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Points to Avoid During Pregnancy?


Hi I would like to know which points should be avoided during pregnancy. My friend has struggled with infertility for more than 10 years and this year, i convinced her to consult in acupuncture. She went and she is now pregnant. However, there are only 2 acupuncturist where she lives and they barely speak english. Because of that communication problem, she has been worried to go back since she is pregnant cuz she is affraid a misunderstanding could lead to improper care. That is why she would like to know the points that must be avoided or could jeopardize her pregnancy so that she can make sure the guy is not doing anything that could harm the pregnancy.




That is great news regarding your friends pregnancy. Your concern regarding contraindicated points is valid as there are points that should be avoided or used only by knowledgeable practitioners during pregnancy. This is perhaps especially true with someone who has a history of infertility, miscarriages or other difficulties related to pregnancy.

That said and to put your mind at ease, it is unlikely that anyone who is licensed a/or graduated from a college of acupuncture would not know the appropriate points to avoid. However, the problems with lists and theories as broad as acupuncture is that even a contraindicated point can and will be used by knowledgeable practitioners if they feel it is warranted.

Of the points that are contraindicated, some are merely because of the location (around the abdomen) and are more a precaution regarding needling depth than the action of the points. Other points, however, do have a strong downbearing effect a/or moving effect in the abdomen which is something you would want to avoid in cases of pregnancy.

I would encourage your friend to continue acupuncture treatments during her pregnancy, unless of course she feels really uncomfortable with the practitioner. It can be very helpful in fostering a healthy pregnancy and is extremely safe.

For reference, the contraindicated points are:
GB 21
LI 4
UB 31 through UB 34
UB 67 - is contraindicated for moxa during pregnancy, except when used to turn a breech presentation.
SP 6
Points along the lower Conception Vessel meridian - have the following precautions:
CV 2 - CV 7 - No Deep Needling during pregnancy and No Perpendicular Needling during advanced pregnancy
CV 9 - CV 15 - No Perpendicular Needling during advanced pregnancy.

Yin Yang House Acupuncture and Energy Healing Center

St 36 during pregnancy

Is Liver 3 contraindicated during pregnancy? I've read it is in a few places, but other places don't list it. I'm wondering because I am pregnant, in the first trimester, and my acupuncturist needled that point last week.



If you click on the mention of "contraindicated" in my reply above it will take you to a page with all of the contraindicated points. LV 3 is not specifically contraindicated but it would be avoided in certain cases due to its downward drawing effect. With the right purpose and particularly within different sub-theories of Chinese Medicine any of the contraindicated points can be used so long as the practitioner is properly trained in their function. For acupressure and for anyone without very specific training, it is best to avoid all the points on that page.

Generally anything that strongly moves the abdomen, is directly over the fetus, pulls downward, or spreads strongly outward is used with caution during pregnancy.


LV 3 was not mentioned on the contraindicated page you referenced. Can you tell me why it would be contraindicated? I just want to be able to talk to my acupuncturist about it. I know she said my tongue showed some stagnation and I had been having alot of nausea and fatigue. I also know she was trying to clear damp.



Sorry about my previous posting, I've edited it to be correct (I was thinking of LI 4 when I wrote that). LV 3 can be safely used during pregnancy in many patients. For dampness, nausea and fatigue, however, ST 36, SP 9, PC 6 and/or SP 4 would be appropriate. On yourself acupressure on PC 6 can be very helpful with the nausea, although needling it is quite a bit stronger. If you trust your practitioner, however, just do what they think is best as it is hard to offer strong recommendations when I haven't see you or conducted a proper evaluation.

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