Friend of Nyssa and New York State licensed Acupuncturist, Laura Hoffman, is currently pregnant with her third child during the COVID-19 pandemic. Laura has studied various modalities to treat conditions including, but not limited to, women’s health, digestive concerns, chronic pain, muscular strain, anxiety, stress, addiction, and insomnia. She shares how her knowledge of Chinese medicine is guiding her experience of pregnancy and quarantine.
"I remember the exact moment I realized I was pregnant. It was six months ago, and wasn’t from a test, or from being sick. It was from a tingle. This will be my third child, due in August. So I’m somewhat used to the feeling. But as an acupuncturist, I’m also used to hearing the moment other women have the same “tingle.“ It’s when we go deep. I think many women experience a strong sense of going inward when pregnant. And it usually begins during the first trimester, even within the first few weeks. Sometimes there’s a feeling or a fear that the pregnancy might not stick, so we don’t tell others. Sometimes we’re so sick or tired we have to stay within our own little bubble. No matter what, though, we go inward, deep into our bodies, in ways we often have never done before.
So when Covid19 rolled around, I was already in a somewhat sequestered state. I was getting out of a very tumultuous first trimester and halfway through my second. And I noticed how quarantine had a lot of overlap with the feelings of slowing down and going inward. This virus and the quarantine both have a lot of qualities that are mainly in the yin category of Chinese Medicine. Yin is female. Yin is nourishment and darkness. It is rest. It is everything our western capitalist system is not. It is everything our male-dominated world, is not. While we do need both the yin and the yang to happen, we need them in a more balanced state than we’ve grown accustomed to. Having a virus be what shows this to us is not ideal, but this is also causing a global shift towards a different way of being. In quarantine, we become reliant more upon ourselves. We become more still, with less distraction. There’s a powerful overlap with all of this, and being pregnant. In the latter, as our bodies change, completely beyond our control, we must give in and slow down. Our bodies change week by week, often with completely different symptoms. And all we can do, is support it in the healthiest and happiest of ways. I wouldn’t necessarily have planned a pregnancy based on a quarantine due to a pandemic, but I am finding this experience to be 100% for my own self. And shouldn’t that truly be the journey?"