I have been a midwife for over thirty years, and an acupuncturist for ten. I believe that it is possible to combine the best of both East and West and use acupuncture in association with treatment provided by a GP or other health care provider.
I have been using acupuncture in my midwifery practice since 2004 for pregnancy complaints. I was so impressed with the results I went on to complete my B H Sc Acupuncture in 2009 at NZ School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (NZSZTCM). During this time I was exposed to and gained clinical experience in understanding and working with a wide variety of complaints within this framework. I was also involved for 5 years in the setting up and running of the successful pregnancy acupuncture clinic at Hutt Hospital, first as a student, and the last 2 years as a supervisor. This was a joint venture between the Hospital and NZSATCM.
I have continued to practice midwifery on a regular basis both in independent and hospital roles.
- BHSc (Acupuncture) 2009
- Diploma of Tuina (acupressure) 2007
- Registered Midwife 1982
- Registered Nurse (1978)
- B.Nurs VUW (1988)
- member of NZ Nurses Organisation
- member of NZ Register of Acupuncturists
- Member FACT (Fertlity and Acupuncture Childbirth Team)
- ACC registered
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Acupuncture is used to help the body heal illness and balance the whole person for optimal wellness. Sterile, fine disposable needles are sited in particular parts of the body to redirect or increase qi or energy flow within the body, mind and spirit. There are pathways of energy throughout the body called channels or sometimes meridians, some near the surface and some deeper, which connect with each other and with the main internal organs. Wellness depends on a balance of energy or qi and the movement of that energy throughout the person. Many health complaints are caused by an interrupted flow of qi or reduced qi. Acupuncture is a way to reestablish balance, which itself promotes healing, and a bodily felt sense that we are well again, or beginning to get better.
Acupuncture is one of the tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which views the body, mind, and spirit as an interrelated whole. Disorders of any one of these three may produce disorders in the others. In our society where the body can become divorced from the mind and the spirit, acupuncture can help to reestablish wholeness and wellness.
How acupuncture works
Acupuncture increases oxygenation and circulation, regulates the endocrine and nervous systems, and alleviates pain by blocking pain receptors and stimulating the secretion of endorphins.
Acupuncture is usually not painful but can produce strong sensations. I will explain what will happen before we begin, and respond to any specific concerns you might have. The needles used are as thin as a hair, and most people would describe the sensations as only slightly uncomfortable at times. The sensations that you may experience when the needle is in the right place vary with the individual and the point location itself. This may include tingling, a dull ache or sensation of weight. Many people find acupuncture deeply relaxing and its not uncommon to go to sleep. The most common side effect of acupuncture is feeling drowsy both during and for a short time afterwards. Less commonly, a minor bruise can be caused by needling.
It can take time to develop confidence in both having acupuncture and in trusting the person at the other end of a needle. This is one of the reasons I use the minimum number of points needed to produce the desired effect. At your first session we are both learning about how you respond to acupuncture,and it is important to me that you feel safe throughout, both for your comfort and to maximize the effect.
Your First Appointment
Acupuncture itself follows a comprehensive decision making process. When I meet a new patient we discuss current concerns, health background, lifestyle and how acupuncture may help. A diagnosis of the disharmonies underlying your condition is made after listening to your story, checking your pulse and tongue, examining areas of the body involved if necessary, and thinking about how these findings are linked. Appropriate goals and methods are selected to fit your diagnosis and constitution and discussed with you.
Needles are usually left in for about 20 minutes.
Acupuncture may also include the use of other TCM tools such as moxibustion, a heating herb used on the outside of the body to increase energy or reduce pain: cupping which involves glass cups which adhere to the skin after being briefly heated on the inside which help to reduce pain, or tui na Chinese medical massage.
There is usually also some discussion about how aspects of your life style might impact your wellbeing, and exploring positive changes that are practical and realistic.
When will you notice improvement?
I would expect a sense of improvement within a few sessions. Many people experience improvement in other areas first, before an easing of their main complaint. There may be a feeling of deep relaxation, better sleep and digestion, increase in energy and lifting of mood.
- Pregnancy issues including nausea, constipation, back and pelvic pain, tiredness, insomnia, stress, anxiety, varicose veins and haemorrhoids, carpal tunnel syndrome, heartburn and digestive problems, anaemia, fluid retention and headaches
- weekly pre-labour acupuncture from 36 weeks – to promote normal labour around the due date
- locating pressure points for labour – where, how and when to use these points when in labour.
- Acupuncture, moxa and massage to support and nurture the mother
- for breastfeeding issues eg insufficient milk supply or difficulty in “letting down” milk
- to help recovering from birth and regain pre-pregnancy health
- post natal fatigue or distress
Initial consultation and acupuncture – up to 90 minutes $100
Subsequent visit acupuncture – up to 50 minutes $70
All pregnancy acupuncture sessions – up to 50 minutes $70
ACC surcharge $30
Reduced rates available for full time students, beneficiaries and pensioners. Please enquire.
Patients with new injuries will need to visit a Doctor, Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor to obtain an ACC45 number.
Miramar Natural Health Centre 9 Park Road, Miramar – next door to the Roxy Cinema