In my search for widely available and drug-free ways to combat stress I totally missed acupuncture and reiki therapy. When Margarita Alcantara wrote a review of Stress Solutions for Pregnant Moms on her blog, she pointed out the value of both acupuncture and reiki as an excellent tool. This also reminded me that in the book, I promised to add new relaxation methods and tools to the beginning list in the Resource Guide in Part 3.
Of course, both acupuncture and reiki can induce a profound state of relaxation. If you have never tried acupuncture, do not be afraid; it is virtually painless and uses hair-thin sterile needles to balance the flow of Qi in the body. Before the first treatment, you will complete a health history. Your treatment is usually a very relaxing and pleasant experience that can look something like this:
After you arrive, you are taken to a quiet room with soft music and a very comfortable table. You take off your shoes and lie down. The acupuncturist comes in and asks a few questions and then places several very thin needles in different points on the body. To reduce stress, for example, there are points that will help you slow or quieten the mental chatter. Then, the lights might be lowered and you rest with your eyes closed for about 30 minutes. Licensed acupuncturists know how to treat pregnant women. It is a time for quiet solitude, peaceful reflection, or no thoughts, or maybe even a refreshing nap.
Reiki is an ancient gentle technique to balance the energy in your body. It works with the body’s energy centers or chakras.
To find licensed professionals in your area, consult the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine: www.nccaom.org, or the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:www.aaaomonline.org. All State Associations are listed at the AAAOM website.