How To Use Sacral Points To Aid With Pain And Stimulate Labour
Traditional Chinese medicine has become one of the go-to medicines for aiding the start of labour. Acupuncture is one of the more commonly used treatments and is known to be effective for many issues. However, one specific use for both acupuncture and acupressure that is lesser known is its ability to induce labour. The Sacral Area Of The Body Aids With Moving Into Labour and Reducing Pain In Labour
Acupuncture and acupressure are effective methods for inducing labour. The acupuncture points in the sacral region are targeted to stimulate labour. These sacral points are located on either side of the lower back and are responsible for the movement of qi, or life energy, throughout the body.
There are a few different ways that acupressure can be used to induce labour. Selecting Bladder points located on a channel that runs from the inner canthus of the eye through the body and descends to the lateral side of the little toe (Bladder 67). Bladder points 31 and 32, located on the first and second sacral foreman, are strong and effective points commonly used to aid with moving into labour. By stimulating these points, it is possible to encourage the movement of qi and help bring about labour. They have both been shown to be an effective method for pain relief (similar to sterile water injections), dilating the cervix and helping induce labour.
A few different positions can be used when applying pressure to these points. Side-lying or sitting on a fitness ball can be used to apply the manual treatment. You can place the client in a sitting-up position, kneeling, and then lean the body’s trunk forward. Support can be given if the client rests their arms on a pillow or cushions. Whichever position is chosen, it is important to remain comfortable and relaxed. Additionally, comfort is essential when applying pressure to the points. By remaining comfortable and relaxed, it is possible to encourage the movement of qi and help bring about labour.
Bladder 32 and 32 are wonderful for counter pressure during contractions. Use your knuckle to apply pressure to release tension in the lower back and sacral tension and provide relief during contractions. Using your thumb or another finger is possible, but using the knuckle will provide more pressure.
Using the environment around you at home, hospital or where ever you are labouring. A simple yet effective tool is a tennis ball or pressure ball to apply pressure to the lower sacral area. The tennis ball can also be placed on a chair, bed, wall or floor, and you can gently rock your hips to apply pressure and relieve tension in the lower back.
Bladder 32 and 32 are wonderful for counter pressure during contractions. If the client has low energy or is feeling weak, it is advised to use gentle sustained pressure. It is important not to apply too much pressure as this can be overwhelming and tiring for the client. It is also important to be mindful of how the client feels and to only apply pressure for as long as they can tolerate it. If the client is feeling exhausted, use only the pads of your fingers with a light touch. Applying pressure with the knuckle also allows for a more targeted approach. If the client is robust, knuckles can be used with a stimulating effect or pressed with the thumbs and moving in a circular motion.
Essential oils can also help soothe and relax the mind and body. Oils with soothing and pain-relieving properties can improve results when combined with acupressure. Rose or frankincense oil, massage either of these into the lower back to aid in softening ligaments.
Acupuncture can effectively induce labour, and it is important to consult with a qualified acupuncture practitioner before undertaking this treatment. Additionally, comfort is essential when applying pressure to the points. By remaining comfortable and relaxed, it is possible to encourage the movement of qi and help bring about labour.
Melinda Webb Is a Dr Traditional Chinese Medicine, Calmbirth Educator, Buteyko Instructor and Mental Health Counsellor. She is the owner of Beattie Street Health Studio in Balmain, NSW.