Sunday, August 5, 2012

Acupressure for Labor Pain

Effects of LI4 acupressure point on labor pain in the first stage of labor.

Hamidzadeh A, et al. 
This article reflects a study done with 100 women in Iran who were having regular contractions and were 3-4 cm dilated. Half the group were given acupressure on LI-4 point, which is located on the hand between the thumb and forefinger, during each contraction over a period of 20 minutes. With regular contractions that is probably about 5 contractions or so. The other 50 women received simple touch on the point, without actual acupressure stimulation. The researchers measure pain by using a questionnaire before the acupressure, immediately afterwards, and then 20 and 60 minutes later, and then asked every hour. It's unclear from what I have read if then they stopped receiving acupressure after the first 20 minutes. However, the results were that those receiving true acupressure had significantly less pain, shorter labors, and greater satisfaction with their labor and birth. This has been the consistent results every time this study has been done.