Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Sinusitis is a common presentation in my clinic, with an average of 2 out of 3 women presenting with a blocked nose, congestion, headache and other related symptoms during pregnancy. Due to the over exposure of sinus remedy’s on television, many people have a very inaccurate understanding of what sinusitis actually is, and worse still for pregnant women, many of those so called remedy’s are contraindicated in pregnancy. In essence they could harm the baby while doing nothing to alleviate your symptoms.
So what can we do to alleviate sinusitis? The first thing is to have a clear understanding of what it is that is we need to treat and I’ll explain that now in both Western and Eastern Medical terms.
The sinuses are cavities in the facial bones of the skull. The openings in the bone open into the nasal cavity are named after the area they found. For instance, the frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid bones all have sinus cavities. However, for practical purposes the frontal and the maxillary, (those between the eyes and ears) are the most affected in cases of Sinusitis. Sinusitis itself is an infection and subsequent inflammation of the mucous membranes of these cavities.
When the mucous membranes of sinus cavities become infected we see the primary symptoms of sinusitis, such as localized pain, purulent discharge from the nose, nasal obstruction and even loss of smell. From a western medical view these are most often treated with antibiotics, decongestants or steroid nose drops.
In pregnancy it is thought the changes in the hormonal balance can lead to a drying out of the mucous membranes that line the nasal passages, and that this in turn can lead to infection and inflammation.
From the TCM viewpoint, the most common pattern associated with sinusitis and the one I see most commonly in my clinic when utilizing Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Sinusitis treatments is an attack of Wind-Heat. This can prevent the lungs from naturally being moistened and this drying out of the nasal passages can give rise to stagnation leading to infection. This attack of wind heat can progress to an imparement of the Stomach and Spleen, leading dampness – the heavy unpleasant purulent discharge seen in bad cases of Sinus.
Luckily, Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Sinusitis is a successful treatment not only in preventing the infection and inflammation of the sinus cavities, but in relieving many of the symptoms.
In addition to regular acupuncture I often advise patients to avoid dampening foods such as dairy products, pork, rich meats, roasted peanuts, cold juices – especially orange and tomato, bananas, fried foods, and of course any sugars natural or artificial.
Many women find giving up dairy can be quite tough so if it is a problem try to avoid cow milk, and instead use Goats, or Sheeps – as in Greek Yoghurt, while still dampening, it’s not as bad as cow based dairy. I don’t recommend Soya based products at all. Research indicates that a chemical in soya – phyto-oestrogens, can cause a common deformity of the penis in male babies called hypospadias.
Useful foods to break down and resolve phlegm would include, garlic and horseradish if you can tolerate them though this can cause heartburn (if heartburn is an issue for you, please read my article on heartburn here). Alternatively, pear, grapefruit, and peppermint tea are excellent additions to a phlegm reducing diet.
If you are pregnant and are suffering from nasal irritation or sinusitis I strongly encourage you to undergo Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Sinusitis treatments to help encourage your body to moisten the nose and alleviate congestion and discomfort.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Sinusitis treatment protocols that I provide or wish to start a course of treatment then please feel free to contact me or make an appointment where we can discuss any specific concerns or questions you may have.