Acupuncture for Nausea, Pain, & More

Enhance Your Pregnancy Journey with Acupuncture

Acupuncture, a specialized therapy with a history spanning thousands of years, offers significant benefits for maintaining a healthy pregnancy and ensuring excellent postnatal recovery. In Chinese Medicine (CM), pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal healing are seen as opportunities to elevate a woman’s overall well-being. Emphasizing the value of preventive care, acupuncture works to strengthen both mother and baby and addresses any pregnancy-related issues, thus preventing potential long-term problems. The growing recognition of acupuncture in pregnancy extends beyond New Zealand to countries like England, Germany, and France, where specialized antenatal clinics and maternity hospitals offer these services. Emerging positive studies now validate acupuncture as an effective treatment for various pregnancy conditions.


What to Expect:

At our clinic, we understand that each individual is unique, and treatment is tailored based on a thorough Chinese Medicine consultation and diagnosis. During the initial appointment, which may last up to 90 minutes, we take the time to understand your specific needs. Follow-up sessions are usually 45-60 minutes in duration. Relax to calming music while fine needles are gently inserted and left in place for a specified period. Many of our clients are surprised to find it calming, often leading to a state of relaxation where they may fall asleep. For best results, a series of weekly appointments may be recommended, each building upon the progress of the previous one. Additionally, we offer nourishing treatments at specific intervals throughout pregnancy to promote healthy blood circulation and balanced Qi (energy).

Experience the Benefits:

  • Maintain a healthy pregnancy and birthing process.
  • Elevate overall well-being for both mother and baby.
  • Embrace proactive care to prevent potential long-term issues.
  • Enjoy soothing acupuncture sessions that induce relaxation.
  • Explore the proven effectiveness of acupuncture supported by positive studies.

Join Us:

To embark on a rewarding pregnancy journey with the support of acupuncture, book your appointment now online 

Phone Elaine: 0274914169

Nicky: 0276694430



Discover the time-honored benefits of acupuncture

and cherish a harmonious pregnancy and postnatal recovery

Pregnancy Wellness Program

Today we are caring for woman who enter pregnancy with more complex health concerns.  Many are obese yet undernourished.  We are experiencing a level of health complications never seen before.  If the mother’s system is under stress in any way, then her baby is to a certain degree as well.  This situation has longer consequences on both the mother and baby’s health and the outcome of the pregnancy.  At the end of each pregnancy the goal for all involved is to have a healthy Mum and baby that progresses into a gentle vaginal birth allowing the mother to recover well and be ready to nurture her baby.  This is very difficult to achieve if the mother’s body is suffering from stress, disease, or deficiency in any way.  A mother’s health in pregnancy has a profound effect on the health and wellbeing of the child throughout its life. Hence it is of the utmost importance to create the most ideal environment for the baby to develop in to provide good amounts of qi and blood for it to have a healthy start to life following birth.  The Chinese medicine viewpoint on pregnancy is that it is a time in a woman’s life that she should take time to rest to allow the pregnancy to establish strongly. To nourish herself well every day.  To have time to get gentle exercise and to stretch out tension as her body changes and accommodates extra weight from the baby. It is a time when a woman’s body is building significant qi and blood to support the development of the baby and to avoid complications. This means that the mother needs not only to be on the healthiest of diets and have a healthy lifestyle, but she also needs to be aware of the impact of environmental stresses on the baby.  (See more. Click here for our Pregnancy Wellness Program page


    Pre-Conceptual Care

    Why is this so important?

    Many chronic diseases begin in the preconception phase (Barker 2008; Naish & Roberts 1997). Conception involves both the male and female partners equally.   To achieve a healthy sustainable conception, it must begin with a healthy robust sperm and egg.   Then the newly conceived embryo needs a healthy uterine environment to grow and develop in.  If a conception begins with a less than optimal sperm or egg, or it has a less than optimal uterine environment to develop in,  then it is at risk of miscarrying, dying before birth or suffering from chronic disease during its lifetime, resulting in a shorten life span.  It is vitally important to start off with a healthy sperm and egg that can then go on to grow in a healthy uterine environment being well nourished in the right way to avoid compromised health at any point during its life.


    What to expect from our pre-conceptual care program?

    A full history will be taken of not only what has happened to your body in the past both physically and emotionally but of current symptoms you may have.


    Our program covers:
    • Assessment of overall health, including gut health, past medical history, diet, immunity, exercise, lifestyle, and qi.
    • Charting of your period cycle, including temperatures.
    • Provide education on the fertility diet and lifestyle changes that would be beneficial.
    • Avoidance of certain medication that can affect cervical mucus.
    • Avoidance of harmful environmental toxins including electro-magnetic radiation. Such toxins are known endocrine disruptors and xenoestrogens (BPA and BPS) which can interfere and mimic the bodies hormones and contribute to poor birth outcomes (increases DNA mutations resulting in carcinogenesis) and ability to breast feed. Whatever the mother to be is exposed to in terms of toxic chemicals the baby is exposed to as well.  Understanding the dangers of cosmetic chemicals.  It only takes 26 secs for the chemicals to enter the blood stream from the time of exposure.  The placenta cannot act like a filter to prevent the crossover of these toxins.   It is a good idea to address this prior to conception.
    • Advice on good quality supplements if needed. Good health must start with a healthy diet, supplements are just that, they supplement a healthy diet where needed. Each individual need is slightly different so we might recommend hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) to get a clear idea of what is needed. Not only is it important to consider what we take in, we must also consider factors that increase the excretion and utilisation of nutrients.
    • There are times when we will need to work with your GP to complete blood tests.
    • The impact of stress on the body’s ability to conceive.
    • Guidance to establish a work life balance to support the optimal environment for a conception to take place.
    • Preparation for childbirth from a Chinese perspective.
    • Earthing and the benefits of this to our health.
    • Natural sources of iodine.

    Pregnancy Care



    Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body develops large amounts of qi and blood to support the pregnancy and developing baby.  Haemoglobin is the red blood cell that carries oxygen to every cell of her body.  The haem component of this cell contains the iron.  If this gets depleted this is known as iron deficiency anaemia. The symptoms of this are excessive fatigue, breathlessness, pallor, heart palpitations and poor resistance to infections.  A woman may begin her pregnancy already deficient due to a poor diet or other health condition.  At the beginning of her pregnancy she will have her iron levels checked.  This will give a baseline of her iron stores (ferritin) and the state of her haemoglobin.   At around 26-28 weeks another blood test is offered to check this status.  By this stage, her blood volume has increased providing further information about how well her system is managing with the demands of the pregnancy and developing baby. It is around this time that the baby starts to call on more iron from the mother’s system as it starts developing more of its own haemoglobin.  The mother requires enough iron in her diet to support both herself and baby without leaving either one vulnerable.  It is common at this stage for woman to require extra supplementation for iron. At 36 weeks another blood test will be offered to check her iron stores and haemoglobin.  This will declare the state of her iron studies and whether her system will require more iron support prior to going into labour to minimize the risk of haemorrhaging following birth and to prevent premature labour. Some women appear more at risk of iron deficiency anaemia that others.  They are ones on a poor diet, unable to absorb iron efficiently,  poorly managed vegans or vegetarians, multiple pregnancies, woman who have had their children close together, or woman who have had recurrent miscarriages prior to the current pregnancy.  

    Chinese medicine views anaemia as qi and blood deficiency.  The treatment of acupuncture for this condition focuses on building good amounts of qi and blood.  This is best started as soon as the woman becomes symptomatic or is aware of her low iron levels. When a woman presents in clinic a full history will be taken, a Chinese Medicine diagnose made and, a treatment plan put in place.  She will be shown how she can support this at home each day with her diet, appropriate supplementation, and the use of moxa on certain points.

    Birth Prep

    Birth prep acupuncture is a treatment we offer in the final weeks of pregnancy to help strengthen kidney yang qi and to nourish blood to prepare for childbirth.  Research has shown that women who have pre birth acupuncture experience a shorter labour, use less pharmacological pain relief, and recover faster. Our data that we are collecting has demonstrated this to be the case.  This is a safe and effective treatment that promotes natural childbirth. Treatment can be tailored to the woman’s needs incorporating points for specific ailments as pregnancy advances. Feedback from woman in regard to this treatment has been very positive.


    It is understood that when pregnant the digestive function slows somewhat under the influence of estrogen and progesterone in order for more absorption of nutrients to take place.  The intestines are also grossly displaced to make way for the developing baby.  This contributes to an increased susceptability to constipation and discomfort.  Furthermore in early pregnancy women may be suffering from nausea or vomiting leading to dehydration and a low fibre diet which exascerbates the situation.  If a woman is taking iron tablets she maybe experiencing the side effects of constipation from these.  According to Chinese Medicine there are a number of underlying patterns that can contribute to this disfunction of the bowel.  Acupuncture, dietary advice and exercises can result in more regular soft bowel function.  


    Headaches in pregnancy can be common.  The body’s blood volume increases substantially, and the increase levels of hormones are thought to be the main influence.  The Chinese Medicine viewpoint is that the Conception and Penetrating vessel is flushed with an abundance of qi and blood that is directed towards the developing baby to nourish its rapid development.  The blood supply to the head is reduced leaving it vulnerable to stagnation of qi and blood which presents as a headache of varying intensity.  When the head is undernourished this leads to an imbalance between the yin and yang giving rise to yang hyperactivity.  When undernourished it is open to attack by pathogens which can enter the head via its orifices.  Other triggers could be from foods such as chocolate or gluten, vitamin and mineral deficiency or stress and insomnia. There is very little research on using Acupuncture to treat headaches in pregnancy.  However historically is has been used successfully with good outcomes.  Clinically we witness very positive results in our clinic.


    Heartburn is a very common complaint in pregnancy with most woman experiencing it at some point during pregnancy.  The stomach qi has a descending action on the contents, facilitating its passage to the next stage of the digestion tract.  The Spleen qi focuses on transforming and transporting the contents.  The two work synergistically together.  As the pregnancy advances, the growing baby pushes up under the stomach, compromising the upper sphincter, resulting in an upward movement of qi creating a painful burning sensation.  Acupuncture is helpful in nourishing the spleen qi. There are certain points used that have a descending action on the stomach qi, calming and dispersing the discomfort/stagnation.  Dietary advice and stress management are also part of the treatment plan.



    In order for a woman to go into labour around her due time according to Chinese Medicine there are three factors that need to occur; yang qi needs to strengthen and mature, a woman’s qi and blood needs to flow freely and the door of the uterus (the cervix) needs to open.

    There are many factors involved as pregnancy matures and readies for childbirth.  There is the length of pregnancy, age of placenta, hormones, position of the baby, stress, health of both mother and baby, emotions such as fear, frustration, and anxiety.  Any of these things can disrupt the woman’s body from going into labour smoothly. There are many acupuncture points that have been used traditional to facilitate the free flow of qi and blood, nourish qi and blood, sooth a woman’s emotions and help correct the position of the baby.  Even if an induction is planned acupuncture may facilitate a more efficient labour. The feedback that we have received from woman is that it helped them cope better and reduced the intervention rates.


    Sleep disturbances in pregnancy are very common.  There are a variety of reasons for this.  In the first trimester there are rapid changes taking place within the woman’s body that is influence by the high levels of circulating pregnancy hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. In early pregnancy many women suffer from nausea that disrupts their sleep, increase urinary frequency occurs as the uterus and developing baby is moving up out of the pelvis, breathing difficulty from congested sinuses, sleep apnea and mood disorders.  Later in pregnancy it is related to discomfort from the developing baby putting pressure on the woman’s pelvis, back or ribs; heartburn, increased urination from pressure applied on the bladder as the baby then begins to descend into the pelvis, oedema, stress and anxiety.

    Acupuncture is very effective in treating insomnia with many clients falling asleep during treatment. 

    Treatment may involve the recommendation of supplements, stress management, diet, and lifestyle changes. 

    Musculoskeletal Pain

    As the pregnancy is advancing there are several musculoskeletal pain conditions that can arise as the woman’s body adjust to extra weight distribution and the hormones of pregnancy are influencing the ligaments.  This includes sciatica, carpal tunnel, leg cramps, backache, rib, hip and pelvic pain, and joint pain.  The growing baby can put pressure on the ribs and pelvis leaving those areas very tender.  As the pregnancy advances a woman’s centre of gravity is altered which can lead to neck, shoulder, and back problems.  In Chinese Medicine this type of pain is seen as a disruption in the flow of qi that flows through the channels of the affected area.   The qi is stagnating.  This comes about from over strain, trauma, or from pathogenic factor from cold, damp, heat or wind that has invaded the channels disrupting its flow.  In the event of carpel tunnel syndrome this has occurred due to the increased oedema in the cells which has put pressure on the nerves that flow through this tunnel.   There is usually an underlying deficiency of Kidney qi that has left the body vulnerable. Treatment will involve nourishing the qi and moving the stagnation gently. If oedema is present acupuncture is used to relieve some of the oedema.  TCM dietary advice will be included in the treatment.

     Nausea and Vomiting (Morning Sickness)

    This occurs in about half of pregnancies and can happen at any time of the day and sometimes reoccurs throughout the pregnancy.  It can range from mild nausea to severe vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum) that needs medical assistance. The cause is thought to be related to high hormone levels such as HCG and oestrogen which overwhelms the woman’s system.  It is understood in Chinese Medicine that this creates a disordered function of the Penetrating vessel which interferes with the descending action of the Stomach qi leading rebellious qi which presents itself as nausea and vomiting.  There are several patterns here that Acupuncture can help to correct.  While having treatment Nicky and Elaine will also discuss triggers of nausea, dietary and lifestyle changes that is known to help.  When treating morning sickness, a woman may require more frequent treatments depending on the severity of her symptoms. It is our clinical experience and data that is showing that treatment using Acupuncture for nausea and vomiting is very beneficial.


      Oedema is an accumulation of an excessive amount of fluids within the body tissues.  This can range from mild to excessive.  Mild oedema will resolve overnight while resting.  Once it starts accumulating beyond this then special attention is given to the woman’s blood pressure and urinalysis.  If this is moving out of the normal range, then close monitoring will be done by her Lead Maternity Carer.

      The Chinese medicine understanding of this is that the spleen is failing to transform and transport the fluids of the body.   When we refer to the spleen function, we include the stomach as well.  Combined they carry out the role of transforming and transporting the contents that is put into it whether that be solid food or liquids.  This process is helped by the other organs particularly the Kidney which provides the yang energy to heat the contents.  They co-exist in this function.  If a woman’s body is deficient in this type of qi she is more likely to experience more oedema and become symptomatic of its presence.  She may experience such symptoms of swelling of the limbs, heaviness of limbs, tightness to her skin and difficulty in attempting to squat, cold limbs, she may have carpel tunnel syndrome.  If there is excessive oedema in the lower limbs they may leak fluid. During pregnancy woman are particularly vulnerable to spleen qi deficiency as the function of their digestive organs slows down a bit to allow for more absorption of nutrients needed for the developing baby.

      Acupuncture is given to nourish her Spleen qi, Kidney yang qi and to clear the damp accumulation. There will be a discussion around diet and the known damp forming foods that should be removed from her diet.  She will be shown how to moxa certain points so she can continue supporting the treatment each day at home. 

      Sinus Congestion

      During pregnancy there is an increase in circulating blood volume and increasing estrogen levels.  This can have a direct impact on the nasal mucosa, leading to inflammation and increased gland activity.  This can leave women vulnerable to sinus infections or aggravation of a pre-existing Sino nasal condition.  Leaving the person with blocked nasal passages, postnasal drip, localized pain, headaches, and purulent nasal discharge.  When treating pregnant women with this condition we have seen good results using acupuncture.  In Chinese Medicine it is understood that an acute attack is due to invasion of wind-heat that impairs the descending function of the Lung qi.  In a chronic condition it is due to Spleen qi deficiency allowing dampness to accumulate.  Often eating an abundance of damp forming foods such as dairy, sugar or an excess amount of cold foods will exacerbate this condition.


      Threatened Miscarriage

      It is estimated that this happens in about 20% of all pregnancies although if all were recorded it could be as high as 40%.  There are many reasons for a miscarriage, chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, hormonal deficiencies, an immune reaction against the embryo, infections, coeliac disease, uterine malformation or incomplete cervix, stress or trauma, and fibroids.

      It is worth mentioning that not all vaginal bleeding will indicate a miscarriage.  In early pregnancy it is common for a small amount of bleeding to occur as the embryo is embedding into the uterine wall.  From a Chinese Medicine viewpoint, a miscarriage suggests disharmony in the conception and penetrating vessels which is responsible for gathering the blood and nourishing the foetus.  This comes about due to Kidney yang or yin deficiency, qi and blood deficiency, spleen qi sinking or blood heat.  There are many treatment options depending on what the individual Chinese diagnosis is.  The sooner the treatment begins the better the outcome.  If a woman has experienced more than one miscarriage, we would suggest treatment for the months leading up to conception to build strong kidney qi to prevent further miscarriages.  We would also address diet and lifestyle factors that may be contributing to such deficiencies.

      Although there is no way of knowing the causative factors at the time of a threatened miscarriage there remains potential for early pregnancy support using Acupuncture to reduce stress.  This is done by nourishing qi and blood.  This is thought to have a positive effect on progesterone production, stress hormones, immune function, qi and blood.  Acupuncture has been used historically to prevent miscarriage and is recommended in traditional teachings.

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