A DVD/download is now available which demonstrates acupressure techniques for labour.
Perfect for pregnant women and their partners, as well as health professionals working
with pregnant women.
For more information on the DVD click here.
As an acupuncturist I have been promoting the use of acupressure for use during
labour since 1992. At first I was somewhat sceptical as to just how effective it
would be, but felt that acupressure would be at least be "helpful".
Initially, although pleased with the positive feedback I was receiving from couples
(with women commenting on a reduction in the pain of contractions and feeling more
in control during labour), as an acupuncturist I considered that acupuncture would
be the preferred method of promoting pain relief during labour. It wasn't until
I used acupressure during the birth of my second child that I understood just what
the feedback I had been receiving really meant.
This was not a case of " that feels nice" or "I think this is useful" this was "come
back and press here, now!" For myself, pressure on Ciliao BL-32 appeared to half
the intensity of the contractions - so long as strong pressure with my partner's
knuckles was applied. This effect lasted until early transition. The difference
this made to my perception of labour was unmistakable, no acupressure and within
2 to 3 contractions the intensity had dramatically increased, direct acupressure
and the intensity immediately diminished. I had experienced acupuncture during my
first birth (ear acupuncture and acupuncture to Ciliao BL-32 followed by tens) and
while at the time I thought it was useful, acupressure provided a dramatic reduction
in my pain perception. Acupressure allowed me the advantage of unrestricted movement
and the option of using water during the labour and became my preferred choice for
the birth of my third child.
The continuing feedback I receive from midwives and couples has led me to believe
that acupressure is capable of giving results that equal if not surpass the use
of acupuncture as a tool for pain relief in labour. Women consistently report a
reduction in their pain combined with an overall sense of calmness and a high level
of satisfaction with their birth experience.
In 1995 I followed up of a sample of 74 women that I taught acupressure to over
the period of a year, 88% percent of the women attempted to use acupressure. Of
these women, 86% used it successfully in labour to significantly reduce their pain.
66% using terms such as "excellent" and "brilliant" to describe the effects. Of
the four couples that also tried using a tens machine, three discontinued, preferring
to resume using acupressure.
The acupressure points outlined in this booklet are easy to use, promote natural
labour and encourage close partner involvement. It is my hope that in the future
acupressure will be offered to women as part of their routine antenatal care.