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Kaufman: Finding relief for symptoms of nausea
Nausea is a common ailment with many different causes, from stomach flu, morning sickness and medications to vertigo, motion sickness, migraines, surgery, cancer treatment and the foods we eat.
Morning sickness is a type of nausea commonly experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy.
It varies in severity and there is no clear cause, although it is thought to be the result of hormonal changes in the body.
In Western medicine, we can treat nausea at home with plenty of rest and sipping small amounts of fluids to stay hydrated, eventually moving to small amounts of bland, easily-digested foods.
Of course if there is no real change over a long period of time, other, more serious, medical conditions should be considered.
Acupuncture offers great relief for nausea and vomiting with little or no side-effects. There has been a great deal of research into the benefits of acupuncture for nausea caused by chemotherapy, radiation, pregnancy, morning sickness, surgery, and HIV, demonstrating its effectiveness for nausea.
Nausea and vomiting are signs that the stomach qi-energy is flowing in the wrong direction.
Normally, the action of the stomach is to move food downwards.
However, sometimes the stomach energy will begin to flow upwards due to a disorder of the stomach, typically due to stomach vacuity, cold, heat, dampness, or food stagnation in the stomach.
Depending on the type of pattern, there may be a variety accompanying symptoms ranging from bloating and loss of appetite to headaches, dizziness, chest pain, and acid reflux.
Acupuncture focuses on harmonizing the stomach energy and promoting the proper flow of qi-energy so that the stomach is functioning properly again.
We combine this with correcting any other presenting imbalances such as warming the stomach if there is cold, draining fire for stomach heat, and drying dampness.
A series of treatments is typically necessary to resolve nausea or vomiting, although relief can be quite immediate. Indeed, as many studies have shown, acupuncture can be very effective for the relief of nausea, whatever the cause.