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Analgesia during birth


#1

Hi

My name is Luis Moreira, and I am a 4th year student of TCM in Portugal.

I wanted to know if anyone has knowledge od acupuncture protocols for pain relief (analgesia) during birth.

Thanks

Luis


#2

Acupuncture can be very helpful during the entire course of pregnancy as well as for breech presentations, late-stage pelvic pain, and labor pain and ease. I have an article which is not yet complete which covers many of these - it is the "Chinese Medicine Treatment of Pregnancy, Child-Birth and Post-Partum Issues." The part I am currently missing in the article is about labor pain, so I will offer some of this information now.

In general, many of the reachable points that are contraindicated during pregnancy are very helpful for easing labor pain and shortening delivery times. There have been a number of studies looking at the use of acupuncture for labor pain instead of conventional medicine for obvious reasons, particularly safety to the child and mother. A couple of the studies worth highlighting are below:

1. Effects of LI4 and BL 67 acupressure on labor pain and uterine contractions in the first stage of labor - looked at the effect of LI 4 and UB 67 on labor pain (using acupressure - which is arguably lighter in effect than acupuncture) and found significant reductions in labor pain.

2. Pain relief by applying transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on acupuncture points during the first stage of labor: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial - looked at applying TENS units to LI 4 and SP 6 and found reductions in labor pain.

3. Effects of SP6 acupressure on labor pain and length of delivery time in women during labor - evaluated acupressure on SP 6 with a group of 75 women found a reduction in pain and significantly shorter labor time than in the other control groups.

In most cases points such as LI 4 and SP 6 are enough. There are other analgesic points within auricular acupuncture that may be added as well.


#3

Hi Chad

Thanks for your comment, that only now I had the chance to read.

I have two small questions:

In order to be able to stimulate both points at the same time, is it "allowed" needling on LI4 and LASER on BL67, instead of performing acupressure, which forces to "travel" from point to point? Also, and as far as Laser is concerned, I expect that it should not be applied for the duration of the delivery.

Also, when applying TENS (I expect that a frequency of about 100Hz) on LI4 / SP6, should it be done on one or both sides?

Thanks

Luis


#4

You can stimulate the points however your training best suits the patient. Generally I don't use strong stimulation - electrical or needle manipulation. So I generally needle those points at the same time with no stimulation and use medical qi gong for additional movement/direction - but that is just my training.

I would think that needling one point and using the laser on the other would be perfectly fine as it is the stimulation of those areas that matters and less the medium through which that happens.

As for the LI4 and SP6 usage, it would be bilateral.


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