Why Get Acupuncture During Pregnancy?

Acupuncture during pregnancy has eased discomfort and maintained the prenatal health of mothers to be for thousands of years, and for good reason.  Acupuncture treatments when performed properly by a skilled practitioner, has many benefits with no side effects. Below is a breakdown of how acupuncture can ease common discomforts encountered during pregnancy.
acupuncture for pregnancy

Pregnancy Acupuncture Benefits

  • Stress reduction.  Pregnancy is a stressful time. Hormones are changing creating irritability, nothing fits, the list goes on.  All of this stress builds up in the body, and nerves begin to fray. Acupuncture releases this stress and redirects Qi to reset the mind and relax the body.
  • Pain reduction.  Throughout the pregnancy, the lower back and hips take on the most pressure. The weight of the baby combined with altered blood flow and hormone shifts can cause a significant amount of pain, specifically in those areas. Sometimes swelling of the appendages occur creating carpal tunnel syndrome-like symptoms.  Acupuncture redirects stuck Qi to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Increased energy.  During pregnancy, so much energy redirects to the act of creating a person that it can leave the mother feeling sluggish and fatigued. Additionally, altered sleep patterns due to her changing body can make it difficult to get through the day.  Acupuncture stimulates the body and mind and resets healthy sleep patterns.
  • Managing depression.  Prenatal and postpartum depression are widespread problems, and many antidepressants are not safe for pregnant women. It is well known that acupuncture treatments create a sense of well-being.  Studies also show that acupuncture is nearly as effective as Prozac at alleviating depression.
  • A quicker, shorter labor.  Acupuncture and acupressure has worked for thousands of years to induce labor, shorten labor, and alleviate labor pain.

How Acupuncture Works

acupuncture for womenThere are 12 main meridians along the body. Meridians are acupuncture channels. The meridians connect the acupuncture points.  These points run beside dozens of energy pathways. The acupuncturist stimulates these points by inserting a needle into the proper location. The needles are nearly hair-thin, and most say there is no pain. Acupressure uses the same points but relies on pressure using the fingers instead of needles.  Continuing acupuncture after pregnancy is also helpful, as it helps with preventing depression and the “baby blues.”

Getting Help

Dr. Laurie Binder is a Certified Ob/Gyn Nurse Practitioner and a Licensed Acupuncturist.   With more than twenty years experience in the field, she started her medical career in the labor and delivery area.  She is an expert in fertility, childbirth, pregnancy and women’s health from both Western medical and traditional Chinese medicine viewpoints.  For more information check out her CV and contact to schedule an appointment.

Acupuncture During Pregnancy: A Drug-free Headache Treatment

drug free headache treatmentAvoiding pain medication during pregnancy is important because of the potential risk many drugs pose to a growing fetus. Women who suffer from frequent headaches, even when not pregnant, may discover this is a serious concern once they are pregnant and choose to explore a drug free headache treatment option.

The exhaustion, hormonal changes and stress related to every pregnancy can increase the frequency and severity of headaches. The result is often an inability to sleep properly, a reduced appetite and an increase in nausea.

Drug Free Headache Relief

Luckily there are drug-free options that have enabled many women to find relief. Research studies have repeatedly proven that acupuncture is an effective method of reducing or eliminating pain. Having acupuncture during pregnancy is a safe alternative treatment that has worked for many mothers-to-be.

acupuncture for pregnancyAcupuncture assists with relieving pain by encouraging the release of beneficial chemicals in the body. It improves circulation and blocks pain signals, providing the same analgesic affect as many OTC pain medications.

Another benefit is that it is also very relaxing and helps to relieve stress. This factor alone often helps to relieve headaches. Even better, studies have shown that acupuncture helps alleviate back pain, morning sickness and constipation among many other common pregnancy complaints. Those who struggle with morning sickness, depression, stress, lower back pain can find relief. Not every woman will find this solution as the answer to all of their pregnancy complaints, but most discover it helps them feel better and reduce the amount of medication they need to take.

Every woman wants to make the most of this special time in their life. When headaches are preventing that, finding help is a necessity.   To find out more about the benefits of acupuncture headache treatment, contact Dr. Laurie Binder for additional information. Read some patient testimonials here

Related: Acupuncture for Migraine

Acupuncture for a Natural and Healthy Pregnancy and Childbirth

acupuncture for pregnancyIt is only natural that when the mother is healthy that will go a long way to insure the health of the baby. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine are methods proven safe and effective for treating common problematic pregnancy symptoms. These can include, to name a few: morning sickness, water retention, edema, neck pain, back pain, leg cramps, sciatica, insomnia, fatigue, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, heartburn, constipation, swelling, vomiting, nausea, pelvic pain, headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other discomforts. This ancient medical system will treat the cause of the imbalance rather than just mitigate symptoms. Pregnancy care acupuncture treatments will help in creating a strong and suitable environment for the birth of a child by balancing the mother, as well as help soothe pregnancy discomforts.

Acupuncture is also used in preventing health problems that may occur during or after pregnancy. Results have shown that more and more women are using acupuncture to help make the entire childbearing year more comfortable and may prevent or treat common problems associated with pregnancy.

Although acupuncture can be used to prevent such symptoms, treatments can also address relieving symptoms once they have occurred.

Acupuncture treatments can be used in the weeks prior to the due date by preparing the woman’s body for the intense work of birth. There is a treatment that can also encourage the baby to move in to the optimal head down position prior to birth. In addition, Acupuncture treatments have been employed to induce labor as well. The points targeted increase the amount, strength, and regularity of contractions and stimulate cervical ripening. It is common to see women use acupuncture to induce labor in addition to using it for pain relief.

How Getting Acupuncture During Pregnancy Can Make You More Comfortable

pregnant womanThere are many discomforts during pregnancy, from having to sleep on your side to emotional swings due to raging hormones. To make the problem worse, there is a never-ending list of medications that aren’t to be taken while pregnant. Fortunately, acupuncture during pregnancy is completely safe and is often used to treat a variety of issues that pregnancy causes.

While acupuncture is perfectly safe for pains and muscle tensions during pregnancy, it is even used to alleviate some of the anxiety, worry and depression that can result from hormone fluctuations. In fact, a Stanford study showed that 63 percent of women that received depression focused acupuncture had a decrease in depression, nearly triple the control group.

Of course, not all women experience depression during their pregnancy. However, acupuncture is still an excellent and safe choice for dealing with all of the little aches and pains that come along, especially with all of the medication restrictions. What’s even more exciting is that you don’t need treatment nearly as often as you would need to take medication, and there are no side effects as there would be with medication.

Pregnancy is a very difficult time, from morning sickness to hormone swings, so it’s important to minimize stress. Not only will this help you, but reducing your stress level helps your baby as well. The more you are able to relax, the less overall discomfort you will feel. Don’t endure more pain, cramping, or depression that you need to; let specialized acupuncture help you feel better.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Acupuncture for PCOS: How This Natural Treatment Can Help

Try Acupuncture for Increased Fertility

pregnant womanToo often the human body is viewed as a many separate parts that work in concert because they are in proximity of each other, yet are not really connected. However, a holistic approach to health, where all the systems are connected, is a more effective one. When that concept is accepted, trying acupuncture for fertility is an obvious solution for people who have exhausted the majority of the conventional options.

Scientifically speaking, infertility, along with other medical conditions, largely comes from the body being out of balance. The main goal of acupuncture is to put the body back in balance, so the body is able to conceive and carry a pregnancy. Balancing the body with acupuncture has been scientifically proven and effective. This ancient and established medical system has a magnificent effect on fertility.

A study of 225 women was conducted at the University of Witten, in Germany. These women volunteered to be study subjects because they had difficulty conceiving. The study divided them into two groups. The first group of women were given conventional fertility treatments. The second group of women were given these identical treatments, with acupuncture as an adjunct therapy.

At the conclusion of the study, 13.8% of women in the first group became pregnant. The women in the second group, the women who took a holistic approach to fertility via acupuncture, had a pregnancy rate of 28.4%, which is more than twice as much as the control group.

fertility acupunctureDr. Laurie Binder’s success rate is much higher than this. Check out her patient testimonials and baby gallery pages. Acupuncture could be the missing link in your fertility plan. Likewise, it could be a service that helps you become a healthier and happier, and more balanced person. Contact us to find out more information about this potentially life-changing therapy.

Acupuncture for PCOS

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Those with the syndrome do not ovulate on a normal cycle, which has a number of effects on the body. Aside from infertility, the condition can also cause a number of other health issues , including:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Ovarian cysts

However, there is hope for those who suffer from PCOS.

Traditional medicines can be used to treat some of the symptoms and effects of PCOS. However, like any medicines, these can come along with unwanted side effects such as fatigue or nausea. A more natural and effective way to treat PCOS is available – acupuncture.

PCOS infertility acupuncture baby

PCOS infertility acupuncture patient and her baby

A variety of studies have shown that acupuncture is successful in treating PCOS. Acupuncture involves using needles to stimulate different parts of the body. In the case of PCOS, this stimulation can be used to send signals to the brain to slow the release of male hormones into the body. Less male hormones means your body will have an easier time getting back into a normal menstrual cycle.

One study published by the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism tested 32 women with the condition to see if acupuncture actually helped. The study showed that those who received acupuncture treatments had more success in improving their menstrual cycle than those that didn’t.

If you are affected by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and want a treatment with few side effects and generally great results, acupuncture may be just what you’re looking for. Contact us today if you are affected by PCOS and want to learn more about how acupuncture can improve your life.

Postpartum Care with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Postpartum CareThere is a common misconception that once a woman gives birth, her body immediately returns to “normal” and there are little, to no concerns (aside from nursing) that a new mother must face.  Yet, the truth of the matter is, even when not considering “baby weight” factors, a woman’s body is changed by pregnancy.  Some of these changes are permanent, and some are temporary.  Those that are temporary can often take months, if not longer, to return to a “pre-pregnancy” state, leaving many new mothers frustrated by a slower post-natal recovery time frame than initially anticipated.

It is important to remember that just because the birth has occurred, a new mother should not stop getting the proper care she needs to treat the issues that could arise post-delivery. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for postpartum care is a holistic option for a mother looking to deal with both the physical and emotional elements in the post-partum period.

Postpartum Issues

While pregnant, a woman’s body produces many hormones that are necessary for the growing and delivery of human life.  Once a child is born, the body may no longer be producing those hormones, but their effects do not diminish immediately.  One of these hormones is relaxin, the hormone responsible for the relaxation of the ligaments in the pelvis, as well as the softening and widening of the cervix shortly before giving birth.  Once a baby is born, a woman’s body no longer makes hormones such as relaxin as it did shortly before the birth.  However the muscles in the pelvis remain in a relaxed state for some time.

Likewise, the muscles in a post-partum woman’s back and abdomen can remain effected after delivery.  Due to the physical burden of carrying a baby for nine months, muscle tone can be effected and muscles can remained stretched for some time, causing muscle pain and discomfort.  Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can be used by a skilled practitioner to help a woman’s body regain both muscle tone and hormonal balance.

Acupuncture for Postpartum Depression

acupuncture for postpartum depressionAnother side effect of the hormonal fluctuations a woman can experience after giving birth can be what many refer to as the “baby blues.”  “Baby blues” usually refers to a short amount of time, lasting from a few days to a month, or longer, in which a woman’s body is hormonally out of balance, causing mood swings, anger, anxiety, problems sleeping and sometimes depression.  Post-partum depression however, is categorized as a more severe in nature than the more common “baby blues,” as well as more prolonged in duration and occurs in anywhere between 9 to 16% of new mothers.  As with all hormonal imbalances after giving birth — acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and a hormone balancing diet can all be extremely helpful in returning a woman’s body its optimum balance, as well as successful in alleviating some of the anxiety that occurs for many during the early days of motherhood.

baby back painMuscle and Back Pain

Aside from hormones, it is easy to forget wear and tear that pregnancy and birth can put on a body, both in the muscles and the nervous system.  Many new mommies find that even after giving birth, they still suffer from the dreaded “baby back” as well as a gamut of aches and pains caused by stretched and weakened muscles throughout the body.  As it can take months for muscle tissue to return to normal after a pregnancy, neck, back and hip pain can be fairly common.  Pain and pressure caused from weakened muscles can also create undue pressure on nerves and create “interference” in the nervous system, keeping a woman’s body from healing and functioning at 100%.  Acupuncture is commonly used to not only speed up the recovery of muscle tone, but also to alleviate pressure being placed on nerves throughout the body, both assisting with the aches, pains, and strains common in the post-natal period.  Post partum exercise is also recommended.

There are many ways that acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can assist in a woman’s postpartum period.  Contact us now to learn more about how acupuncture is being used to help with not only the previously mentioned health concerns, but also with everything from lactation concerns to incision, or perineal discomfort post delivery.  Let Dr. Laurie Binder help make those amazing first weeks with baby amazing for mommy as well!

How Can Acupuncture Benefit Me?

Kelly Ripa acupuncturePerhaps you have heard about acupuncture or maybe you know someone who has benefited from treatment. Most Americans are familiar with the process but few have actually experienced acupuncture for themselves. Chances are that one or more of our most common complaints could benefit greatly from this alternative treatment. Let’s look at some of the areas where acupuncture treatment is usually beneficial with the right practitioner:

Acupuncture Benefits

Improved Digestion  

Digestive complaints such as heartburn or excess gas have both been treated successfully and issues such as chronic diarrhea or serious constipation have also responded well to acupuncture treatments. More serious conditions that involve allergies to food, IBS or severe colitis can also see improvement after treatment.

back painPain Management

More familiar to car accident victims, acupuncture has proved to be effective in the treatment of whiplash injuries. It is more common today for a doctor to suggest it as an alternative or in conjunction with more conventional treatments. Headaches also respond well to acupuncture, even migraines or cluster headaches. Increased pain relief for symptoms of arthritis has also been reported among patients. You can also heal from surgery faster with acupuncture.


Often turned to as pain relief for cramps and body aches, acupuncture can also help relieve bloating and even irritability and mild depressive symptoms. Infertility problems have also been corrected with treatment and even symptoms associated with menopause such as, night sweats and hot flashes, are lessened after seeing the acupuncturist. Many women will tell you that when it comes to regulating your cycle and balancing your hormones, some other treatments aren’t as effective.It is not common knowledge that acupuncture can be a viable treatment for stress – but time and time again this proved to be the case. Many patients report deep relaxation and relief of anxiety symptoms even after one session. It appears that it can also be helpful during a time of crisis or personal trauma as it is effective in reducing the high levels of stress hormones present during these times.

Holistic Treatments

Today, all forms of treatment should be explored in a comprehensive treatment plan. You can learn more about holistic treatments for your ailment via acupuncture by contacting us.

Patient Testimonials

DougLaurie is simply the best! Her work has made a major improvement in my life. I strongly endorse her and her practice.

Doug G. Santa Monica, CA

Kelly testimonialI have seen Laurie several times for fatigue and insomnia. Laurie is a very knowledgeable acupuncturist and is such a sweetheart!  She knew exactly to treat me and I was feeling better after my first session. Laurie also followed up with me and made sure that I know she is available any time. I wish more doctors were like her.
Kelly A. Los Angeles, CA

iconLaurie Binder is amazing! I began going to her for fertility but have found myself running to her when anything needs fixing: sciatica, insomnia, stress, headache, nausea & colds to name just a few. I have yet to find anything that Laurie and her needles can’t sort out. She is a lovely woman who is nurturing as well as incredibly warm, calm and understanding. She is very easy to speak to. An appointment with Laurie is pure bliss. Thanks Laurie. You are sublime.
D.E. Santa Monica, CA

iconLaurie Binder is true healer! I would recommend her acupuncture treatments for anyone dealing with a physical condition that seems to have no cure. I’ve found real results from Laurie’s acupuncture treatments that have truly been life changing.
Lux L. Santa Monica, CA

testimonialI’m so glad I found this wonderful acupuncturist in Dr. Laurie! I have had acupuncture with several practitioners but Laurie is the best. Great bedside manner and you can tell she genuinely cares about her patients.

Jim C. Pacific Palisades, CA

testimonialDr. Laurie is the best acupuncturist in Los Angeles!
I mean, only if you want results from your acupuncture treatments. Her treatments always work, and the needles don’t hurt. She’s treated me for my myriad of weight training and overuse injuries. Here’s a list:

Bicep tendon: it’s been hurting on and off for a year. She treats it, I get 80-90% relief for a least two weeks. Then I go crazy on it and I’m back.

Lower back: this has been recent, she said I fell asleep as soon as the last needle went in. Still better after a week.

Sciatica: this was about 8 years ago. One treatment and it never came back. Of course I made sure to keep stretching in my routine.

Knee: I have arthritis in my left knee, and it’s easy to injure and inflame. If it bothers me a lot, she throws some needles around and I’m good to go.

Gas and bloating: I eat a lot. So sometimes my stomach doesn’t like it. She prescribed some herbs and they work great when I take them consistently.

Heat: my head gets hot sometimes and she’s got herbs for that. If it’s particularly bad she does some needles, and that works too. Kind of the opposite of the end of “Kiss of the Dragon”.

That’s enough of a list for now. Go see Laurie!
Jason K. Santa Monica, CA

Women’s Health and Wellness with Acupuncture

acupuncture for womenThe top health problems associated with women today can all be treated or (hopefully) prevented through the use of a healthy lifestyle with acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine.

Throughout the history of the world, these natural healing techniques have been used to keep people of either gender healthy to fend off many illnesses or diseases.

Below are the top five women’s health problems faced today and how acupuncture can help.

Top 5 Women’s Health Problems

Gynecological-Related Problems

These problems can include endometriosis, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, infertility, or fibroids. Fortunately, gynecological problems are a bit easier to manage with acupuncture and oriental medicines than other problems. By restoring the flow of life energy in the body (Qi), these techniques can treat many gynecological problems.

The most common gynecological problem women face is menopause. Menopause is the period when the ovulation of a woman ceases permanently. During this time all sorts of symptoms can occur due to the dramatic decrease of estrogen in the body. These symptoms include weight gain, joint pain, hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, insomnia, exhaustion, migraines, memory loss, and dry skin.

Oriental medicine and acupuncture techniques does not treat the menopause itself, but the symptoms that arise from it using techniques specific to a person like herbal therapy, lifestyle change, dietary change, and exercise. Each person receives their own special treatment plan in order to maximize the recovery process.

Cardiovascular Disease

This disease is considered the most life-threatening of them all in women. Statistics show that twenty-nine percent of all deaths in women are due to cardiovascular problems. It is true that more men are diagnosed with a cardiovascular problem of some sort, but with women cardiovascular system is not as checked as thoroughly as it should so it is often that the condition is discovered far too late. It’s extremely important that women take the necessary precautions such as a wellness regimen and getting regular bloodwork and checkups.  Oriental medicine and acupuncture are an excellent addition to anyone’s health and wellness program.

The preventative steps a woman should be advised to take will include eating healthier, exercising more, managing blood pressure, improving sleep, and reducing stress. These steps can all be easier to take with the help of Traditional Oriental Medicine techniques. High blood pressure is the most common cause of cardiovascular problems, and luckily acupuncture is considered especially helpful for lowering blood pressure and increasing the release of natural opioids (relaxants).


acupuncture for depressionUp to a quarter of all women face some type of depression during their lifetime. Depressive disorders do not only cause mental problems, but can weaken the immune system, damage work effectiveness as well as ruin social relationships. Symptoms affiliated with depression can include fatigue, insomnia, apathy, or lack of interest in previous hobbies. Eventually, worse symptoms such as sickness and suicidal thoughts can occur if the problem is not taken care of.

To prevent or treat such a disorder, it is important to make sure the entire life energy (Qi) is flowing correctly throughout the body. By bringing the body, mind, and spirit together as one, the body will function at its best and naturally treat any problems that may be affecting the body by itself.  Acupuncture and oriental medicine helps the body to heal itself, as it is designed to do.  A bonus is you will feel better than ever!


Over forty million people in the United States alone are affected by osteoporosis in which seventy percent of the people affected are women.  Osteoporosis occurs when there is a decrease in bone mass which induces the chances of fracture occurring. It usually is found in those of an older age, but can be developed early on as well especially to those who put repetitive strain on a specific part of their body.  Exercise is known to reduce osteoporosis and stimulate the building of bone mass and density.  Exercise can also create pain in the joints, tendons, and muscles.  Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can reduce or prevent pain and stimulate bone maintenance.  It is important to start a wellness and fitness regimen around the age of thirty when the bones in our body stop growing.

Autoimmune Diseases

fibromyalgiaDiseases like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, thyroid disease and lupus are all considered autoimmune diseases, which is a condition where the body’s own immune system attacks itself as well as other tissues in your body. The American Autoimmune Release Diseases Association has found that about eight percent of the population is affected by a type of autoimmune disease; women make up eighty percent of that population. Standard medical procedures have trouble treating autoimmune disease, so it is best to look for alternative routes such as oriental medicine and acupuncture. Both of these methods have been proven to manage the symptoms of an autoimmune disease as well as regulate the immune system.

As you can see, Traditional Oriental Medicine and acupuncture are well suited to treat the leading women’s health issues.  Contact Laurie in order to set up an acupuncture appointment.