Acupuncture for nausea is an effective way to treat the condition. It helps manage the feeling of sickness by restoring the natural energy flow of your body by inserting needles at specific points. The feeling of nausea reduces when the natural energy flow corrects by using force to particular locations. In electro-acupuncture, the small current stimulates the flow of blood around the body, reducing the feeling of vomiting.
The needles inserted stimulate the nerves that send signals to the brain. These signals invariably stimulate the brain to increase the production of hormones that can reduce nausea.
The reason for the stimulation is the increase in beta-endorphins secretion. (1) Moreover, acupuncture does not require any oral consumption of medicines. As a result, acupuncture for pregnancy nausea is an effective treatment wherein oral medications are to be strictly avoided.
How is Acupuncture for Nausea Performed
Acupuncture for nausea can be easily practiced at home. However, it is essential to consider the cause of vomiting before performing acupuncture at home. The following things need to be considered:
- If you are a patient who has cancer, performing acupuncture at home can be risky, as the incorrect insertion of needles can result in aggravation of the existing condition.
- If you are pregnant, you shouldn’t practice needle-based acupuncture at home. Acupuncture can stimulate labor resulting in premature delivery.
- If you have a pacemaker, do not opt for electro-acupuncture as the current can interfere with your pacemaker’s functions.
- If you have a bleeding disorder like VWD or Hemophilia, the needles can cause immense bleeding and bruises.
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Acupuncture for Nausea:
- Wear a special gown instead of normal clothes as they can hinder the insertion of needles.
- Solid needles made from stainless steel are to be used for acupuncture. Usually, 5 to 20 needles are required to be inserted at the acupuncture points for nausea. Wipe the area before inserting needles to avoid infection.
- Needles may be twirled after insertion depending on the insertion point and the intended outcome expected.
- There might be pain and minor bleeding at the insertion points. However, this is mild. If there is excessive bleeding, consult a doctor.
- The most common location for needle insertion in nausea is P6. This point is at a distance of 3 finger’s breadth from your palm, following down the wrist. It is located a couple of inches below your hand. P-6 stimulation affects gastric functions and cerebellar vestibular activities. As a result, nausea reduces. (1)
- The needles should be left in for about 15-30 minutes.
- Some people might feel revitalized and energetic after an acupuncture session. However, for others, acupuncture can cause disorientation. Avoid any activities that require full alertness.
- Usually, you might feel that the conditions of nausea(2) have worsened after the first session. However, after 2 or 3 sessions, you will start to experience improvement.
- The effectiveness can be boosted by passing an electric current through the needles in the process of electrostimulation. This current can increase the efficiency of the treatment.
[ Read: Nausea; A Complete Guide to Get Rid of it Naturally ]
For those who can not practice needle-based acupuncture, a different approach that can be used is trying acupressure. In this variation of acupuncture, the pressure is inserted using wrists and hands, rather than needles.
- You can place your hand with a finger pointing upwards and your palm facing you.
- The same P-6 point is now exerted with pressure from the index finger of the other hand and the next two digits. Once the location is located, the thumb or forefinger can be used to exert the pressure for 2 to 3 minutes.
- The same process is repeated on the other wrist.
However, as it has been mentioned before, acupuncture for nausea can have adverse effects on pregnant women and patients suffering from certain diseases. It is best to consult your practitioner before starting a regular acupuncture treatment.
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Acupuncture for nausea is a powerful, free-of-cost, and easily applicable remedy for the illness. The best part is that it helps treat nausea arising from a variety of conditions: pregnancy, cancer or pure morning sickness, etc. Moreover, acupuncture has minimum side-effects making it a safe form of treatment. Thus, acupuncture can be considered an efficient way to deal with nausea.
1. Can acupuncture prevent nausea?
Acupuncture is a curative treatment. It focuses on removing the conditions of nausea once it occurs. It is not a preventative method.
2. Can acupuncture aggravate nausea?
Acupuncture may increase nausea if it is your first session. However, once you get used to the treatment, you start experiencing improvement.
3. Is acupuncture safe to practice?
If you are not someone with bleeding disorders, pacemakers, undergoing pregnancy, and cancer, acupuncture is safe for you to perform yourself. For those who drop in the above list, a practitioner-supervised or acupuncture administered by an acupuncturist is the safest option.