Acupuncture and Acupressure for Discomforts of Pregnancy
Treatment for Nausea
Acupuncture can also help pregnant women who experience morning sickness. According to a study published by the Journal of Pain Symptom Management in 2000, acupuncture was found to be extremely effective in pregnant women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe pregnancy vomiting/morning sickness). By activating the point called PC6 (located under the wrist) through the pressure from acupuncture needles, women were able to relieve their nausea and/or vomiting.
Dr. Bynum has seen this occur with several of her patients who suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum. “Although the acupuncture took longer to work, it made the patient able to eat and start to gain weight again, whereas the anti-nausea medications had failed. The advantage of using acupuncture for nausea is that there aren’t any drug effects on the fetus.”
Acupressure sea sickness bands, which also use the P6 point, can be very helpful for pregnant women experiencing nausea. According to a Swedish study at Lund University in December 2001, which involved 60 healthy women with normal pregnancies suffering from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, “it is possible to reduce [nausea] significantly at P6 as compared to acupressure at a placebo point and to no treatment.”
Labor and Delivery
When specific pressure points on a pregnant woman’s body are stimulated through touch during an acupressure treatment, they may initiate the onset of labor or help ease pain during delivery. Some midwives use these acupressure techniques to ease their patients’ labor pains. The same techniques can be learned by labor coaches, doulas, and spouses so that they can provide acupressure pain management for the laboring mother.
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