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(5 pages total)

Page 2 - Acupressure Analgesia: Providing Pain Relief During Labour


BL 32 (Ciliao)

An empirical point for delayed labour. Chosen for the reported effects of promoting dilation and preventing the appearance of radiating lumbo-sacral pain.

Acupressure Technique: The support person can apply firm pressure by placing their knuckles into the point. Maximum pressure is achieved by the woman rocking backwards into the support person at the beginning of a contraction.

Although I have listed this as BL 32, as labour progresses women will find pressure on BL 33 and BL 34 to be also effective.

From feedback, these points are reported to produce a pleasant "anaesthetising" effect on the strength of the contractions. Noticeably "wearing off" when pressure is stopped, building up again when recommenced.

The sensation produced when pressing into the Sacral Foramen is distinct. This may be felt as either numbness, warmth, tingling, aching or buzzing. If there is sharp pain, the pressure is on the surrounding bone.

It is important to note that for certain women the Sacral Foramen are not exactly bilateral. It is important to stress to the support people that they need to feel for the points.

These points are frequently used with the woman leaning or kneeling against a wall, table, bed, etc. They can also be effectively used in water, it merely requires a little flexibility on behalf of the support people. KI1

KI 1 (Yongquan)

Calms the shen. Chosen for this effect during labour. I have received interesting feedback from women and midwives who report this to be a very beneficial point during the second stage, as it aids the perineum to relax.

Acupressure Technique: Place strong pressure in the depression pushing inwards and upwards towards the big toe.

This point has a useful relaxing quality and may be applied at any time during labour.

It has been noted as being especially effective during the second stage of labour. (It is easily accessed if the woman is positioned on her knees.)

Also useful during labour where there are feelings of panic (for example, going into a labour with an unpleasant previous birth experience).

CO 4 (Hegu)

Stimulates uterine contractions. Chosen for its reported effects of increasing the intensity and frequency of contractions.

Acupressure Technique: Simply apply pressure with the thumb.


Indicated if labour is established but the contractions are of irregular intensity or duration.

This point may be used during the second stage of labour, aiding the body's efforts to move the baby down through the birth canal. It is indicated if the woman is tired and not pushing effectively.

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