There is a bit of mystery that surrounds alternative means of getting healthier especially when it is not within the scope of mainstream medicine. Yet testimonials about their benefits and efficacy abound especially for acupuncture and chiropractic. In fact, many expecting moms subscribe to these two alternative treatments. How does acupuncture and chiropractic help them? We speak with two moms and their doctors.
Imbalance with acupuncture We all have the same image in our head when we hear the word ‘acupuncture.’ If you’re scared of needles, you are probably trembling right now at the idea of more than 20 needles stuck on your skin. But according to Carisse Diana Drilon-Dalman, M.D./MB.A. CAMA, medical director of Centro Holistico and a mom herself, acupuncture should not be painful. “It's actually a very relaxing treatment. The needles we use are very fine; you will feel the initial prick, but the sensation subsides after a few minutes.”
When there is an imbalance of the “qi” or energy in your body, it leads to imbalances in your other organs and bodily fluids. Acupuncture brings back the balance of energies in your body in order for the rest of your organs to function better.
Dr. Drilon-Dalman says, “A lot of our patients come from acupuncture for pain management. But our practice deals with integrative and functional medicine where we focus more on lifestyle and preventive medicine. We address chronic diseases through lifestyle and dietary measures.” She adds they’ve treated hypertension, insomnia, migraine, and obesity.
Women who have trouble getting pregnant often seek acupuncture for help. However, Dr. Drilon-Dalman clarifies women who are expecting will also find it beneficial if it is done regularly and with proper supervision (make sure to get your ob-gyn’s permission). Aside from helping to relieve stress, acupuncture can even work as complementary treatment during a pregnant woman’s first trimester when she experiences nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
Dr. Drilon-Dalman offers, “We also do acupuncture for women who would like to have a smoother birthing experience. We do acupuncture for labor induction as well as pain control.”
While acupuncture is considered relatively safe for pregnant women, moms should tell their acupuncturist if they are pregnant or suspect a pregnancy because some acupuncture points can induce labor. These points need should be avoided for pregnant women.
In the case of Joan Camille Durante, 31, and mom to Charlotte, 8, Avery, 6, and Xavi, 3, she turned to acupuncture to help with her breast milk supply after giving birth to her third child. “Dr. Dalman gave me a postpartum treatment, and I went back every week for a month. I wanted to produce milk since I was breastfeeding. After three days from my first session, I noticed an increase of my milk supply -- from three bags a night, it increased to 6 bags.”
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Alignment with chiropractic In the case of Bianca Gonzalodo, 33, mom to Sadie, 3, Kaylie, 2, chiropractic is the alternative medicine she swears by. Her chiropractor, Kenneth Sison, DC, MS, who runs a chiropractic practice in Makati and is a founding member of the Association of Professional Chiropractors of the Philippines, defines chiropractic as the healthy maintenance of the spinal column, discs, related nerves and bone geometry without drugs or surgery. “It involves the art and science of adjusting any misaligned joints in the body, especially of the spine, to promote health throughout the body, and reduce stress on the spinal nerves.”
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby. According to Dr. Sison, these changes may result in a misaligned spine or joints, protruding abdomen, and increased back curve, pelvic changes, and postural adaptations.
“A chiropractic care for pregnant women can help relieve back, neck, or joint pain, control of the symptoms of nausea, and reduced time of labor and delivery,” says Dr. Sison.
Bianca has been seeing Dr. Sison since she was diagnosed with scoliosis at 14 years old. When she got pregnant, she stopped. “I was afraid that the baby would be crushed [with my treatments],” she admitted. But when she started to feel extreme pain on her lower back and hips, she went to consult with Sison.
“During my first pregnancy, the weight of the baby was putting a strain on my back so I went to see him on my second trimester. I instantly felt relief on my back so I made sure to see him at least once a week.”
With her second pregnancy, Bianca made sure to consult with Dr. Sison by her first trimester. “He gave me advice on the exercises I should do to relieve pain on my back on the days that I would not see him. Also, my bones were ‘loose,’ easy to manipulate, thanks to my pregnancy hormones. Dr. Sison could straighten my spine better than when I wasn't pregnant!”
Bianca says her treatments before and during pregnancy were different to adjust to her growing belly. She continues to regularly see Dr. Sison.
If you have not tried acupuncture or chiropractic before and you are pregnant, we highly advise you talk to your ob-gyn first and seek his or her opinion.
Centro Holistico Integrative Health and Wellness is located at the 2/F Commercenter Alabang, Commerce Ave corner Filinvest Ave and East Asia Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Call +632 828.8863 / 0917.581.2990 / 0998.792.6238
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Sison Chiropractic is located at the 2/F Yupangco Bldg., 339 Gil Puyat, Bel-Air Makati City. Call +632 822.9585 / 0949.838.0110