Author: Dr. Maryam Mahanian, DTCM, RAc
Audio Broadcast of the article is available below:
Are you past your due date and you can’t wait to have your baby?
Learn these 3 easy DIY Acupressure points and give birth to your miracle baby!
What Is Acupressure?
Acupressure is essentially acupuncture without needles.
Acupressure channels are the same as acupuncture channels.
Throughout these acupressure channels, blood, oxygen and nutrients are circulating. The acupressure points redirect and balance the flow throughout the body.
Each acupoint has concentrated electrical energy that when stimulated send messages to the brain and body through the nervous system.
Acupressure to Initiate Labor
Acupressure is known to be one of the best natural ways to induce labor.
Acupressure is the best way to induce natural labor. It works extraordinarily well for women past their due date who would like assistance in initiating the labor process.
This guide outlines the three best acupressure points for the purpose of labor induction. Keep in mind that your body will not go into labor unless and until it’s ready but these points can be very helpful to move things along if your body is in fact ready to go.
The points in this guide are very easy to use & have remarkable effect when applied correctly.
I recommend pressure to be applied to these points 3 to 5 times per day (at least) for at least one minute. Simply apply the pressure as long as you feel comfortable. Some women can handle applied pressure for several minutes while others for just several seconds.
Don’t push too hard that you give yourself a bruise. The pressure should be firm but still gentle.
If you feel pain when massaging these areas, stop immediately.
These Acupressure Points Are To Be Used Only In Three Situations:
- If you are past your due date (this means past 40 weeks gestation)
- if your waters have broken
- if the labor process has begun but you’d like A more efficient birth
The points can be easy to determine when pressure is placed because they will be noticeably tender.
How do the points bring on labor?
These acupressure points stimulate proper blood flow helping the baby move into the pelvis, initiate contractions and dilate the cervix.
In addition, acupressure can help keep your baby in the right position for labor and relieve labor pains.
Best of all it is free of side effects!
Keep in mind that your body will not go into labor if it’s not ready. The acupressure simply prompts the body to work more efficiently. It is like an “on switch” so to speak.
Some things to consider
No prior knowledge of anatomy is necessary to understand the locations of these points.
You can also feel free to use these points during labor. I recommend your support team to become well versed in these acupressure points and techniques.
The points can be stimulated in any order.
Each acupressure point in this guide is labelled according to the channel pathway that it lies along and the position on that channel.
It’s always important to talk to your healthcare provider, midwife, birth doula or licensed acupuncturist before you consider acupressure. Certain points may not be suitable for every mom-to-be or the baby.
How fast does acupressure work to induce labor?
No one knows for sure! You’ll start to feel a response from acupressure from an hour to a day. Also, the effects vary from woman to woman. However, regular use of pressure points can definitely speed up the labor process….so keep at it!
So let’s get started with the points!
GB (Gallbladder) 21 Jianjing
How to Locate: This point is at the highest point of the trapezius muscle. If you draw an imaginary line between the acromion (bony part) of the shoulder and the last cervical vertebrae of the neck (C7), the point is midway. You will know when you find this point because it is the most sensitive point along that line. It should feel tender.
Technique: apply firm downward pressure with your thumb, knuckle or elbow.
This point stimulates uterine contractions.
LI (large intestine) 4 Hegu
How to Locate: The point is between the first and second long hand bones (metacarpal bones) but a tiny bit closer to the second metacarpal. When your thumb rests against the index finger, this point is at the highest point of the hand. It feels dull and achy with pressure.
Technique: Apply firm pressure as shown in above photo.
This point aids the body in moving the baby down the birth canal and helps stimulate uterine contractions.
Sp (spleen) 6 Sanyinjiao
How to Locate: This point is about three inches or one hand breadth above the inner ankle bone. Slide your finger just behind the tibia bone (leg bone). This point is not on the bone. This point usually feels very tender when located correctly.
Technique: Apply direct pressure with your index finger or thumb.
This point is excellent at dilating the cervix & promoting uterine contractions.