Pregnant women who may be wondering if acupressure can help alleviate their labor discomfort may be glad to know that the therapy can indeed help them overcome the adverse effects of labor. Acupressure can help provide natural relief with labor induction and pain.
The following are five important questions that pregnant women may want to find answers to:
1. Can anyone practice acupressure? There is no training or no special massage technique required to provide yourself or others with good acupressure therapy. However, you do need to have some knowledge on how to perform acupressure correctly. The important trick is to palpate the acupoints and to press using your elbows, hands, thumbs, or fingers. It is important to apply pressure to the acupressure point until the woman feels fine. Do not overdo the therapy or else it may injure her.
2. Have studies been done about acupressure related to labor? Yes, there have been. Reputable Western medical publications have featured successful experiments and researches. One such study conducted in Korea by the department of Dankook University aimed to see the effect acupressure (specifically on the SP6 point) on labor pain and delivery time in women. SP6 acupressure was assigned to half of the 75 women while the other half was treated with SP6 touch control. Both groups underwent a 30-minute intervention with their respective therapies. Prior to acupressure, immediately after acupressure, and 30 to 60 min. right after acupressure, researchers monitored labor pain. Researchers discovered that in the SP6 acupressure group, the overall duration of labor was much shorter compared to the SP6 touch control group.
3. When is the right time to induce labor through acupressure? Several researches have shown that acupressure can indeed really induce labor prior the due time. According to doctors, acupressure is one of the best and safest natural ways to induce labor although it can be also deemed to be an intervention. So, you need to select the time to induce labor very carefully. Experts believe that in using acupressure to induce labor, the safest time to do it is three to four days before due time.
4. Are there special tools needed to practice acupressure? No tools need to be used while performing acupressure. Several experts say that your hands and your own massage skills are the only tools you need to perform acupressure. You need to only remember a couple of things: 1) the effect each point makes on the body; and 2) the ability to pressing with your elbows, hands, thumbs, or fingers.
5. In using acupressure to alleviate labor pains, when is the right time to start? The onset of labor is the right to perform acupressure to alleviate labor pains. According to researchers when acupressure is utilized at the onset of the labor, it has led to the significant relief of their labor pain. It works particularly well when the right acupressure points have been located that would most effectively help in the relief of labor pain.
Cynthia Chamberlain is a licensed acupuncturist in Overland Park, KS. She is also the founder of Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC.