Acupuncture for nausea & vomiting

Gower Acupuncture Swansea with Tim Wright

Nausea is thought to have developed as an evolutionary defence mechanism – expelling unwanted toxins from the body. Contrary to popular belief it’s not the stomach that rebels and sends its contents upwards, it’s the diaphragm that’s the prime mover.
Although it may not feel like it, the stomach is relaxed during vomiting. The diaphragm is a large flat muscle responsible for the inhalation and exhalation of air from the lungs. When vomiting the diaphragm contracts, squeezing the stomach, sending air, intestine and stomach contents upwards and outwards.

I treat nausea from three main aetiologies:
1.  As a symptom from another illness such as menieres or anxiety
2.  For chemotherapy induced nausea
3.  From morning sickness

These are cases of nausea that aren’t there to protect you. No toxins are being expelled from the stomach or intestines. In contrast nausea in the case of food poisoning is an important protection mechanism I wouldn’t try to treat. Those dodgy pathogens need to be expelled from the body and the vomiting is working to keep the body safe.


There are two main things I’m targeting when treating nausea.
Firstly, I’m trying to calm the autonomic nervous system down. Often being nauseous is a deeply unset-tling experience. Calming the patient down on its own can sometimes be enough to reduce nausea.  Secondly, I’m trying to reduce or stop the nausea and vomiting. One of the acupuncture points I use is PC6, this is prob-ably one of the most used and famous acupuncture points of them all.

Self-treatment for nausea – acupressure on PC6
PC6 is the point 2 inches up the arm (towards the elbow) from your wrist crease between the two prominent tendons on the inside of the arm (non-hairy side for the hirsute amongst us). This is the location for travel sickness bands. Vigorously massaging this point can also be effective.

How can acupuncture help?
The efficacy of acupuncture has been proven in cases of post-operative nausea, chemotherapy and morning sickness, on the whole coming out at least as good or better than anti-emetic medication (Ezzo – 2006). This mirrors my clinic experience. Primarily I treat morning sickness and on the whole, see effective results. / 07764 254881


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