Published on 09-14-2010
Researchers at the Department of Women's and Children's Health within the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm recently looked at reducing labor pain in women with acupressure. The study randomly divided 71 women into 3 groups - an acupressure group, a light touch group, and a standard medical care group. As the women were in active labor the treatment groups received acupressure (or light touch) on the acupuncture point SP 6. SP 6 is contraindicated during pregnancy but is often used for labor promotion when appropriate; it is also helpful for many other conditions although general pain is not a typical use. This point was selected for its role in a labor promotion which as a byproduct will decrease pain during labor by easing the entire delivery process (from a Chinese Medicine perspective).
Within this study, researchers used bilateral acupressure on SP 6 over a 30 minute period during contractions. Labor pain was assessed by a visual analog scale before and after acupressure (or light touch) and then at 30, 60 and 120 minute intervals following. Researchers found a reduction in labor pain within the acupressure group that was most noticeable immediately after treatment. This may offer a useful tool when an epidural is not desired or not available.
WIthin a clinical setting this point, along with others, would be used for days before the due date to "prep" the body for a successful labor and delivery. During labor treatment would normally be continued until delivery but this study nonetheless shows an effective response from patients.
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Acupoints: sp 6
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