cider vinegar (1T in boiling water + honey)
Broth, veg or chicken
Chamomile tea
Green tea
Peppermint tea
Won ton soup
Supplements
Vitamin B6, 75 mg (25 mg every 8 hours)Vitamin B6, 75 mg (25 mg every 8 hours)
Avoid
Citrus fruit
Coffee
Cold foods (e.g. salads)
Crab/crayfish
Dairy
Hot spices (chili, garlic, cinnamon)
Lamb
Raw foods
Sugar, in excess
Citrus fruit
Coffee
Crab/crayfish
Hot spices (chili, garlic, cinnamon)
Lamb
Sugar, in excess

Need more help?

If you need more help in getting relief, consider coming in for acupuncture. In addition to treating nausea and vomiting, acupuncture can also help relieve back pain, headaches, insomnia and depression during pregnancy.


References

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