The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
In _The Birth Partner_, p. 107, Penny Simkin writes:
"Certain acupressure (shiatsu) points can be activated to stimulate contractions. Although acupressure is little understood in Western cultures, it is widely practiced in the Far East for health purposes. One point, Spleen 6, is considered a powerful point; when pressure is applied there, it can induce contractions of the uterus. Wataru Ohasi and Mary Hoover, in their book, _Natural Childbirth, The Eastern Way_ caution that this point should not be pressed before the mother's due date.
"Use acupressure in the following way to stimulate contractions:
"1. Locate Spleen 6, about four finger breadths above the inner ankle on the shinbone. This is a very tender spot.
"2. Press the Spleen 6 point hard with the tip of your thumb. Press at an angle from behind the mother's leg, in and towards the front of her leg. See the illustration and further discussion of Spleen 6 on page 82.
"3. Apply the pressure three times for ten to fifteen seconds at a time, resting a few seconds in between.
"4. Repeat the cycle every few minutes if the pressure seems to be causing contractions."
On page 82, she discusses the Ho-ku point for pain relief:
"By pressing with your finger or thumb at certain acupressure points, you may be able to relieve the mother's pain and speed up her labor. The two most popular points for labor are the Ho-ku point and Spleen 6. Both are sensitive spots that may hurt when you apply acupressure properly.
"The Ho-ku point is on the back of the hand, where the bones forming the base of the thumb and index finger come together. Press steadily into the bone at the base of the index finger with your thumb for ten to fifteen seconds, three times, with a brief rest in between. You can repeat this as often as you and the mother want."
Another source is _Acupressure's Potent Points: A Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments_ by Michael Reed Gach.
He relies heavily on illustrations, but he references the Ho-ku, lots of sacral points, a point on the top of the shoulder one to two inches out from the side of the lower neck, and a point on the back of the ankle and another on the outside of the little toe. (Also, heat applied to this last is supposed to help turn a breech.)
I personally have not had a lot of success with acupressure, but I haven't
had a chance to take any real training, so I haven't really tried these
much. I have tried those nubby little rubber balls for a mom to hold *inside*
her hands to relieve labor pain. Some women can't live without them, once
they try them, and other women aren't helped by them.
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