Many women want to give birth naturally. With the help of acupressure points, it is possible to induce or accelerate childbirth by a natural method. Proponents of acupressure as an induction support believe that it promotes cervical dilatation and stimulates productive contractions.
Get acquainted with the concept of acupressure. Acupressure is a therapy that was developed more than 5,000 years ago in Asia and represents an important place in Chinese medicine. It uses the specific placement of the fingers and their pressure on key points on the body. Acupressure most often uses the fingers, especially the thumbs, to massage, irritate and stimulate pressure points. However, elbows, knees, legs and feet can also be used.
The points are arranged along the channels, called meridians. According to Asian medical philosophy, stimulation of these areas can release tension and increase blood flow.
Shiatsu’s popular massage technique is a form of Asian body therapy from Japan.
Find out what acupressure is used for. Like massage, acupressure contributes to deep relaxation and reduced muscle tension. This technique is also used to relieve pain. People use acupressure for nausea and vomiting, headaches, back and neck pain, fatigue, mental and physical exertion, and even addiction. Acupressure and other Asian body therapies are thought to correct the imbalance and blockage of the flow of life energy through our body.
Many western spas and massage elephants have started offering acupressure massages. While many people are skeptical about the effectiveness of acupressure, many doctors, health professionals and holistic health advocates believe in the positive effects of acupressure. For example, researchers at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine have studied the scientific basis of acupressure while providing explanations and practical applications of the techniques.
Licensed acupressors participate in formal training programs, either at special acupressure and acupuncture schools, or through massage therapy programs. These programs include the study of anatomy and physiology, acupressure points and meridians of Chinese medicine theory, techniques and procedures, and clinical studies. Obtaining a license requires up to 500 hours of schooling, less if the person already has a massage therapy license.
Finding common pressure points. There are hundreds of pressure points on our body. Common pressure points include:
Hoku / Hegu / colon 4, which is a strip of skin between the thumb and forefinger.
Liver 3, which is the skin between the thumb and the other toe.
Sanyinjiao / Spleen 6, which is on the calf.
Many pressure points are called multiple names, and are sometimes abbreviated and numbered, such as LI4 or SP6.
Learn when to use acupressure during pregnancy. Acupressure is credited with helping pregnant women with morning sickness and nausea, relieving back pain, labor pain and helping with natural induction of labor. Although acupressure is safe to use during pregnancy, always use it carefully. You may want to consult your acupressure doctor or doctor, or a licensed acupuncturist or acupressurist before trying it yourself.
All pressure points used to induce labor should be avoided until 40 weeks of gestation. Risk means putting pressure on the points that cause birth too soon, which causes problems.
Using pressure points on the hands and back
Use of Hoku / Hegu / Colon 4. This pressure point is considered one of the most popular to induce labor. It is located on the hands between the thumb and forefinger.
Irritate the skin between the index finger and thumb. You will focus on the area towards the center of your hand, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Apply firm, constant pressure to this point. Then start circling your fingers in a circle. When your hands get tired, just shake them and start again.
When you feel the onset of contraction, stop the pressure point friction. Continue when the contraction subsides.
This pressure point helps with uterine contractions and the baby’s descent into the pelvic cavity. You can also use it during childbirth and also help relieve painful contractions.
Try Jian Jing / Gallbladder 21. Gallbladder 21 is located between the neck and shoulder. To find the GB21, tilt your head forward. Ask someone to help you find the round point at the top of your spine, and then the head of the shoulder joint. GB21 is located halfway between these two points.
Using your thumb or forefinger, apply constant pressure to this point to massage and stimulate the area. You can also press the point between your thumb and forefinger on the other hand, massaging your index finger down for 4-5 seconds while releasing the pressure point posture.
This pressure point is also used for neck stiffness, headaches, shoulder pain and aches.
Irritate Ciliao / Bladder 32. This pressure point lies on the lower back, between the dimples and the lumbar spine. It is used to induce labor, relieve pain during childbirth and helps the baby to descend into the birth canal.
To find this point, a pregnant woman kneels on the floor or on the bed. Run your fingers down the spine until you feel two small bone cavities (one on each side of the spine). These cavities will be between the dimples and the spine – but they will not be the dimples themselves.
Press your joints or inches to the BL32 pressure point for constant, constant pressure, or rubbing in a circular motion.
If you cannot find the cavities, measure the length of the pregnant woman’s index finger. The BL32 lies approximately the length of the index finger above the upper buttocks, approximately 2.5 cm from the spine on either side of the spine.
Using pressure points on the legs and ankles
Use Sanyinjiao / Spleen 6. This pressure point is located on the lower leg, just above the ankle. SP6 acts to dilate the cervix and strengthens weak contractions. Caution should be exercised when using this point.
Find your ankle. Place three fingers over the tibia. Slide your toes over the tibia toward the back of the foot. You will find a very sensitive place for shaving. This place is very sensitive for pregnant women.
Rub in circles or apply pressure for 10 minutes or until you feel contractions. Continue to apply pressure after the contraction subsides.
Try Kunlun / Bladder 60. This pressure point helps if your baby has not descended into the birth canal. It is located on the ankle.
Find a place between your ankle and the Achilles tendon. Squeeze the skin with your thumb and apply pressure, or rub in a circular motion.
This place is often used during the first phase of childbirth, when the baby has not yet descended into the birth canal.
BL60 helps increase blood circulation and relieve pain.
Stimulate ZhiYin / Bladder 67. This point is located on the little finger. It helps to give birth and change the position of the baby’s pelvic end.
Take the pregnant woman’s legs in your palms. Use your toenail and apply pressure to the tip of the little finger on the foot, directly under the toenail.
Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have any questions. If you are concerned about the safety of you and your baby, why you have not yet given birth, or acupressure in general, consult your obstetrician, midwife or doula. They can answer your questions and talk about your concerns.
If you want to find out more about acupressure during pregnancy, find a certified acupressurist. Plan your visit and find out more.