There are two things in this world that I really specialize in. One, as you might expect, is acupuncture. The other is being a mother. All of our (incredibly beautiful, gifted, hilarious, etc., etc.) children are under the age of nine. So I often say things like, “I have been I have been carrying someone around for eight years!” when I’m looking to explain the reason for my neck and shoulder tension. All of our children have been breastfed (that is another post altogether!) and while it has been my honor to nurture them to the best of my ability, it has not come without consequence. Carpal tunnel syndrome, to name one.
My point is that the very nature of motherhood – the nature of nurturing – can take a lot out of you, and it’s important to pour nourishment back into yourself so that you, as a giving tree, can continue to blossom.
Here are some issues that may arise as you are raising your babies that I want you to know are common, and perfectly treatable with acupuncture, herbs and in some cases greatly helped by dietary modification (which I’ll mention below):
Neck and shoulder tension
Headaches and migraines
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Anxiety and depression (including pre- and post-partum)
Poor sleep or insomnia
Irregular menstruation and painful periods
Urinary incontinence (such as when you sneeze)
To be fair, you may also experience wonderful things at this exact same time, such as laughter, euphoria, and unconditional love. But people are generally willing to point out the wonderful things and not talk about the rest, even though the “other things” (such as pain) make it more difficult to enjoy all the positives. So in case you’re tired of hearing, “Enjoy it! They grow so fast!” while you can’t even feel your fingers, know this: I hear you.
As far as what you can do at home, heat is your friend for any sore muscles, and is preferable to using ice, and food itself can go a long way because no matter what, you’ve gotta eat! While there are all kinds of lists of food recommendations that I could give you, getting very specific about things like watercress and royal jelly, in order to keep this simple, I’m not going to. So here is how to nourish yourself with food:
Cooked is better than uncooked
Warm/room temperature is better than cold
Bland is better than strong flavors
Baked is better than fried
One ingredient is better than multiple ingredients
Red meat is good (if you can/do eat it – if not, you may need herbs to supplement)
Eggs are your friend
Water is better than flavored drinks
Finally, I want to encourage you to remember that it’s called “Motherhood,” not “Martyrhood.” If there’s something that’s bothering you (on my brief list above or not), we can probably help. And in most cases I have been there myself. You don’t have to struggle alone.