Acupuncture for Morning Sickness: Can It Really Help? 

A woman suffering from morning sickness in her bathroom

Acupuncture for morning sickness can help with nausea and other pregnancy symptoms. How do I know for sure? I am a mother and an acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon. I have had two successful pregnancies, which finally felt that way once I got past the first trimester. Boy, was I sick.

Early pregnancy is challenging, and I was always looking for ways to treat morning sickness and relieve nausea. Most pregnant women know precisely what I’m talking about when I describe the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness! I remember I went weeks without buying groceries because I never knew from one minute to the next what I’d be able to eat.

There were days when I was seeing patients that I thought I might not be able to make it through a session due to the nausea. There were days when I was so grateful that, as an acupuncturist, I had access to a bed (in the form of a treatment table) so that I could just lie down for 5 minutes to relieve the feeling that I might throw up. And then came the moment in each of my pregnancies when I decided to follow my own advice and alleviate these upsetting rumblings by using acupuncture for morning sickness.

Do any of the following morning sickness symptoms sound familiar?

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Even more severe vomiting
  • Ravenous hunger at 3:00 a.m.
  • Sick at the thought of food
  • Sicker at the smell of food
  • Spicy foods exacerbate nausea and other morning sickness symptoms
  • Worsening of other medical conditions and pregnancy symptoms due to vomiting and nausea


If you are experiencing any (or all) of these pregnancy symptoms, Congratulations! You must be pregnant!

These symptoms significantly impact many women in their first or second trimester. Certain foods may make it worse. The all-to-common remedy of dry crackers doesn’t work for everyone. While it’s been studied extensively, no single effective or standard treatment for morning sickness works for every person.

Reducing nausea can occur with various means of treatment. For some more intense cases, intravenous fluids can help a patient cover faster and reduce nausea in the near future. While herbal teas can settle the stomach, many women report a significantly faster reduction in morning sickness symptoms and less nausea when they follow a specific acupuncture treatment for morning sickness.

Every individual patient is different, as is every pregnancy. As someone who’s had multiple pregnancies, I can tell you that my first and my second pregnancies were different — as was the accompanying nausea. I craved certain foods, but some foods also made me sick. Acupuncture and food intake control did help as a form of complementary medicine.

Who thought it could be so terrible?

I know you are grateful for the little being growing inside you. However, you may feel like you didn’t sign up for this nausea and vomiting, right? You thought, sure, everyone gets a little sick, but THIS? You’re starving, but nothing sounds good, and ugh! What food is your colleague eating at her desk? Is she trying to kill you? From feeling a little queasy to dry retching on an empty stomach, nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy are not joyful.

I remember it was awful for me during my first trimester of pregnancy, and each treatment suggested sounded less appealing than the last. Unfortunately, pregnancy nausea responds poorly to almost every medical treatment. Fortunately, acupuncture and acupressure therapy are great complementary medicine options to treat morning sickness.

Is there no way to ease the nausea and vomiting from morning sickness?

Fear not. You can feel better. You will feel better. Especially if you are in the Portland, Oregon, area where I treat women all the time for this specific condition. I also am the mother of two who has dealt with her fair share of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture and other Oriental medicine treatments are fantastic at helping with morning sickness (a terrible phrase that implies you should feel sick only in the morning).

Acupuncture for morning sickness has been a secret of Traditional Chinese Medicine, aiding pregnant women for thousands of years. My expertise in traditional acupuncture techniques makes me well-qualified to help pregnant women avert morning sickness. Even after the birth, acupuncture works for postoperative nausea, too! Thanks to these Chinese medicine methods, you can bid a not-so-fond farewell to your pregnancy nausea and vomiting. 

During our sessions, we’ll work with the proper acupuncture point to ease your morning sickness symptoms. As part of my program, we’ll also talk about ways to reduce stress and which herbal teas you can use to reduce morning sickness. Pregnancy is challenging, and morning sickness isn’t something you should have to suffer through. With acupuncture to relieve a downside part of pregnancy, you can then focus on the positive parts of your growing baby.

Come and try acupuncture for morning sickness

The nice thing about coming in for acupuncture is that I can treat all of your pregnancy and non-pregnancy-related issues at the same time. If you are dealing with vomiting, nausea, and back pain, I have the experience to treat it all at once. If your appointment doesn’t come fast enough, here are some tips that I think will help you through the rough times:

  • Eat often. This may sound impossible, but it is a must!  For most of you, as long as you keep food in your system, you’ll be ok. Now, in order for this to help, you must be vigilant. Keep food in your bag, car, pocket, and bed. In short, don’t ever be caught without a snack. It will take some planning, but it is well worth it to help reduce morning sickness. Your digestive organs will thank you!
  • Go suck a lemon! No, really. Lemon and orange are commonly very soothing smells and flavors for women dealing with pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Eating an orange first thing in the morning helped me get my stomach primed for more substantial food during pregnancy. You can carry some lemon or orange essential oils around and smell them whenever nausea hits. If you are suffering a prolonged bout of nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy, try putting the essential oil on a piece of cloth and laying it over your face or chest while you rest.
  • Minty fresh. Peppermint works great for some women to combat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. If you get a high-grade organic essential oil, you can try one drop on your tongue when nauseous (this is also a great headache/migraine cure). For some, just drinking peppermint tea or sucking on mints is helpful.
  • Ginger. I love ginger, and chewing on ginger candies and drinking ginger tea was mildly helpful when I was experiencing pregnancy nausea. It helped enough to take the edge off so I could finish my grocery shopping. Read this article to find out about safe dosing:
  • Eat what you can. I know you want to give your baby the best while pregnant. I also know how crucial the first trimester is to consume the most nutrition possible. So yes, eat your protein and your green veggies, but if the thought of chicken has you running for the bathroom, ease up on yourself. If you ate well before conceiving, much of that will carry you through the first three months of pregnancy. If one day you have the urge to eat nothing but broccoli, go for it, and don’t feel bad if you can’t get in another vegetable for a week. The ideal plan is to do the best you can.


All of these strategies are synergetic with acupuncture. Acupuncture works optimally when you’re trying your best to put your whole life in balance -which I know is a challenge when trying to live your ‘best life’ while pregnant. 

Give traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture a try.

Remember, acupuncture is an excellent complementary treatment. Whether you’re working with a doctor or nurse midwifery, acupuncture can help relieve pain even while you’re using Western medicine and other strategies to tackle morning sickness.

Please see your doctor immediately if you are vomiting profusely, experiencing weight loss, or have any concerns about the severity of your morning sickness. If, however, you need some support from a natural healthcare provider, some personalized advice, expert acupuncture advice, and an individual treatment plan to help you through pregnancy nausea or any other pregnancy-related issue, give me a call at 503-442-1205. 

From one mama to another, I am so happy to help.

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