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(5 pages total)

Page 3 - Acupressure Analgesia: Providing Pain Relief During Labour


SP 6 (Sanyinjiao)

An empirical point for a difficult labour. Feedback I have received from midwives suggests that this is an effective point to aid cervix to dilate.

Acupressure Technique: Direct pressure is applied with the index finger or thumb.

I recommend using this point on only one leg at a time for approximately 60 seconds. It may then be used on the opposite leg, 20 - 30 minutes later, for the same duration.

This point may be very tender, following its use some women report feeling their cervix stretching and contractions strengthening.

PC 6 (Neiguan)

An empirical point for nausea and vomiting.

Acupressure Technique: This may be used for sensations ranging from mild feelings of nausea through to vomiting.

Place pressure on the point, holding until effective, usually within five minutes. Pressure can be used on either wrists, or only one, whatever is more practical.

PC6 It is possible to buy wristbands that apply pressure to this point. These are available through chemists sold as a remedy for motion sickness. Here in New Zealand they are termed "Sea Bands."

Alternately people can easily construct their own. Form a wristband with elastic, and sew onto it a rounded mushroom shaped button. Wear it with the rounded edge pressing onto the skin. Take care that once in place, the pressure exerted on the skin is firm but not uncomfortable.

From the feedback I have collected I have surmised the following:

For the maximum benefit to be gained from acupressure, it is important that it is commenced as early as possible. Women that reported the highest satisfaction began using the points at the beginning of their labour.

The most frequently used points by the women were BL 32 and GB 21. These appeared to provide the most effective pain relief. Most women found one of these points preferable at the onset of contractions and continued with its use throughout their labour.

SP 6 and CO 4 were frequently used by midwives. As induction points, women were instructed to use acupressure on both points prior to their medical induction. Usually in the time frame of using the points at least every two hours. The application of these points are reported as beneficial in cases where, although the labour did not commence spontaneously, the resulting induced labour was straightforward and efficient. One midwife commented that she could tell those women who had actually followed her instructions due to the way the cervix softened and dilated.

For un-established contractions during labour these points were used half hourly. The feedback I receive from midwives indicates that used together they encourage the regulation of contractions and dilation of the cervix.

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