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Pregnancy can bring all sorts of aches and pains that you never imagined. Well, a new Swedish study points to acupuncture as a possible reliever for a specific suffering that affects about 30 percent moms-to-be—pelvic pain, Reuters reports. (Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles to stimulate certain areas linked to organs in order to restore balance and health in the body.)
Reuters says that researchers in Sweden found that "sensory stimulation" from both styles of acupuncture—traditional and non-penetrating—helped ease pelvic pain in a study of 115 expectant women. The study cites that pelvic pain was markedly lower for both groups, making neither acupuncture styles more effective than the other. Several of the participating women were able to continue working and other daily activities for a longer period of time than women who took sick leave due to the pelvic pain. Pelvic pain is one of the leading causes of disability and the need for sick leave during pregnancy, Reuters reports.
There's a long list of benefits from acupuncture, what with Chinese medicine identifying more than 2,000 acupuncture points throughout the body plus more women seeking drug-free treatments for pregnancy woes. Studies show that acupuncture can improve your changes of conceiving, especially when combined with in vitro fertilization. Research also shows that this natural remedy can help ease morning sickness, not to mention swelling, back and labor pain.
Mind you, acupuncture is not for everyone. So if you can't stand needles, this alternative approach to pain relief might not be right for you. Remember, some insurance companies might not cover acupuncture expenses. Also, make sure you avoid the stimulation of certain points during pregnancy, such as the intestine or spleen, because it could bring on labor.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor. She wonders if acupuncture would help her allergies.