Points Incompatible with Pregnancy

Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) is based on energy management. I know that sounds woo-woo, and it was hard for me to wrap my scientific brain around that at first. I thought all those meridians (channels of energetic flow) were just superstition or a handy mnemonic to remember neuro-muscular junctions (where nerves join with muscles to control them). Instead, decades of experience has proved over and over to me that these energetics are real. I think we just don’t have the technology to see it yet, so it seems as mystical as an X-ray would to a medieval doctor.

There is a category of points used to promote the movement of stagnant energy. These are enormously helpful to reduce pain, and I also use them to evict overdue babies (along with some lower back points and the uterus point on the ear). I can usually help mothers avoid a chemical induction that way. For a baby that’s not yet at term, I will need a doctor’s note saying it’s okay to stimulate labor before your due date.

Other acupuncture is perfectly safe for pregnancy. If you have pain, I can use indirect methods to treat it symptomatically, and do the musculoskeletal work to relax your muscles and realign the bones.

If you are pregnant and want to stay that way, AVOID THESE POINTS when getting a massage, etc. The first three have links to more information and pictures.

silhouette of a female body with four acupuncture points marked
Avoid acupressure and acupuncture on these points if you are pregnant and want to stay that way.

Note: These points are on both the left and right. I just marked one side for simplicity.

LI4: Moves stagnation in the upper body

LV3: Moves stagnation in the lower body

GB 21: Descends energy

SP 6: Stimulates uterine contractions

Sp6: Do not use if you’re pregnant and want to stay that way!

GB-21 (neck / shoulder tension, rebellious Qi)

Jian Jing (Shoulder Well) is a place many people tend to store their stress. Every day, people come into my office and complain about neck and “shoulder tension.” They really mean the trapezius and levator scapula muscles, not the shoulder joint. I’ve been saying for years that we need a better name for this part of the body, but “noulder” isn’t catching on (for obvious reasons!).

Referred pain and trigger points for the trapezius.

Referred pain and trigger points for the trapezius.

The trapezius is a big muscle, and it does a lot. Carrying heavy loads (especially unbalanced ones – so carry a small purse and use both straps of your backback!), working with your arms up (I’m talking to you, hair stylists!), or just general hunchiness over a computer… all are common causes of tension. The traps refer pain over the head to the eyebrow area, so shoulder tension can give you a severe frontal headache.

GB-21 also descends energy, so it’s good for rebellious rising Qi causing headaches, dizziness, heartburn, or vomiting.

GB-21 for relieving neck and shoulder tension.

 

Find GB-21 at the top of the upper thoracic area (aka “noulder”), halfway between the shoulder joint and the spine. Press firmly for 10-15 seconds with a healing intention. NOTE: Do not use GB-21 on pregnant women.

Also – look into some better ways to release your stress!