Thursday, July 9, 2009
Similar to acupuncture, acupressure has been used for thousands of years in Asia as a way of easing a mother's pain during labor. Some historians believe acupressure actually predates acupuncture, however there is not sufficient evidence to prove it one way or the other. We do know that practicing midwives and physicians discovered over the years that not only did it ease pain, it also stimulated contractions to induce labor, which resulted in a quicker birthing process. Quicker birthing processes mean less room for complications, less pain, and less danger to both the mother and the baby. When a pregnant woman receives acupressure, the baby drops and presses onto the cervix and thus gets into position for labor -- ripening and dilating the cervix and initiating contractions, or strengthening, the contractions. Recent evidence has shown that using acupressure to induce labor is successful in 93% of women within 48 hours, and successful for 98% of women within 72 hours.
There are precautions, of course. There are right and wrong times to perform acupressure to induce labor. To get all the information to ensure the safety of you and your baby BEFORE you do anything, please read this page: click here.
To prepare for acupressure, you'll need to be sure you're in a comfortable place and position -preferably your own home somewhere. It might also be a good idea to have help. Ask the father, a friend, or a family member. Your helper can be in charge of assuring your comfort, monitoring your condition(in case it works more quickly then anticipated), help by applying pressure to points you can't reach (like your ankles), or possibly be in charge of calling all the necessary people when you go into labor.
Begin by finding the points that will be used. These points are easy to locate because the area will be tender like a bruise.
--The hoku spot can be found on the top of your hand. It is located in the webbing between your forefinger and your thumb.
--The area called spleen 6. To find this area, place four fingers above your ankle bone on the inside of your ankle.
--The bladder 32 spot can be found by tracing one finger width above the buttocks crease. You should feel a small indentation at this point.
--BL60 can be found between your ankle bone and Achilles tendon.