Video transcription

Hi, I'm Hillary Talbott, acupuncture physician and clinical herbalist, coming to you from Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies. Today, we will be discussing acupressure for inducing labor. Now, it's important that you don't touch these points until you are ready to go into labor, say week 39 or 40, and you're overdue because they can be very strong with acupressure alone and induce the movement of the baby, as well as actual labor. So, I'm going to demonstrate these points to you on a patient that is not pregnant. So, the first point, which is also very soothing because we tend to have tense shoulders, especially when we're carrying around all that extra weight, is gallbladder 21. It's located at the top of the trapezius, so basically the top of the shoulder muscles here. To find it, you just want to squeeze the muscle until you get the high point of the muscle and then your finger will fall into a little divot. Now, this point actually takes a pretty firm pressure to induce relaxation as well as actual labor. So, you're going to want to press with the tips of your fingers or your thumbs and when you use your thumbs, you want to use your body mechanics to give you leverage. And you can hold that point for about 30 seconds and then release and another really effective way to stimulate this point is by kneading. So using your fingers and your thumbs together and kneading it as if you were kneading bread. This is a great point while you're actually in labor to have your partner stimulate as they stand behind you as your bed is often propped up and they can get to this point quite easily. And so, another pressure point that is also great for stimulating contractions is LI4 and it's located between the first and second metacarpal bones at the high point of the muscle just at the end of the crease. Now, a lot of people know this point for headaches, which it is a command point to the head but what it also does is it circulates chi throughout the entire body and this like I said, can be very helpful for stimulating contractions and getting them closer together and you want to use pretty firm pressure so I'm using my thumb and my finger on the other side to continually press down and up. If it presses on yourself, you'll find that it's often quite sore if you press hard so you don't want to use continued pressure but rather a pulsating method. Now, depending on your specific patterns, there are lots of points that could be helpful in inducing labor for you. So, it's important to find an acupuncturist who can pick out those points and show you which ones to do when you're ready for that special moment. If you don't already have one, look for someone on I'm Hillary Talbott, and that was acupressure for inducing labor.