Acupressure and Pregnancy
Acupressure, the ancient technique used to alter the state of the body by gentle application of pressure to specific points found on the body, is ideally suited to treating problems encountered during pregnancy. It uses no drugs or chemicals, it is non-invasive, and it has been shown to be very effective at reducing backache and lower back pain, morning sickness and nausea, high blood pressure and heartburn. Other points can help control some of the worst mood swings and appetite fluctuations.
Consult a professional first
Acupressure massage can also induce early labour, so it is important to consult with a professional before attempting certain acupressure techniques while pregnant, but once you know what not to do, it is easy for you or your partner to learn the basic strategies to make pregnancy much more comfortable and stress free without drugs that could harm your child.
There is a specific point on your wrist, which is easy to find and stimulate, called the inner gate, which when pressed firmly with the finger along with some specific breathing exercises will reduce nausea and morning sickness. This point can be found by measuring three fingers widths up the inner arm from the wrist line. There is a small hollow located between the two bones and the various tendons which should be fairly easy to find. It is best identified by being very slightly tender when pressed, although it is easy enough to identify without searching for painful areas. To activate this acupressure point, start gentle deep breathing, and then press reasonably firmly with your thumb into the spot as you breathe out, then release it while you breathe in. Repeat this cycle eight times on each wrist, and nausea should be much reduced or eliminated completely. If you find this technique useful, then a consultation with a professional should be considered so that you can learn some more effective, but more difficult techniques.
Last trimester and postnatal techniques
In the last few months of a pregnancy, professional acupressure can be used to encourage a head down position for the baby and to induce labour when required by triggering contractions. Some of these techniques can be used during childbirth itself to help in several ways. Acupressure massage can help significantly with pain felt after childbirth and there are specific acupressure points that encourage healthy milk production and aid with nursing. This is in addition to all the regular techniques used to balance moods, relieve stress and discomfort, and regain hormonal and fluid balances after giving birth.
Involvement of partners
The benefits of a drug-free way to deal with many of the problems faced during pregnancy and childbirth cannot be stressed enough. Quite apart from the direct benefits to both mother to be and child, it is an excellent way for a partner to become involved in the pregnancy, and some of the basic techniques you can learn will be useful for the rest of your life, so it is a good investment for the future. As with all activities carried out when pregnant, a professional should be consulted before trying it out, in case of any complications and to ensure you are using the correct techniques.
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